by Cicely Woodard, 8th grade math & Honors Algebra I teacher at Rose Park Middle Magnet
Since implementing Common Core State Standards in my middle school mathematics classroom, my role as teacher has changed. No longer am I the ultimate source of knowledge in the classroom. Instead I am a facilitator of student-centered, student-led learning. No longer am I helping students to choose the right answer. Now I am helping them to develop deep understanding of mathematics that has meaning to their lives. My expectations are high, and everyday my students are rising to meet those expectations.
The role of my students has changed as well. In the past, my students were doing math activities just to master concepts. Now they engage in high level math tasks that require them to think critically about mathematical ideas. Before my students listened to me explain math concepts and gave some explanations to me. Now they are participating in deep discussions with their peers in which they must formulate their own understandings, justify their thinking, and critique the reasoning of others. At one time, my students focused on choosing the right answer on a multiple choice test. Now they concentrate on learning math that is relevant to their everyday lives and communicating their understanding of that math.
My students are becoming effective communicators and courageous problem solvers who are not afraid to tackle rigorous math tasks. They have a sincere desire to be successful. When I see them, I see young people who are one step closer to being ready for life after high school. They truly are becoming prepared for college and the workforce. I attribute all of these positive changes to the implementation of Common Core State Standards in my classroom.
Learn more about Common Core State Standards & PARCC Testing: