Curriculum Materials Matter! Evaluating the Evaluation Process
Adoption of curriculum materials is one of the most important decisions a
teacher, school, or district can make. While state standards describe what
students are expected to learn and be able to do, what is taught in
classrooms—the implemented curriculum—is heavily influenced by textbooks and
other instructional materials. The instructional materials affect lesson
content, depth and duration of instruction for particular topics, and topic
sequence. So, while we may talk about curriculum materials as just "resources,"
the fact is that they strongly influence classroom instruction—for better or
worse. Read more.
Back to School—The Time to Engage Parents and Families
August—back-to-school time. As you plan for the new school year, don't forget
to make explicit plans for engaging parents and families. As you well know, parents
can be invaluable supports for their children's mathematics learning. While
it's helpful to send parents basic information about their children's
mathematics class, such as course outlines, assignments, and descriptions of
teacher expectations, they typically need much more than that to be prepared to
support their children's mathematics learning. Read more.
A little more than
four years ago, on June 2, 2010, I was sitting with a small group of
mathematics educators in the Peachtree Ridge High School auditorium in Suwanee,
Georgia, on the occasion of the release of the Common Core State Standards
(CCSS). Governors, state and district education leaders, business leaders,
teacher union leaders, and a number of classroom teachers all described their
strong support for CCSS and how having common, rigorous, world-class college-
and career-ready standards would benefit both their students and the nation. Read more.
Moving Ahead: Opportunities and Priorities
As I begin my term as NCTM
President, I’m struck by both the challenges currently facing the mathematics
education community and the opportunities for systemic improvement in
mathematics teaching and learning that addressing these challenges affords. One
of our major challenges is, of course, addressing the Common Core State
Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM)—facilitating large-scale, effective
implementation; preparing for more rigorous, aligned assessments in spring
2015; and supporting the
standards themselves. Read more.