Thursday, November 21, 2013

Common Core: At Least the Website Works

I am nothing if not a good sport and an optimist by temperament, so when I read this NJ Spotlight article about a website full of great information and resources for teaching the Common Core Curriculum Standards, I took a look. The site, njcore.org, is well-designed, if a bit busy, and you can sign up to post resources.

If you teach Language Arts and Mathematics, there are probably some good resources for the effective teacher, but as a high school history teacher, there was nothing on the site. Nada. Zilch. Not even a pretense that teaching history is in any way important or even part of the curriculum. Perhaps more will be added later, but at this point, the state has no interest in engaging anyone who doesn't teach the tested subjects. And that's to be expected because it's been clear for a couple of years that the NJ Department of Education is focused on testing to the exclusion of a rich, varied, integrative curriculum..

Clearly this is still a work in progress and there's a distinct possibility that it will grow into a valued resource. It has a good deal of competition from other, more established sites and its success will be determined by how well it meets teachers' needs. The comments on the NJ Spotlight article are negative so far, with this being the most telling:
So, I click on the link in the article, then I click on NJMC, I choose Mathematics, then Kindergarten, I click on Unit 1, then I click on SLO 1 Count by ones up to 10.
Then I click on the 3 lesson plans, choose the first one listed called "Subitizing " (huh???) and Lesson Seed 7.EE.A.2.

It's a lesson on area using the expression 25(x+10)-13a.

For Kindergarten?

Another lesson says there are 18 cookies in each batch requiring 2 cups of flower. How much flower for 12 dozen?

Kindergarten?

Stay tuned.

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