Practicing the Practices: Using Technology to Transition to the Common Core

Max Ray, The Math Forum @ Drexel
Suzanne Alejandre, The Math Forum @ Drexel

Session Description

As Pennsylvania has adopted the Common Core standards, we've all wondered, ʺwhat's going to change?ʺ Now that both assessment consortiums have released their sample items, we know that students are being asked to do an unprecedented amount of problem solving, working with technology, and communicating their thinking. We'll work with sample items from PARCC and Smarter Balanced, as well as demonstrate online resources for supporting students to solve problems using technology, and communicate their thinking about those problems.


Let’s Get Started (Introductions)

  • Smarter Balanced sample items:
  • PARCC sample items:

Let’s Do Math

  • focus on our noticings and wonderings
  • list ways we could begin to mathematize the question – strategies or tools we might use
  • break into expert groups based on the different possible approaches
wwwwwwset up and explore the problem
  • model using iPads to capture the conversations
  • distributed summary – groups share out what their approach has helped them see and do

Comparing Approaches

  • Jigsaw into new small groups with 2 people from each strategy group.
wwwwwwEach pair shares their approach with the others in the group.
wwwwwwWhen you aren't sharing, your job is to listen for
wwwwwwWhat is the same in our approach?
wwwwwwWhat's different?
wwwwwwIs there anything that could be the same/different but I'm not really sure about?
  • In small groups, discuss what is the same in the approaches.
wwwwwwWhat's different?
wwwwwwWhat are we not sure about or looks like it could be the same/different but really isn't?

Whole Group Discussion

  • As a whole group talk about
wwwwwwWhat we learned about the problem
wwwwwwWhat we learned about the different approaches from the jigsaw work
  • Think with our teacher hats about
wwwwwwWhat we modeled about problem solving and communication

Introducing tPoWs / Financial PoWs

  • Use login instruction sheets
  • Explore – notice/wonder
  • Group discussion

Solving a tPoW/Financial PoW

  • In different small groups, work on a tPoW
  • The goal is for each group to submit their thinking so far, online
  • Use questions from the Answer Check for groups who get stuck

Mentoring tPoWs/Financial PoWs

  • As a whole group, we'll go in as teachers and view “our students’ work.” We will notice and wonder about one or two of the submissions.
  • Model crafting an "I notice... I wonder..." feedback response.
  • Reflect on the use of written, online feedback in preparing students for the communication component of the Common Core practices.

Workshop Evaluation


Resources (added after our workshop)