Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fourth Grade Common Core...a Math Club!

Yes, you read the title right. Have you ever heard of a meath club for teachers, tutors, and specialists? I know I hadn't before a this past July. It's one of those things that a few colleagues start kicking around and it grows into an idea that take son a life of its own. That's exactly what happened this summer.

As a tutor, I haven't had a whole lot of  interaction/experience with the Common Core. I have had a few students whose schools recently adopted the core. So, I was able to help them and their families with the transition. But that's really about it. I homeschool my own children, so the Core hasn't affected our schooling (until this year with 2 of them in K12 middle school). What I have noticed, though, is that many tutors are ill-equipped to cover the material "the core way." The language is different, algorithms are unique, strategies have morphed. Many tutors I know are not able or willing to even try to teach the core material...and, I'm going out on a limb here, but I think that this is mostly because tutors aren't trained to implement the core. We get comfortable doing things the way we were taught, or the way we like to teach.

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My summer mission was to learn as much about the Core as I could. Along the way, I realized many of my personal teaching strategies were already "core-like" I just had to learn the language that accompanied them. OK, so this story is getting way too long, so I'll shorten. I started talking with a few other teachers, and one had a fabulous idea to start a club, specifically for Common Core resources. Brilliant! We would get a few tremendous teacher/authors together who specialize in subject/grade areas, and each would contribute some of their favorite resources to a group project. By the end of the year, we'd have a spectacular bundle of resources that would help any teacher, tutor, or even homeschooling parent, instruct their children in the content for an entire year! Of course, at a hefty discount ;)

So, that's exactly what we did. We released the first installment of the Common Core Memberships on September 1st. In just 1 week, we'll be releasing the second installment. And I must say, I'm getting excited to put these valuable resources all in one place. This quarter, we decided we'd add to this membership. Not only will members receive updates to their resources, and a new installment every quarter for a year, but they will also be invited to a private Facebook Group, hosted by the authors of the resources! This is probably the most exciting part of this whole club, at least for me it is. How often do the publishers of your math curriculum invite you to their curriculum development meetings? How many times have they asked you what you'd like to see in the next version?

That is the beauty in this, as teachers and tutors ourselves, our passion is in our work...Sure, we make a little money from selling our resources. But the true reward is when we know these resources make it into the hands of other teachers and tutors who work hard to help their students "get it."

I invite you now to take a look at a few of the teacher-authors who have contributed to the Fourth Grade Math Club.

Kim Miller is the creative mind behind "For the Love of Teaching" She has contributed many of the task cards and assessment packs that are included in both the first and second quarter installments. You can read more about her, her teaching style, and get a taste for her creative style over on her blog.

You might know Stacy Pearson from Teacher's Take-Out. You will find that Stacy adds a fun side to teaching decimals and division! Read more about her on her blog
Teacher's Take-Out on TpT

Lindy is a creative teacher from South Africa! I've had the pleasure of collaborating with her over the past year (almost, give or take a couple months). My kids LOVE her Powerpoint presentations.

Lindy Du Plessis on TpT

Krista Mahan of Teaching Momster is my co-conspirator on this project. She actually presented the idea of a club membership, and we just rolled with it. I've been a follower of Teaching Momster for longer than I've been a seller on teacherspayteachers. So it has been an honor to work alongside Krista putting this all together and brainstorming. I'm sure you'll all love her playful approach to teaching difficult concepts. You can also follow her on her blog.
Teaching Momster on TpT

Monica Parsons is behind the blog , NC Teacher Chick, and the fantastic teaching resources. My favorite resource from Monica in this membership is her toolkit, it covers EVERY standard any 4th grade teacher is going to cover for the entire year. 
Monica Parsons on TpT

Martha Hach from "The Owl Spot" has also made great contributions to these first 2 installments. I'm beginning to think of her as the task card queen. I've tried my hand at task cards, but she's got this down! I can imagine her students love the games she brings to class as well!
Martha Hach--the Owl Spot on TpT

That's it for now. Check back in the next couple of days to find out some more insider information on this new math club for teachers!

Would you like the opportunity to win a free membership? This is a super fast flashy giveaway. Enter by following the contributors in the rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends at midnight this Saturday!

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