Monday, July 29, 2013

Geometry Curriculum Map Reflections

Today was day one of a two-day workshop to prepare teachers for the common core.  Some interesting things about my state (that I haven't necessarily seen from other states):
  • last year common core was implemented in grades K - 8, this year common core is being implemented in Algebra I, next year in Geometry, and the following year in Algebra II/Trig.
  • we have modules
  • we don't teach any kind of probability in Geometry
  • our state is handing us a curriculum map and the individual lessons
Corresponding thoughts:
  • I am so grateful that we are not implementing Common Core Geometry this year.  My heart goes out to all the Algebra I teachers. 
  • FYI:  Modules are a way of organizing the standards.  They're kind of like a collection of units.  At least, that's the way I look at them because you can easily chunk out units from the modules.  Interestingly, modules are actually divided into topics.  There is a mid-module test and a summative module test.
  • Hallelujah!
  • They give you everything!  On the one hand, it's great to see things broken down, to know exact expectations, to have something to start out with, work from, and adapt.  On the other hand, it makes me feel like they have no faith in us.  
So what does all this mean for me?

So far only the first module has been released, so I only know what the state wants me to do for the first 45 days or so of the school year.  I do have the choice to adopt the modules as they are, or to adapt the modules as I see fit.  Either way, I need to adapt.

I've already implemented the changes from my first (technically second) curriculum map that I've detailed in my previous post.  After having a better idea of the expectations, I am thinking of tweaking my map a little more, but not overhauling it all over again.  Basically, I don't have to teach common core this year, I do need to still teach Geometry as it was last year.  My plan has been to start integrating common core.  With the map that I have so far, I've made changes to my existing curriculum as I'd planned to regardless of common core (mainly in terms of sequencing).  I'm going to use what I already have, and make changes along the way.  Next year, I will have to make more changes.  Most likely, I'll align closer to what the state has.

My biggest goal with devising my new curriculum map was lumping certain topics that seemed to belong together.  Mainly graphing and transformations.  The thing about the common core (that I did not realize until today), is that transformations do not necessarily happen on the coordinate plane anymore.  So my whole master plan of learning about Geometry in the coordinate plane, and then having that lead into transformations is kind of out the window. Oh well, I'll adjust it next year.

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