These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Common Core Math Resources

It’s a Friday evening and I have just drifted off into the loveliest dream.  I am the young and beautiful Julie Andrews falling for the dashing Christopher Plummer on the movie set of my favorite musical, “The Sound of Music”.  Things are progressing right on cue.  I have sung the opening theme song, met the Captain with his “ridiculous” whistle, set on the infamous pinecone, cut up the curtains to make playclothes, and then “Up in the nursery, an absurd little bird, is calling out to say “You’re” cuckoo, cuckoo….”

And we’re back!  I’m Renee’ Smith again and I have a blogpost due in three hours.  With the remnants of the dream still clinging to my consciousness, I decide to share “a few of my favorite things” for common core math.

Resources that I recommend for teacher training for common core:

Children’s Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction – Carpenter, Fennema, Franke, Levi, and Empson

Extending Children’s Mathematics Fractions and Decimals:  Innovations in Cognitively Guided Instruction – Empson and Levi

Elementary and Middle School Mathematics:  Teaching Developmentally – John A. Van de Walle

Thinking Mathematically:  Integrating Arithmetic and Algebra in Elementary School – Carpenter, Franke, and Levi

Virtually anything published by Math Solutions – Marilyn Burns

Resources that contain activities that support common core. 

Teaching Student Centered Mathematics: Professional Mathematics Series K-3, 3-5, 5-8 – Van de Walle and Lovin

Investigations, Tasks, and Rubrics to Teach and Assess Math, Grades 1–6 – Lilburn and Ciurak


allthings common math resources – three act math

I’m sure there are other resources that address the common core but for now, these are my favorites.  I feel my eyes beginning to sag and I’m starting to drift back to….”Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into springs, these are a few of my favorite things.”

Hi, I am Renee' Smith and I began teaching math in, of all places, a maximum security prison. “I was 21 years old and 99 lbs. soaking wet. Some of my students were convicted murderers and as scary as it sounds, it was incredibly sad. Many of those men had failed in the school system and then turned to crime.” That early experience with public school dropouts, cemented my resolve to help future students understand and succeed in the area of mathematics. To that end I dedicated 16 years to the classroom, teaching 5th grade math through algebra. After obtaining my Masters in Education from Baker University, I joined the ESSDACK team in 2007. I have presented at the local, state, and national levels but my most worthwhile experience at ESSDACK has been working to take the fear out of math for teachers and students alike. Although my primary focus has been providing professional development in mathematics, I also devote time to podcasting and creating materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. My podcasts include, By the Numbers, Just Desserts and Math Snacks. Working at ESSDACK has provided me the opportunity to do many of the things I love. “I have the time to research current educational practices, I get to be creative, collaborative, and I meet tons of new people."

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