Getting Around

Sunday, July 3, 2016

One Unit Down...

Well, I got through one unit, "Accentuate the Negative," to be precise. Even though it's not the official first unit of the year as designed by the CMP3 folks, it's the one our district decided to start with for the course I'm teaching. Only 6 more to go! (We had to make cuts since our periods are too short to get through the whole thing.)

There's some really good stuff in here. Too much. We can't do it all, and choosing is hard.

There are also some sad moments where the curriculum falls into the trap of some of those terrible Common Core math problems you see on the internet. You know, the ones where a student could quickly use a standard algorithm but instead has to show three different, tedious ways to get to the answer. I'm all for celebrating different methods, but making kids do that for homework or on tests rubs me the wrong way. We all have the ways we like to solve things. We'll be doing some exploring in class, but I can't bring myself to assign that sort of thing for home practice.

Dash stinks. There, I've said it. Dash is the online version of everything, created by Pearson. It's slow, it's hard to navigate, and it doesn't accommodate students with no internet at home. I'm not grading things two different ways (a Pearson rep recommended that I make paper copies for students with no internet, but since who that is might change month to month it's impossible to know who needs paper), so it's downloads for all. I have spent a lot of time downloading things. We won't have physical textbooks, so I gotta do what I gotta do.

Designing a sensible flow for in-class work, where I think we all do better on paper, and at-home work, which will be digital, has been an interesting challenge for me. More on that after I've had some colleagues poke holes in my ideas.