Have the Standards Been Implemented w/ Fidelity?

The main role I have is to help educators in Iowa implement the mathematics standards with fidelity.  It seems like it should be an easy task but it is not. There is so much information out there to sort through, it is hard to know what is the best information to use for where you may be at.   Plus, as educators, we are not all in the same place so what is right for one may not be right for another, whew!


I have thought a great deal over the last few years and wondered how I could help Iowa educators to have access to the information that they may find useful. And how do I make all of the information that I have access to accessible to Iowa educators.  So, I have come up with all but an original idea to “knowledge transfer” what I have access to to others. Iowa Math Chats – 5 minute video chats where I share everything I know about a topic.  I have wanted to do it for a while and finally I just went for it.

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These Iowa Math Chats are designed for IOWA mathematics educators of any type. I say this because the context is for Iowa and where the work and conversation is. If you are in another state, most of the information is still helpful but know that it was designed for Iowans.

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The first series is a series of what ALL educators need to understand about the 1st Shift of FOCUS. You can read more about all three SHIFTS here. BUT if you don’t have FOCUS  then it is really super difficult to have any  of the other SHIFTS and the Standards of Mathematical Practices. (Capitals are being used intentionally to show emphasis).


Why these topics on FOCUS? These topics are the most misunderstood when I talk to educators.  Here is why:

1. Many try to implement the standards without paying attention to the Clusters – Clusters – Super Important!

2. If the different types of Clusters are not tended to – then the grade level proficiencies will not happen.

3. If we keep acting like this is new math – the standards are exactly the same math we have always had –  that was the point of the standards – to get rid of all the pneumonics and tricks!! No more “butterfly” math.

4. The Fluencies and the major Clusters make up the Major Work of the Grade – where we should be spending up to 85% of our instructional time on.

5. There are Major Clusters that are a priority and the number of standards vary – prioritizing standards could lead to prioritizing only part of the standards that need to work together in a Cluster and lead to non-proficiency.

Stay tuned for the next series on Coherence! This information is also available on Facebook. Remember to subscribe so you get updates.

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