Let’s Go Back to the Movies

Let's go out to the moviesIf you haven’t gone to the engageNY movies yet you are missing a great [and informative] show. On this engageNY site you can find a wealth of videos that will help you understand the shifts necessary for Common Core implementation. David Coleman, one of the primary authors of the ELA/Literacy Common Core State Standards, is the star of these movies. Coleman, along with co-stars Commissioner King and Regent Fellow Gearson, succinctly explain the shifts we need to make. Bravo!

These introductory videos are a great way to raise the curtain to show the Common Core. Once the curtain is up, the next step is to explore each of the shifts in ELA/literacy and mathematics. One by one, you can watch the trio of stars explain the shifts in ELA/literacy – and you should watch them all. They are short and sweet and can prompt great discussion. I believe that the six shifts have to be understood before any other curriculum work can proceed. Without an understanding of the shifts, the transition to the Common Core will not be transformational. It will merely be another episode of using checklists to realign a few things (think pre March/post March) and not much else. Every moment spent with these videos is a good investment – the reviews of these ELA/literacy videos give them all “two thumbs up.”

The collection of the mathematics videos, however, is not quite as large as for ELA/literacy. It’s not that our three stars didn’t do a good job in the math videos – they did. What I hear from math leaders, though, is that we need more of them that address each shift explicitly. Additionally, math leaders have mentioned that including some of the primary authors of the mathematics Common Core in the stable of engageNY stars would lend additional credibility to the engageNY cavalcade of stars.

Some math videos do exist at engageNY and I recommend that you check them out and think about how you might use them to help make the mathematics Common Core be transformational. Our neighbor, Vermont, has put together a bigger collection of math videos that come straight from the primary authors of the mathematics Common Core: William McCallum and Jason Zimba. Math leaders whom I respect have recommended these videos to me and I, in turn, am recommending them to you. If you go visit Vermont and their video collection you’ll recognize our friend David Coleman in the ELA videos and you’ll get to see the math authors in starring roles. The engageNY videos are great; these additional math videos will help us even more with our work.

Go! Refill your bucket of popcorn, make yourself comfortable, and go [back] to the movies!

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