Grade K-2 teachers explore new math standards

  • Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:05 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:09 a.m.
STAFF PHOTO BY ROB NOVIT
Kristal Hicks, a Clearwater Elementary School  teacher, works on a presentation on a Common Core math standard during a workshop for K-2 teachers.
STAFF PHOTO BY ROB NOVIT Kristal Hicks, a Clearwater Elementary School teacher, works on a presentation on a Common Core math standard during a workshop for K-2 teachers.

So what’s Base 10? Well, it’s got nothing to do with baseball, but math.

A total of 63 Aiken County School District teachers from grades K-2 attended a three-day workshop at USC Aiken last week – sharing numbers and operations math strategies related to the new Common Core academic standards.

Base 10 is the more formal description of ordinary number placement. Common Core was developed by states as the first-ever national set of standards. Roughly 47 states have adopted them and in 2014-15, new assessments called Smarter Balance will be given to students in grades 3 and above.

The opportunity at the workshop has been an amazing chance to learn more about the new standards, said Tamara Butler, a Hammond Hill Elementary School second-grade teacher.

“I’m a little apprehensive about some of the Smarter Balance standards,” she said, “but it’s exciting to come in and see and hear it, and put it into action. I’ll be able to take it back to the classroom and implement it a little better.”

The seminar was sponsored by the School District, the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center and the advocacy organization Public Education Partners. USCA and Aiken Technical College are also collaborating on the implementation of Common Core, said Gloria Allen, Ruth Patrick’s coordinator for professional learning.

Common Core’s goal is to graduate students who are career- or college-ready, she said. USCA’s School of Education is preparing its students for the new standards.

“Aiken County has a unique way to supporting teachers district-wide with an emphasis on Common Core,” Allen said. “Elisha Chryzan, an Aiken Tech math instructor, brought a perspective on placement values to help teachers.”

Teams of teachers worked on presentations on specific standards and shared them to provide multiple resources.

“There’s a lot of trial and error,” said Kristal Hicks, a Clearwater Elementary School teacher. “But we’re working with fellow colleagues, knowing we’re not alone and learning what works and doesn’t work. It’s about thinking outside the box.”

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.


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