Date: Oct 22, 2013 9:33 AM
Author: Jamie D
Subject: Algebra 1 - How is it going?

For those of you teaching the new Common Core Algebra 1, how's it going? Are you following the modules?

I've been trying to follow the modules but I'm finding that the lessons just don't work with my students. They seemed to be aimed at an audience that isn't 9th grade students. I find that the lessons take so long to build on concepts that students have no time to actually practice and be able to do the required work successfully. For example, look at Lesson 23 on solving systems with elimination. Most of the lesson is designed around why the elimination method works and there is no time for practice. Sure, they were supposed to do this in 8th grade, but based on how they did with polynomials and other topics, I'm sure they won't remember much. The polynomials lessons were the same thing - lots of exploration and building but no actual practice. I'm finding that my students are less capable of adding/subtracting/multiplying polynomials than they were in the past.

I'm finding that the lessons have little to no flow while teaching them nor do they have coherence from lesson to lesson. More of a splattering of somewhat related topics that rarely even get mentioned in future lessons. I always did a lot of real world applications and these new lessons don't include anything "cool" like that, they take the individuality and creativity out of teaching.

These modules appear to be doing the opposite of what the common core is trying to accomplish. There is less cohesion and less real world application so how is this going to lead to more students who are college and career ready?

Am I crazy or are others experiencing the same things?
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