Monday, April 14, 2014

Change is Coming... like it or not.

Instead of sharing what we are doing in our classroom, 
I am sharing the changing our district is going through. 
I have sat on this post for some time now, I need it get it out there and say it so I can move on and accept what is happening mathematically here in Texas. 

So, while most other states jumped on the Common Core Bandwagon a few years ago now, Texas of course decided we don't need the CC. 

Well, next year for Math, K-8 are getting brand new Math TEKS. TEKS stands for Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. 

Last year we started looking at the new TEKS and what it means to our curriculum. I have attended several trainings on it as well. 
I have received these books. They have actually been very helpful. They are from Lead4ward. We do a lot of training through them. 

They have spelled out the new TEKS vs the old TEKS, what they mean and where everything is going or coming from etc.... 
These books has the old and new side by side with explanations
 Inside they have a key that tells us if the expectations is new, moved, or staying the same. 
It even tells me what the cognitive and content changes are for each expectation. 
It is extremely helpful . 
 This document has 6th, 7th and 8th side by side. I wish it had 5th too, but of course, it doesn't.
I would have to pay for the elementary book to get 5th grade.  

A few weeks ago, my grade level was given  half a day with an instructional specialist from our Region Service Center. She helped us go through a "BIG document" they created to help us look at the changes and/or possible gaps our students will be facing. 

This is a 28 page document that is color coded to help us decipher the new TEKS and how we can avoid GAPS with all the changes. We spent the afternoon going through this document with the instructional specialist. We took a lot of notes! I wish you could see this document. It is HUGE, but it is also thorough! 

As a 6th grade teacher, I am getting 29 NEW SKILLS to my curriculum!!! 
This means that 55% of my curriculum is changing!!!! 
7th grade is getting 16 and 8th is getting 14, just to put that in perspective. 

After this half day, I was rethinking remaining a sixth grade teacher. I may need to see if there's a fourth or fifth grade opening in our district. I mean, I know that curriculum, I have been teaching it the past three years!!! 

I am so overwhelmed.

Lead4ward also has these for us.
They are not the same thing. One is 6th, one is 7th grade. 
They are a one sheeter of all the TEKS (standards) I teach. They are divided into a processing TEKS, Readiness Standards and Supporting Standards.  I love this document. I like having it all in one place. It sits in the front of my teacher binder along with my Year at a Glance (Scope and Sequence). 
I couldn't plan without them. 
Because I teach advanced math, I have to learn 7th grade now along with the new 6th grade expectations. 

I am overwhelmed. 

As I type this, I can feel my neck tightening, I feel my jaw clinching. But also, I feel like I have so many resources at my fingertips. I know we have help. I know we are going to be okay. 

I don't like change though, not really. I have spent three years in sixth grade. I actually feel like I know what I am teaching now. Next year will be like starting over, I don't want to start over. 

Last week, our Math and Science departments worked until 6pm and attended presentations from three different book companies. We are selecting new textbooks. 

Honestly, we saw three very good companies. It actually helped us feel a little better. 
We made our choice, now it's our district's decision. 
I know they will listen to our input. 

We don't feel at a total lose for "where to start" with all of our changes. 

I am struggling to embrace the change. I am doing it, but I am struggling!!!

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  1. That key for moved, staying the same, new is awesome! I'd like to have one of those for our change to Common Core!

  2. It will get better! You are feeling what we felt two years ago when we changed to CC. We were kicking and screaming at the change. I will say that my teaching has improved because of some of the changes and I have discovered new ways of teaching some skills. With time, it will get better, hang in there!