Wrentham Teachers Embrace New Common Core Standards
Schools say new system of teaching working well in Wrentham.
The Wrentham School Committee heard a presentation Tuesday regarding the practice of common core standards in the schools.
Currently, the first and second grade math programs are already implementing new methods for teaching basic math skills that are designed to create deeper understanding of math among the students.
Superintendent of schools Jeff Marsden said he visited the classrooms in which these new programs are taking place.
“I was so impressed with the work the kids are doing,” he said.
The program differs in many ways from that of the way basic math has been taught in schools for decades, in the teachers don't move on to new subjects from day to day, but refocuses every day on concepts.
“We’re asking the students to really understand what they’re doing,” said elementary teacher Deb Hanewich.
Hanewich said the process could be more demanding on the teachers as the methods are new to them as well.
“We have to give the teachers time to process and understand this new way to look at math,” Hanewich said. “Jeff [Marsden] said it’s going to take time.”
Hanewich said the method helps the students to come to conclusions and answers themselves and not just have the instruction “drilled in.” She said the teachers let the children use their own methods at counting, for example, and would ask the students if they could do it quicker another way.
“Our job as teachers is to guide through questioning,” she said. “Each week, we would become a little more efficient.”
Hanewich added the students also teach each other in their methods of counting, adding and subtracting
“They were counting by five and tens and suddenly kids were understanding that five groups of ten is equal to one group of 50,” she said.
Marsden said the teachers in the district stepped to change teaching methods they lierally have been using their entire careers
“This couldn’t be possible without the caliber of teachers we have,” he said.