It’s All About the Core

Where does time go? For the past several months, I have had “update blog” on my to-do list. Week after week, it stays there, and I tell myself, “I don’t know what I would write about anyway.” Needless to say, I have been stuck in this hamster wheel mindset.

As I was reading Graham’s blog today about #MTBoS, I began to reflect on the purpose of my blog and why I created it. Reflection and collaboration are two actions that I hold near and dear to my heart, and two practices that I feel are crucial to my lifelong journey of learning as well as my students’ learning.  If  those are so important to me, why am I not participating in these actions on a more frequent basis? Needless to say, that led me to a commitment statement.

~ My blog is my place for me to reflect and collaborate. Gone are the days of my reflections only being final drafts after several edits. Gone are the days that I simply mentally reflect on ideas/tasks/happenings without sharing. ~ (Yes, I had to put my commitment in writing so that I can “hold” to it.)

Now, if you are still reading this post… This is where I finally get to my actual post. 🙂

For the past week, I have had my thoughts and reflections lead back to one thing…

Instructional Core

Image result for instructional core

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Math Leadership Summit in Santa Fe last week, and learn from Elizabeth City. (Thank you, Carnegie Learning for hosting.) She had me from Chapter 1 of her book, Instructional Rounds in Education.

Based on that Summit, my take-aways were, “What is our instructional core?” “How can I strengthen the instructional core in which I work?” and “How can I help to deepen teachers’ content knowledge in math?” Far to often, I see teachers spending hours upon hours planning, looking for activities etc. to only engage students in low cognitive demanding tasks. It is easy to say that our CCSS are only the surface level and that each standard has depth in which we should teach.  However, it is more difficult to have the knowledge of what the depth looks like and how to achieve such depth in our lessons.

It hit me like a ton of bricks… I can deliver professional learning all day long, provide ongoing support for incorporating tasks such as 3-Act Tasks, Formative Assessment Lessons, Georgia Frameworks, etc. However, if a teacher doesn’t know the why or the how behind which these tasks were developed, it is likely that the delivery will not capture the richness the task was intended to have.

So, as I prepare for a follow-up PL integrating 3-Act Tasks into the classroom, I am reminded of the instructional core. How can I support the CORE not just the TASK?

About Lisa Anglea

Wife. K-5 Math Coach. Lifelong Learner
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2 Responses to It’s All About the Core

  1. gfletchy says:

    Loving this idea of instructional core but I want to make sure I’m understanding it right. So the instructional core is comprised of three components (student, teacher, content) and it’s the task/activity that allows the components to connect with one another. How does Elizabeth City define Instructional Core? Does she give a clear definition?

    BTW-you never left. You just had something you had to put in print. More please…when you feel the need of course.


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