Works 4 Me

Teaching ideas are from the NEA web site, Works 4 Me.

Common Core Math – Analysis of the Problem

You do the Math – As a teacher of mathematics you need to stay mathematically active. Try challenging yourself (and your colleagues) to solve new puzzles and problems, as well as test and time yourself. Analyze your techniques and structures for finding answers, while keeping the Standards for Mathematical Practice ( in mind. Active engagement with mathetatics and with your colleagues can illuminate more effective ways to instill daily mathematical awareness in your students while providing knowledge of what the standards look like in classroom practice.

NEA member Angelia Reich, from Studham Public School in Oklahoma, approaches it with this perspective: 

“I know I CAN Learn Program’s journal questions are an important piece of my Common Core implementation.”

By using the journal portion on a daily basis as a bell work assignment, Angelia’s students are not only tested, but are challenged mentally, as she requires them to provide in-depth explanations of their answers to each of the given problems. This helps them to construct viable arguments. They learn to analyze a problem by breaking it down into steps, generate a conclusion, and substantiate their answers. Instead of just being able to work out a problem and be finished, they will be able to understand the process enough to explain the steps in writing. 

The I CAN Learn program’s online graduate credit couses offered through the NEA Academy have proven to be effective tools in helping members prepare to teach to the Common Core requirements for real-world application learning and get every child thinking like a mathematician.

For more information about how to bring challenging and effective Common Core math solutions into your classroom, please visit the NEA Academy to review the I CAN Learn Program at
Family Maps
Gretchen Shogren, a secondary guided study teacher at Bren Road School in MTKA, Minnesota
In order to get to know my students, I hang a huge U.S. map in my room. I put out index cards and markers and ask my students where they went during their summer vacation. If they didn’t travel anywhere, I ask them where their family members live. The students write this information down on the index cards, and we track them to the appropriate place on the map. This activity is a nice icebreaker and helps me get to know my students and their families better.

Comments are closed.