The Common Core Standards can be difficult to interpret. The question asked by teachers is, what does the standard mean? Or, so what exactly am I supposed to teach? The best tools that I've created for my classroom was a skills list. The process of building the skills list took me through every standard required for Algebra 1. It was a bit overwhelming, but I am so happy with how it turned out!

I went week by week and thought about what did my students need to understand and be able to do by the end of every week.

I didn't complicate things with questions like can they collaborate and can they problem solve and can they etc. All of those 21st-century skills we've had drilled into our heads for so long. While they are critical, this is not the place.

I created a simple list of the skills I wanted my students to be able to do by the end of each week using the lessons incorporating all of those very important things.

This skills list was modified and given to my students. At the end of each week, I gave the assessments that I shared with you in the bonus pack to address these skills.

We take a moment and discuss the results. On each problem was a number one through four. A one means they tried something. If they didn't try something they earned a zero and a four means mastered. A three was close but not perfect, and a two meant that they were on their way to understanding it, but they didn't get it yet.

This simple rubric is posted on my wall. It's one of the main bulletin board that we go out back to often.

The students then record the results on their skill sheet. There's a separate skill sheet for the students it's numbered one through five at the top, and every time they try the assessment for that skill they put their score into the box.

You can see a sample of this process below.

Every Friday they get a chance to redo the needed skills and do the new skills we worked on that week.

You will see the unit one assessment's weekly assessments that some of the skills repeat, and if you keep going into unit two, you'll see that all the skills will repeat. This is because they are formative assessments we want the students to have a chance to improve and understand what they do and do not know before the unit test.

Once the students earn a four twice in a row, they no longer need to do that skill. But I refuse to keep track of that for them.

They absolutely must know what they need to work on to be successful.

This did take some training in the beginning, but boy did it pay off!

The biggest surprise I got by using this system is that the parents loved it. Parents were able to look at that skill sheet and know exactly what their child did or did not understand the content.

So many parents hear Common Core and panic that they will not be able to help their child. This skills list show them exactly what their child will need to learn to be successful. I also went over where they could find some resources to help their student and how to find those resources online at an open house. (A little bit of work up front saved me hours later!)

Below is a link where you can download the skills list. I hope you find them as useful to your students as I have found them with mine. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you!

Jeanette,

I have been working on this for two years and have tried several variations. Usually the workload involved was just overwhelming. This is so cool, thank you, Mike Murray, member already

You are so welcome Mike! I am so happy to work with you this year!

i am struggling finding what I need. I am looking for Unit 1...Expressions and operations. Could someone direct me there?

Do you have a sample of your simple rubric that you have in your classroom for students to reference?

You said you have the simple rubric posted on your bulletin board with the description above -- do you have a digital copy of how you formatted it? I would love to implement this weekly into my block lessons and want to make sure the rubric is clear and in student friendly language.

I'm having problem downloading the skill list. It keeps saying to enter my e-mail.

Thank you so much Maysa! I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know! I am fixing it now and I am also sending a copy to your email.

Again Thank you!

Nice work. You took the "common core" and factored out all the superfluous noise and derived an LCD set of skills, which are essentially what was taught through drills and memorization in "the old Math & the New" (extra credit if you recognize the source I modified for the part in quotes).

Is there still a way to access the assessments for these skills?

We have all of the weekly assessments in the membership community. If you would like a sample from unit 1, you can find them here.

https://highschoolmathteachers.com/free-gift/

I wish all math teachers did this. But they way our district is, the teacher can't go back and reteach until it is too late.

My students aren't ready for Algebra. They don't have the skill set to master these skills. How would you go about instructing these students? I can teach them on their level. I can't fail these students so they will get an algebra credit anyway.

Hello,

I am thinking about using this idea in a Geometry class. I was just curious what actually makes up the students grade? Do they take a unit test and then that score is their grade? Or do the skills checks count toward their grade in some way as well.

Thank you for your time.

Do you have a skills list for Geometry and Algebra II?

Hi. Same. I can’t see a link to download nor did it come to my email though I got a successfully subscribed twice. Thx