Iowa Success Stories
I am an elementary math coach whose job is to help teachers transition to the Core Curriculum. As we look at the Core and learn more, we see that students will need to write more and explain their thinking. Exemplars will help our students to begin writing more.
This is just one example of what we are doing with Exemplars in Southwest Iowa.
I work with up to 31 school districts. There is now a heavy emphasis on problem solving. The trend has changed from curriculums with a weight on computation to those of process, communication...all those NCTM process standards. Our agency, through grant money, purchased an Exemplars CD for every building participating in our Enhancing Education Through Technology project. Just yesterday I worked with a building (Pre-K-6) in Sidney, IA. Each grade level selected up to 18 Exemplars tasks that they will incorporate throughout the year. Each grade level recorded the titles of their chosen tasks so we could see if there were overlaps. Teachers will alter the tasks to better match the curriculum at their grade level - especially so one grade level is not engaging students in the same exact tasks as another grade level. We need to expect more as we climb the grade-level ladder. This district has developed a form in which the students use (primary grade teachers and students work together to complete it) that focuses the students (and teachers) on George Polya's Four-Step Problem Solving method. They have also developed and tested a rubric to score the student work. This took time and lots of research, but it was well worth it. The reflection sheets that were completed after yesterday's search for problem solving were out of this world! The teachers love this product! They cannot believe what they have at their fingertips!
Exemplars is a product that I would personally buy should I return to the classroom.