Weilenmann jumps on Core curriculum
Weilenmann School of Discovery teachers Melissa Armenta and Pam Dahlkamp were among 30 teachers selected to help write the second- and third-grade Core math curriculum for Utah. According to Dahlkamp, they were the only private-school teachers to attend the two-day workshop at Thanksgiving Point.
"We were in the first draft and then teachers would go in after us and edit our work. We subdivided all of the objectives and I was working in a group that did measurement and data," she said. "We broke down these objectives and defined them, so that gave us standards to follow."
Dahlkamp said there were several steps they had to complete for each standard. Her group developed a teacher-support section, which will provide teachers with guidelines for what students should already understand in order to meet the Core objectives.
"We did a whole section on support for teachers so, for example, when telling time students would already have to know the points on a clock and that there are 60 minutes in an hour. For those students who don’t know that, you can build that knowledge," she said.
One standard they rewrote was for students learning place value. She said they outlined how someone would teach the unit and included sample math problems.
"This standard was on place value, so teaching children the 1, 10, 100th place and teaching them how to add two- and three-digit numbers," she said. "I feel like I kind of have a jump on things because I already know what we need to implement. Most of these standards I feel like Weilenmann has already applied in second- and third-grade."
Creating vocabulary lists and possible teaching strategies were also parts of the Core workshop, Dahlkamp said, adding that they compiled a list of textbook and online resources for teachers.
"We created assessment tasks, skill based tasks, and the skills students would have to master for assessment and we wrote story problems that might go with that," She said.
Weilenmann School of Discovery Principal Mary Kimball asked Dahlkamp and Armenta if they would like to attend the workshop. Dahlkamp said even though she’s been teaching for more than 20 years she had never experienced a workshop like this.
"It was an interesting thing to be a part of," she said. "To work with other teachers to discuss different ways to teach and bouncing ideas off each other, it was a creative workshop. Eventually it will be published for all the teachers in the state to use."
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