Mar 4, 2013 6:59 PM by Jen Fenter (jen@krtv.com)

GFPS implements common core math curriculum

GREAT FALLS - Content standards in our public schools have become more rigorous since the adoption of the Common Core Math Curriculum last spring.

Students have always been expected to learn math in school, but this generation is learning a little differently.

Debbie Clapshaw, a first-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, said, "They're having a better, deeper understanding of the math concepts before moving on to the harder skills."

Clapshaw is part of the Common Core Curriculum Committee working to implement the the new standards in a way that will benefit the students best.

The new standard looks a little different than most of us are used to; administrators say the concept of math is the same, but the way students process and explain their answers is new.

Shelly Kelly, GFPS curriculum and instructional coach, said, "Our own children are living in a different age. Technology grows exponentially. information grows so fast, so what was good enough for us as learners is not good enough for these kids to move into their adult years."

Kelly says the implementation couldn't have come at a better time, since teaching resources needed to be replaced anyway.

Kelly said, "Our district is required by state law to go by curricular review processes about every 5 to 7 years. Well, it's been over 10 years for math. So our resources and materials are outdated."

The district has been approved to purchase the new materials, helping continue the progress already being made in the classroom.

So far, 47 states have adopted the common core curriculum, making the adjustments for students transferring into the district easier.

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