As an educator, I will never tire of learning how the brain works. To this end, I recently came across a video series. The video I’ve posted below is about neuroplasticity, which refers to the ways the brain changes in as a result of new thoughts, behaviors, feelings or experiences. Researchers are learning the brain has a lot more plasticity than we ever thought possible before.

As involved parents, we wrestle with new methods of instruction. We want to help, but may feel at a loss when confronted by new terminology, methodology and new teaching techniques. One of the biggest shifts in the new standards is more emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, as our schools move away from tracked classroom, teachers are expected to provide differentiated instruction. What does GOOD differentiated instruction look like when teaching the new Common Core aligned math?

Next year will be the first year that SFUSD will implement a NEW course sequence aligned with the new Common Core State Standards in Math (CCSS-M). SFUSD Commissioner Rachel Norton identified a key question on parents minds, “Is the rigor students need going to be represented in the new course sequence?” This is a good question. Nonetheless, I believe there is a more important conversation going on.