I don't know about you but every year I end the school year feeling like I did not do a good job of preparing my students.
Common Core standards became a thing during my second year of teaching. We were lucky enough to have a school improvement grant and I had an instructional coach. She had me cut up the standards and arrange them into courses in the best way I knew how.
So you see, I've never really taught without the Common Core standards looming over me. I wasn't set in my ways and I didn't have a set curriculum. It's not that it was hard for me to change, it's that I didn't know what to change.
I've always felt like I was missing this foundation of knowledge of what to teach so I didn't know what to change. And I still feel as though I do not understand the standards. They seem vague to me and I don't understand exactly what they're asking for. I just want someone to tell me specificly what to teach and then give me the freedom to teach it the way I want.
But alas, that does not exist. I'm the only high school teacher in my school and in my district so I really do feel like an island just floating out here, wondering if I will ever end up in the right location.
This year I decided to use the PARCC EOY Practice Assessment as a guide. I worked through them and they were very hard. There were problems I didn't know how to do on all of them. I actually still haven't finished the Algebra II test because I ended up crying and get a frustration headache and going to sleep. I would say lol except I definitely was not.
Anyway, I decided to try using the Algebra I and Geometry tests for my end of course exams. I changed the test some so that all questions are multiple choice and so that it is no longer a 54 page document...25 pages is plenty.
I'm scared about using them, especially since they have 45-50 questions but I can't just wander into my students being prepared. I have to take some kind of action.
I wanted to share my work with you in case anyone else could also use these and save themselves some time.
Here is Algebra I (answer keys included):