ShowMe and the Common Core

ShowMe provides access to higher-level learning activities.

Here in Kansas, I think we’ve done a great job of testing the lower domains of the Bloom taxonomy since 2003 — the “remember” or “know,” “understand,” and “apply” domains. The new Common Core standards are meant to drive testing and teaching to the higher domains — the “analyze,” “evaluate,” and “create” domains. We are, however, one of the 44 states that have adopted the Common Core; we’re on schedule to implement them fully in 2013-14.

I’ve unpacked the 8th grade Common Core math standards (I’ll call them CCM8) and broken them down by cognitive domains. You can see the details on my blog at Here’s the breakdown by number of tasks in CCM8:

Level Number of Tasks
Know 1
Understand 19
Apply 30
Analyze 11
Evaluate 3
Create 0

We might think that the CCM8 is lacking for having no obvious “create” level activities, but I think that ball’s in my court and that of my fellow middle school math teachers. It’s up to us to find ways for students to create. I think we can use ShowMe to flip the process and have the students do some teaching — just the sort of activity that research suggests is most effective in fostering learning not only for the student doing the creating but for students who use the demonstrations to enhance their own learning and understanding. Student-created ShowMes uploaded to private communities also give students opportunities to criticize and debate responsibly, important higher-level activities where students engage not just “in” the content, but “about” the content.

Is anyone else starting to unpack the Common Core? What are your thoughts? How are you going to get your students to the creative domain, where all the other skills find their best expression?