The Common Core: Idaho Educators Share Their Tips & Advice

Thanks for visiting our site and learning more about the Common Core State Standards. The Idaho State Department of Education developed this webpage so Idaho educators can learn directly from each other about the implementation of the Common Core. Below, in short video interviews, Idaho teachers and school administrators share their perspective, ideas, and advice on how to get started implementing the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and English language arts today.

Please note: Melissa McGrath, Communications Director at the State Department of Education, conducted these interviews on an iPad or handheld camera. We apologize in advance that the format of these videos is not of the highest quality.

Cindy Johnstone, Vallivue School District:
Cindy Johnstone, Director of Curriculum and Assessment in the Vallivue School District, shares her advice on what steps to take in implementing the Common Core State Standards in a larger school district and how districts can work with the curriculum they currently have in place.

Cindy's suggested resources:

Giselle Isbell, Anser Charter School:
Giselle Isbell teaches elementary math at Anser Charter School in Boise. She explains how teachers at Anser Charter School have begun to implement the Common Core State Standards and the advice they would give to other schools in Idaho.

Giselle's suggested resources:

Andy Grover, Melba School District:
Andy Grover is the Superintendent of the Melba School District. He took some time to discuss how Melba is implementing the Common Core State Standards, the challenges they have faced, and the benefits they are seeing.

Here is an example of how the Common Core State Standards are being taught in Melba classrooms today. You can see how first grade teacher Rachel Ross is not just teaching students about addition, but also important concepts about problem-solving and critical thinking.

Bill Brulotte, Perrine Elementary:
Bill Brulotte is the Principal at I.B. Perrine Elementary in Twin Falls. His school began implementing the Common Core State Standards in its current classes because "it's what is right for kids." Listen to his story of how Perrine Elementary began implementing these new standards and his advice for any principal who is just getting started.

Bill's suggested resources:

Cathy Adams, Perrine Elementary:
Cathy Adams has taught for more than 20 years and currently teaches 2nd grade at I.B. Perrine Elementary in Twin Falls. She shares her advice on how teachers can begin implementing the Common Core State Standards in the classroom today and keep students engaged.

Cathy's suggested resources:
Cathy's recommends every teacher to read as much as possible about the Common Core. Her favorite article is "Becoming a Common Core Ninja," which is available online here.

How is the Idaho Math Initiative Connected to the Common Core State Standards?
In these interviews, most teachers or administrators mentioned the Idaho Math Initiative or the Mathematical Thinking for Instruction course, which was created as part of the Idaho Math Initiative. Cindy Johnstone, Idaho's former state Math Coordinator who now works in the Vallivue School District, discusses the history of the Idaho Math Initiative and how these came about at the same time.