California is in a transitional year Common Core, with full implementation in the 2014-2015 school year. It's been a fun challenge to try to change up the regular routine in Math by incorporating more problem solving and writing into the curriculum for my 3rd graders. Here's a sample of a fun lesson we tried this week. The kids had to design a garden on one inch grid paper. They could plant whatever they wanted in the garden. (Side note...many of my students had NO idea how certain fruits and vegetables grow. I had to do a quick lesson saying, "Kids, if you have bananas growing out of the dirt in the garden, you might want to reconsider it..." Wowza! That's a whole different blog post, huh?!) My students had fun, and I quote, "It didn't feel like we did math today." Success.