Common Core Elevator Speech - Day 1

For the next week, I will challenge myself (and you) to work on an elevator speech each day about Common Core Math. I will try to be as fluid as possible in my thinking as if I were describing Common Core to a complete stranger as we rode an elevator together. And with that, here's today's elevator speech:
For me, Common Core is a tool to help students see how the world around us can be explained using critical thinking and mathematical properties. My favorite part of Common Core are the 8 Standards for Mathematical Practice. No matter what grade level, the practices emphasize that both teachers and students are problem solvers and how important it is to understand why mathematical properties and procedures exist, and not just the answer. I get to see my students thinking and focusing on finding solutions through hard work and collaboration instead of me just standing up at the front of the room, telling them a procedure they will most likely forget in a day or two. I get to see students be creative in their mathematical thinking and I help guide them when they need teacher support.
Come along for the ride and share your elevator speech in the comments. Take a minute or two to compose an elevator speech. It's a work in progress...

Going up,

[Update] More days:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7