Common Core Math Problems

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on March 26, 2013 37 Comments

Jane Robbins sent me some Common Core Math problems that she had obtained from an elementary school in the Metro Atlanta area.  We’ll let these speak for themselves.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Cane/100001550544613 Sam Cane

    Looks like a liberal arts re-invention, to allow people to hate math by returning math back to counting objects in the dirt. This is a travesty. This crap will cause an even greater chasm between the low effort HS grad and college algebra. I think the profs behind this need to be confronted head-on, civil, yet hostile.

  • tundrajem

    So the Common Core has finally figured out how to “mess up” math. If the elite can figure out how to keep truth (which is math) out of the hands of the average citizen, the class differences will continue to be accentuated. If only the elite can comprehend mathematics (truth) then the masses will have to believe them when they say that a trillion is just a couple zeros. The masses will believe because they don’t know any better: their truth was screwed up in elementary school.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danni.smith.796 Danni Smith

      If you can’t count money, then you don’t need money. Right? The communist government takes care of everything for you-like housing, although you only get 45 degrees heat, max, your food, only you only get one head of cabbage per week, per per person and one 10 LB sack of flour per month, per family of three; all medical is taken care of, except you only get one doctor visit per year and two filled prescriptions bi annually. You can own a car and drive it wherever you want on the 100 gallons of gasoline per year. If you have sources into the black market, you will want to barter for shampoo, taxed into non-manufacturing heaven, and firewood.

      • Cris

        News flash: a huge percentage of kids and adults CAN’T count or keep track of their money (broadly, finances – checking accounts, taxes, loans, investments, etc.) therefore they WOULD willingly give that job to someone else – the government? sure! This is a CURRENT state of reality, not something that might happen if Common Core is implemented and kids are actually asked to make sense of what they do with numbers and think about whether or not their answers make sense. The drive to put kids on the fast track to fluency without understanding has NOT paid off.

        • barrygarelick

          The trend has been to put students on the track to understanding with little support for procedural fluency. “Understanding without skills” and the resulting poor performance of students in math is probably the cause and effect going on over the past 20+ years, not the other way around.

  • Joe Colehour

    Yea, this is the dumbed down crap my son comes home with too. He’s actually “good” at math but he thinks he isn’t because they teach it in this asinine dumbed down way that he can’t understand. So………as a result he has an IEP in Math. Now, when I teach it to him the way “I” learned it growing up……..he instantly understands it. Then the teachers get all pissy at me and tell me “That’s not the way we teach it now. He needs to learn it the new way.” What a load!!!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/michele.driscoll2 Michele Driscoll

      Well, if they could thoroughly teach it in class you wouldn’t have to reteach it at home. I feel for the teachers having to submit to this but it is what it is…crazy.

    • MamaBear

      Joe, this is exactly what is happening in my house too. My son is quite good at math and last year excelled. This year he has decided he is “stupid” because he doesn’t get it. He brings home sheets like this and it takes me forever to understand what they even expect from him and I have post graduate degree. I understand why he doesn’t understand. I then teach it to him the way we learned and he gets it immediately. This Common Core math is nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/anajay anajay

    Buried in this are some good strategies that deepen a child’s number sense. The problem is that no method is prioritized over any other, nor are the strategies explained in depth for the children to understand why they work. Several of these strategies are used to great success in Asian-style maths, and we are aware that those students tend to find greater success in math achievement. American teachers are not educated in this way, and have trouble teaching their students this way, as a result. Using a program like Singapore Math with adequate training would certainly help. As homeschoolers, we use Right Start math, a program based in these methods — and many children using it thrive, able to use both the standard algorithms as well as strategies to both aid in mental math and to develop a global understanding of numbers and how they work.

    I’m opposed to Common Core, and, well, institutionalized school in general, as we homeschool. But I wanted to check in and point out that not every strategy outlined above is “bad” or “fuzzy.”

    • Cris

      I appreciate your thoughtful comments and hope to dispel some myths about Common Core Math. While it is true that no method is prioritized over another (because kids’ natural ways to think about number and quantity are very diverse), the expectation is that students explore & discover why these methods work & even explain why to their peers. They are not to be taught as just another “bag of tricks” and any teacher that does so is not fulfilling his or her professional duty as a math teacher. I am a Christian and a strong supporter of homeschooling myself but I work in public schools as a consultant to try to make math education the best it can be! I do try to keep in mind where many, many children would be without access to education! Before stating open opposition to Common Core, you should explore its merits more thoroughly. There is a lot of misinformation out there!

      • Jill

        I completely agree with both of you! I’m a math coach and am working in a public school, but you bet I will be working with my own children on these strategies and ideas. Many times if you give children a problem to solve, they will come up with these strategies without having to be taught them. Once we teach them only ONE way, they become robots and do not have authentic thinking!

  • mom23

    My child who graduated at 15 with a 4.0 gpa. Is now in her second semester of college. Had a 99 average in Pre-Cal and has the same so far in Calculus did not understand what they were trying to teach in these problems. Maybe for kids, like my youngest, who have a math LD this woud work. For most kids this will confuse them. I am happy with the small private school my kids attend. They teach like they should. Common Core will continue to help public schools fall into the pit of hell.

    • Cris

      When it comes to math, your daughter is probably an exception to the rule – a success story in the “only the strong survive” typicality of math instruction. Perhaps the private school and small class size had some impact but I would be willing to bet that her success was mostly due to the fact that she, like myself, had a natural penchant for pattern recognition and memorizing math procedures and facts. I also had an insane sense of “why did that work?” that drove me to figure out why an algorithm worked, even IF (when) the teacher did not push this. But I, and your daughter, I suspect, was NOT a typical math student. I went on to earn an engineering degree and later to teach math because my interest SURVIVED years of drill and computation (though there were a few wise teachers who encouraged independent thought and pace in some of my classes.) But there are so many more students out there who are not going to be mathematically proficient because they have decided by 4th grade that they hate math! It’s not just “LD” kids. It’s a shame and we have to quit ignoring the problem just because there are a few success stories out there. If your daughter ever decides to teach math, I hope she would take a fresh look at these types of strategies for helping young students relate mathematical operations to what they already know about place value and quantities. The goal is fluency (fast and accurate) but most students can NOT get there as directly as your daughter and I did (at least not in a way that will stick.)

      • Mary S

        I can’t even imagine more kids will love math/be more interested by 4th grade after going thru the exercises above – it’s insanity! There’s other forces in our culture that are having kids be less successful at school, and it is not the usual math methods. I can’t see how we are going to have more computer scientists and engineers doing the above exercises!

        • Jill

          I taught 3rd grade and have students write me letters to this day saying they wish they still had me as a math teacher (I’m now a math coach for teachers) because I made it so they understood math (using the idea that CRIS writes of and that supports the Common Core). Now that the students have moved on to 4th grade they are completely lost because their teacher teaches using RULES and do this now and do this next. The kids liked being able to choose which method to use instead of having only ONE way to do a problem and explain their thinking. I had LD students able to write paragraph to page explanations for what they were doing and were clearly able to communicate their ideas. It was amazing to see their confidence and they were able to move mountains compared to their peers receiving the same services in the same building but with different teachers. (Our state has not adopted the Common Core, but I went through a graduate level program offering this type of mathematics and it made sense). Having only ONE way to solve a problem is like a one size fits all model…it doesn’t work. By exposing students to multiple ways to solve the problems, they can pick what works for them or maybe several ways work for them.

          • http://twitter.com/Mismindles Melinda Deason

            I get that students like to have an option to choose from, but the above paper looks like students are required to do all the methods. And no where do I even see an option to do it the normal way. Why is that not an option? And I don’t think you are being forthcoming about all of this, because if 42+63=105, and it doesn’t matter how you get the answer because everyone does it different, then why are the tests being rewritten and why are they going to modify the SAT”s and ACT’s?
            A GF of mine works for a company that supplies some of these supplementary tests and they’ve spent the last 3 years gearing up for Common Core and changing everything.
            And I feel there are only 2 reasons that SAT’s or ACT’s need to be rewritten, since they were already standardized to being with….either there is more to this than you are telling us or the tests will be too complicated for the average student in several years. Professors from some of the best schools in the country have already told us that the new math is garbage and kids who learn math this way will be further behind and will not be able to enter universities, but will only be prepared to enter community college. I suppose if you change the test, kids can still score well on the SAT’s and ACT’s and still get into good universities.

          • Dawn

            I am in no way involved with Common Core – in fact, I oppose the whole idea of more federal control of education vehemently. On the other hand, the examples above aren’t as crazy as people seem to think. As a National Merit Scholar I got 1400 on my SATs back in 1983 when the standards were higher, and these examples above reflect the way I do mental math, which I am able to do faster than anyone else I know. I think there’s value to learning more than one method – as long as the teacher can be sure a child isn’t just hopelessly confused. It’s important to understand how to do math the old-fashioned way as well, but the examples above can be very helpful in learning how to do math in your head. I worry that teachers are going to be forced to teach something they don’t thoroughly understand. But beyond that, my big concern is that the federal government (and its corporate succubus) needs to stop digging its big hungry teeth into every vein of our lives.

          • MamaBear

            “as long as the teacher can be sure a child isn’t just hopelessly confused”.
            * And therein is where the problem lies. The kids are confused. This is the stuff my first grader comes home with and he is so confused he becomes angry and frustrated. He now hates school and math and believes he’s “stupid”.

            “It’s important to understand how to do math the old-fashioned
            way as well”. * They don’t teach the old fashioned way, just this, always.

            “I worry that teachers are going to be forced to
            teach something they don’t thoroughly understand”. * Two teachers attempted to teach a class of 24, 7 year olds about separating numbers into “tens” to add and subtract. They failed. All 24 failed the Friday test on the subject. Parents were sent home 10 page packets over the weekend to teach the concepts to the kids for a retest on Monday. Took us all weekend to teach him the way they wanted him to learn and it never clicked. Took 5 minutes late Sunday night of explaining it the way we had been taught and you saw the light go on and he got it.

            My son is considered gifted. Thanks to this nonsense he considers himself “stupid”. He says he used to be smart. It is heartbreaking.

          • Dawn

            I’m sorry, how awful. That’s why more federal regulation is such a bad idea…they take something that works for some people and try to shove it down the throats of everyone as if we’re all the same – which is one reason my kids aren’t in government schools. I homeschool, so I can teach them what works for them. My point wasn’t to defend common core, but to say that this way of thinking about math does work for some people – it’s not complete nonsense like some people are saying – but the federal government is going about it all wrong, of course. It always does, it’s the nature of federal regulation to be wrong because it’s brought about by whoever has the most power.

      • barrygarelick

        The argument that traditionally taught math only worked for “some” students, not the majority, is bogus. You can always find examples of traditionally taught math done poorly. The focus on “understanding” that is at the center of the reform math movement often crowds out “procedural understanding”. And there is also a mischaracterization of traditional math that it was based on rote memorization and procedures that were isolated from problem solving. There were many students who seemed to have succeeded at math through the traditional method. Rote learning simply would not work. Why is it previous generations of students when entering algebra did not have to have an explanation or review of how to operate with fractions as today’s youth require? Why is it previous generations of students when entering algebra were fluent with math facts and procedures?

        See http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/barry-garelick-the-myth-about-traditional-math-education/ , http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/barry-garelick-math-education-being-outwitted-by-stupidity/ , http://www.educationnews.org/k-12-schools/developing-the-habits-of-mind-for-algebraic-thinking/

        Math is about observing processes so that we know how to efficiently get to a final step by cutting out all the work in between, knowing how it all turns out. The power in math comes when you keep track of what the results of procedures and continually make things more compact and efficient. If we don’t do this math can’t get off the ground. The view of those who proclaim CCSS to differ from the traditional approach (or more generally those who believe that the traditional approach is ineffective and serves only “smart kids”) is the belief that the moment you stop doing all the intermediate steps then you are using a “trick” to jump to the end result and not using your “understanding” to solve something.
        You are not the only math teacher posting. I teach math as well. And if you are pointing to test scores over the last 20 years, bear in mind that over the past two decades math education has been taught increasingly using the modes of reform math in the early grades.

        • Cris

          My argument through this whole conversation has been one of BALANCE. Debates over traditional vs. new, fluency vs. understanding, teacher-centered vs. student-centered, etc. are as nonsensical and detrimental to improvement in math instruction as nature vs. nurture, black vs. white, tastes great vs. less filling. FACTS: 1. We need more elementary teachers who have a deep conceptual understanding of elementary mathematics 2. We need more coherent and balanced math programs from grades K-12 3. We need to improve our overall mathematical proficiency and excellency ratings to compete in a global economy.

          • barrygarelick

            The language of the CC math standards would have students “explain” and “understand” quite often in early grades. I think if a student can explain how he/she solved a problem by showing his/her work in a fashion that makes sense, that demonstrates understanding. If a 5th grader can solve a problem such as how many 2/3 oz servings are there in a 3/4 oz container of yogurt, that demonstrates understanding. If that same 5th grader cannot explain why the invert/multiply rule for fractional division works, that student is judged to lack understanding. A true balanced approach would be one that admits that some students will get the derivations, and some derivations lend themselves to easier understanding than others.
            “We use a ‘balanced approach’ is a bromide often heard in response to arguments like mine, but when push comes to shove, the so called ‘balance’ in classrooms is not as simple as you make out with your reference to black vs white, tastes great vs less filling, etc. Understanding and process have usually trumped content/procedures, and student-centered practices often outweigh whole-class direct instruction methods. Furthermore, you argue that traditionally taught math only worked for “some” students, and those were the exception. There are teachers who teach using traditional methods–and possess the deep conceptual understanding of elementary math that you talk about–but are looked down upon, and their results dismissed by saying “it’s only for some students–the exceptions”. Traditionally taught math is not the only way–some teachers use a group approach. But why negate the success of those traditional teachers?
            Common Core math is being interpreted by schools, school districts and Prof. Development vendros as requiring a student-centered, inquiry-based approach. Even one of the lead writers of the math standards, William McCallum, has stated that CC math standards do not dictate a particular pedagogy. But the CC math standards are feeding into the reform math model that has largely been “unbalanced” and by the looks of things is likely to remain that way.
            I

          • Cris

            My use of analogies was for demonstration of the detrimental nature of these pendulum-like arguments not the simplicity of the task! You are entirely correct – this balance is very difficult! And I have seen teachers of many different styles achieve this balance. I don’t believe I used the word “traditional” but rather “typical” when I wrote of math instruction working for “some” students. It’s certainly what I mean so I apologize if I used the term “traditional” in any derogatory manner. I do take issue with the droves of people, most of whom have never actually looked at the CCM standards, making wholesale declarations that this is a federal government tactic to destroy math education by making it all “fuzzy” – like it will be ok if a kid says that 2+2 is 5 because he likes it better that way. Your McCallum reference is appropriate. Implementation of the Common Core Math Standards (or any set of good standards for that matter) REQUIRES the same level of professional judgement and expertise that we have come to expect out of other professions. The misinterpretation of the CCM standards will be another pendulum-swing into another unbalanced approach ONLY if we let it.

  • Cris

    These are ALL excellent ways to help children develop the strong number sense that will be required of them to later understand fractions at a conceptual level and then later to understand algebra! I can tell you that Common Core Standards for Mathematics advocates that children need to be able to use a variety of strategies and models for common math problems but does not PRESCRIBE certain strategies. These are not “new ways” vs. “old ways”, as these teachers conveyed. The teachers who wrote these parent “cheat sheets” were not well-educated in the complete design of the Common Core. Apparently, they were told something like, “this is the way we are going to do it NOW” and they said, “ok.” As a consultant, I work with too many elementary teachers who, particularly in regard to math, say, “tell me what to teach and I’ll do it” without the professionalism that should leave them asking “why this way?” and then the message gets lost to parents! The ability to use multiple strategies and models develops and displays a more complete conceptual understanding of basic operations, rather than relying on rote memorization of facts and procedures (fluency focus.) When we focus too heavily on fluency, we end up of having to re-teach everything every year – yeah, you may think they got it because they memorized a procedure when they solved THOSE types of problems during THAT unit, but what happens when they forget the procedure? They can’t re-build it because they didn’t understand why the procedure worked in the first place. As a high school math teacher, I can tell you for certain that this fluency focus does NOT help students understand higher mathematics! Math has to be a balance of conceptual understanding, fluency, and application. THIS is exactly the balance that is emphasized in the Common Core. You might be happy to know that fluencies with math facts and “standard algorithms” (translate: old ways :)) are specifically outlined in the Common Core at specified grade levels that make sense with cognitive development AND the logical organization of mathematics concepts. But CCSS Math also heavily emphasizes the importance of a student being able to explain, in words that make sense to someone else, their reasoning approach to problems they solve. Given the current state of the capacity of young people to communicate clearly and intelligently right now, I’d call that a positive shift! If you really want to be informed, take a look at the points made FOR Common Core Standards. Don’t get caught up in the “Federal Government Mandate” verbiage. I’ve read a lot of it (that’s why I’m here) and while, I understand many of the concerns, the arguments against Common Core are rife with misconceptions and incomplete pictures.

    • http://twitter.com/Mismindles Melinda Deason

      Cris, How in the world were we able to do algebra and geometry in the past without this fabulous system? (said with sarcasm)
      The old system has worked fine for many, many, generations. Now you come here trying to convince us that this is necessary when we’ve seen with our own eyes and witnessed in our own lives that the old way works. We have no idea if this new way will work or not.
      If you want to defend it, fine, but don’t talk down to us like you are the intellectual and we are all idiots when most of us have taken Algebra and geometry in both high school and college.
      My first question is ALWAYS “Why?” But I happen to think the answer is ridiculous because I have always been good at Math and this was not the system I grew up under. And my son takes college Algebra in high school right now as a junior and he grew up doing it the “old school way” and he too, is good at math and Algebra. BUT, his school did not push them to learn their times tables-I taught him at home!

      Your arrogance about how you are so much wiser than the other teachers you consult is also disconcerting. Perhaps these teachers understand the “why” and just think it’s as ridiculous as we do. Perhaps they say “Just tell me what to teach and I’ll teach it” because they know they have to, even if they disagree, so they are not going to defend it to parents they know aren’t going to buy into it. many teachers are leaving the teaching field because they are deeply convicted over this.

      I loved math and Algebra-in all honesty, I still do, but if this were my system back then, I am not sure I would love it. What I love about it is that it is concrete. Once you learn the method-it always works. It is absolute. This math would have given me a sense that it was not.

      I understand your passion and I have watched numerous videos on the positives of Common Core, but I watched a woman spend 30 minutes on one math problem on the board and if I were in her class as a kid-I would have been bored to tears and hated math. I also watched another guy do a 45 minute lesson letting kids break into pairs to show how they got their answer to a basic math problem and judging by the look of the kids, they looked far too old to be doing something so basic and take 45 minutes of class time to do it! And this was on a pro-CC Youtube page with lots of examples of “good teaching”. I thought it was the worst teaching I had ever seen.

      I feel like your passion has to be based on some kind of brainwashing, because the normal person can see that the old system has worked well and the new system looks like a lot of fluff and not a lot of time spent building the foundation.

      Some kids just are not going to be good at math no matter what. For me-thinking in terms of adding tens together then ones was just something I figured out on my own at an early age. Even today when I am shopping, if something is 40% off, it’s easier to think 10% x 4, but that’s what math people do-they break it down mentally because math comes easy to them. But some kids just suck at math and you don’t ruin it for everyone, to attempt to fix it for a few.

      I am not a teacher, but I was a para for 3 years and I worked with “Class Within a class”, which I think has now been taken over by Title One, but I do have some knowledge in what goes on in the school system & how many kids end up with an IEP, which I hear this new math is increasing IEP’s. Go figure!

      I may not be an expert “consultant” like you, but since Math worked for me and my son and husband who is a computer programmer, I’m going to have to stick with the old system when it comes to what works.

      • Cris

        I’m going to do my best to address your points.

        “The old system has worked fine for…” Have you looked at results of end-of-year 8th grade math or Algebra 1 tests recently? Pick any state and look at averages. It’s not working for the MAJORITY of students. Please see my response to mom23 for my argument as to why the “old system” worked for you and me.

        “My first question is ALWAYS “Why?” But I happen to think the answer is ridiculous because I have always been good at Math and this was not the system I grew up under. …” I’m not sure what point your trying to make here. Do you think the answer to “why does that work” is ridiculous? I don’t understand. Math was not invented but has been discovered over the millennia. It was discovered by men, women, and even children who asked questions like this and their answers have always driven them to the discovery of rules and patterns that have allowed us to do anything from building bridges to flying airplanes to predicting weather. If the mind is not in a discovery mode, chances are, nothing new will be discovered. We’ll simply be learning about someone else’s discovery, mistakenly thinking there is nothing new to discover.

        “You almost seem arrogant about how you are so much wiser than the other teachers you consult…” I’m sorry if I seem arrogant in the written text. I am not. I am very passionate about sharing my expertise with teachers. A large percentage of elementary teachers (all of whom have to teach math during their day) are, to varying degrees, uncomfortable with the math they teach. Teachers and I discuss this openly with no pretense. It’s important for KIDS to know WHY they should “invert and multiply.” It’s important because they need to know in what context (real life) they would have a problem where they would divide by a fraction. Most elementary teachers can’t tell you why.

        “…brainwashing…” Posh! It’s called education. It’s what I do for a living. I’m paid to study, learn, and share what works with mathematics education just the same as I was paid to make sure a metal processing line was running efficiently, productively, and safely when I worked as a chemical engineer. I’m not working on guesses here – it’s solid research.

        “Some kids just are not going to be good at math no matter what. …But some kids just suck at math and you don’t ruin it for everyone, to attempt to fix it for a few.” Yikes. The majority of my high school students had been lead to believe, at multiple points in their lives, that they “sucked” at math. Yes, I said MAJORITY – I’m not talking about a few kids here and I’m not talking about ruining anything for our brightest math minds. I was one of those kids who excelled – why, knowing what I know, would I want to advocate for a system that I felt would hurt my own children’s chances of excelling in math and science? But people who can do math well enough to be engineers and scientists (whether they choose this path or not) should NOT be an elite group! This “only the strong survive” approach to math is dangerous to our society – we might as WELL just, as one commenter put it, “surrender the math and science fields to other parts of the world” with an attitude like that.

        “…exuberance for a standard that cuts 30% of literature…” Another Common Core misconception – the ELA standards do emphasize informational text. For high school, the guideline is 70% informational texts for high school students. However, this does NOT mean in literature classes. High school students usually spend 1-2 sevenths of their day in an English class. The rest of their time is spent in math, science, PE/health, fine and practical arts, etc. The design is for all teachers to be more mindful of developing students’ content literacy. In high school science, for instance, we’re prone to pre-digesting and presenting material to students rather than ever making them read & process for themselves. Then when they go on to take college science courses, they are hammered by the amount and pace of informational text they have to read on their own! The goal of this is to get them ready for college.

        “I think that and the data mining would bother you…” It absolutely bothers me if it’s done insidiously. But this is not really a Common Core Standards problem. It’s a question of the standardized assessment process and one that rightly needs to be addressed. Companies and agencies are already mining data on all of us, as students, parents, consumers, employees, website visitors, citizens etc, etc. I’m not going to assume a demon lurking in each new technology tool or system just because some would use it for evil. I always try to keep discernment at a peak. I also have a problem with increasing the number of standardized tests that students are taking every year, although I believe we have to have some measure of accountability in regard to standards, we need to reduce the number of tests, particularly for high school students.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danni.smith.796 Danni Smith

    The controversy over education continues to build. Kids can’t learn is alatest mantra of recent years and so is the pay them more money to get the best teachers. But, then what do we do with all those bad teachers, like those who said they didn’t understand this math strategy. Teachers to teach something they don’t understand? Isn’t there some union person willing to say, “just pay them more, more vacation days, more backend loading and then they will understand.” C’mon Springfield, they need your help. Mike Madigan, where are you???

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656413810 Brandon Smith

    This is complete idiocy…. My third grader and first grader are learning mathematics the correct way….

  • LauraK

    So are we teaching kids math by the finger counting method
    now? Does anyone think that will make more American student prepared for fields
    such as Engineering? I guess we could just surrender the math and science fields
    to other parts of world.

    • Cris

      The Japanese are already using most of the methods outlined above to give their students a strong number sense at early elementary so that they are better equipped in later elementary to work with fractions as numbers (instead of thinking of fractions as “scary aliens from another planet” like so many kids in US – don’t believe me? visit a middle or high school classroom and ask kids questions that involve fractions – watch the sweat bead up on their foreheads), and then later to really understand what the heck they’re doing in Algebra. Algebra is THE gatekeeper subject to higher math and science and kids all over this country are FAILING. There is nothing “stupid” about a kid using fingers, counters, dice, or other visual aids to deepen their number sense. We’re not talking about middle school or high school kids still counting on their fingers! But elementary children, while quite imaginative, are very concrete thinkers and they need these tools as they work toward FLUENCY – that destination at which so many Common Core Math opponents seem to think that kids can magically arrive just by memorizing steps in a procedure. With all that said, I have to again make the point that the teachers who designed these parent “cheat sheets” were misguided on some of the goals of Common Core Math. It’s not Old vs. New.

      • MommaC123

        NO OTHER COUNTRY USES THIS. THEY TURNED IT DOWN.. Thats why their website reads as VIEWED by nations.. NOT APPROVED by other nations. REALLY DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK AND DO NOT TELL US WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD TO TELL US.. You are a drone to teach others as you have been taught. It all sounds great on the outside BUT answer this.. WHATS ON THE INSIDE and WHY DO “THEY” FEEL WE HAVE TO HAVE IT??

        yes our kids have become dumb.. buts thats because WE HAVE ALLOWED GOVT CHANGES IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM.. Leave the education to the states, teachers and parents!! Teach a child to learn, give him or her the tools to educate themselves.. instead we as a country voted for and have allowed the Government and whoever they see fit to educate our kids and they give us common core.. its been around for a while and it has many names and forms..

        here are other whys???

        1. Why have we stopped teaching our kids basic life skills, history and economics? you know the countries true history(good and bad), banking, cking, business and government? teanagers have no clue as to “how to balance a checkbook”.. not to mention a budget! Dont tell me it hasnt changed.. find an old high school book and view the changes made..hisory being re-written or just plain LEFT OUT.

        I remember in school, if you could not pass basic grade level skills.. you STAYED in that grade until you got it.. instead we have passed our kids along for fear of them or us being embarrassed by our kids lack of understanding OF whats being taught! Lets make it simplier.. well it was so simple my oldest teenage son hated school because it did not excite him to want to learn. he and his friends did what they had to do to get out.. then when they wanted to go to college some found out that they could not get in because the LACK OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY of ones education and future. They thought their charm and smile or daddies money could get them thru the day..

        2. Why are educators from Harvard and Yale say this will hurt the future of our country and the education of our children? It will put us 2 more years behind other countries. My youngest childrens high school teacher, math and engeneering, told me 3 years ago our country ISNT PRODUCING AS MANY ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS! The grants are going to FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS becasue our KIDS are not smart enough to pass the testing?? we should have our kids doing alegebra and geometry by 8th grade instead of just introducing it to them.

        3 Why are psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and other medical professionals say this is bad for our childrens mental health and future of learning?
        4. WHY are our PRIVACY LAWS being changed? Look into FERPA and HIPPA
        5. Why are our kids being data-mined for info that has nothing to do with education or their future? we already have education tracking tools that do not BREAK PRIVACY LAWS?
        6. Why are we making highschoolers read manuels rather than stories that inspire and uses creativetly to teach the mind to explore new things and new possibilities?
        7. why does it have to be mandated! Why do we have to give Control of our kids education to the Federal Government and not keep the control in the States or with the Teachers and PARENTS?
        8. why was this passed without the program even been tested and before it was written/created? educators and legislators who did ask were told they would find out later(like the affordable care act).. after it is written..plus a handful of other publications that you have to locate and read. then ask an attorney what the heck did that just say?”.
        9. why was this SECRETLY passed in Stimulus BAILOUT MONEY.. even though the bailout had nothing to do with education.. NO one reported on it or mentioned it in the news!!
        10. why is microsoft and Bill Gates NOW wanting to give schools free money and computers only if they USE Common Core type programs in their schools? why not give it without any form of a common core program?
        11. why are parents,teachers and people in general bullied when they show concerns for this program? why are we now called haters, raciist, uneducated pistol toten hillbillies..etc
        12. why not call it a curriculum so the parents, teachers, ,state representatives, who were voted in by the people-and elected school board officials, can see whats inside it and change whats needed to meet their childrens needs?
        13. why teach our kids that america, capitalism and our way of life is the true/real worlds problem?
        14. why teach that socialism and communism is better for the community.. THEN try selling, I mean telling that to all the dead people and their surviving family members, who died under the arms of such a government..

        Everyone wants better education for our kids. Yes we want the counties in the state to teach the same grade level standards. So If I move from one county to another in the same state, my child wont have to repeat what they have already been taught in the other county. Yes I want the same for other states as well.. I would like to move from one state to the next and not have my kids repeat a course because of different standards or “grading systems”. We can do this without interference from the government. And it can be done- give money to the states to use where and how its needed. use common sensed educators to come up with lessons.. Yes there is more than one way to add and subtract and teach. We need same HIGH standards thru out all the states. Like the ones we had growing up and we met them. then give it to the school system so the teachers and parents can see what would be taught. Then it can be voted on by the school board, teachers and parents. NOT a government panel of PROGRESSIVE MOVERS!
        Remember having 3 groups of skill levels in school? Mine were called A, B and C.. this was elementary and high school. middle schools came around later when the number of kids out grew the high schools capacity. baby boomers having kids.. or did the changes of educating our kids create more kids in schools because they coudnt pass to move on up?
        A was the “SMART group” kids who did not need extra time on things, because they picked lessons up faster and was ready to move on to the next lesson and by the end of the school year were already working on the next years lessons.
        Then you had the B groups(usually 2-3 depending on size of school and classrooms) “the AVERAGE group” kids who learned at the average pace and finished the grade level courses by the end of the school year and poss dipping into the lessons for the next year.
        Then you had the C group(Average kids that REQUIRED EXTRA time on certain lesson plans. This class was smaller and allowed the teacher to work more with those who needed it. Most all of them passed that grade level by the end of the year.
        NOW we mix all these kids in one class becasue we dont want to discriminate. Its not discriminating when you have girls and boys, white, black or latino in the same levels. The PARENTS FEELINGS were hurt becasue their child was not in the A group!
        So now our A and some B grouped kids get BORED waiting on the C grouped kids to catch up.
        15. SO NOW our governament is telling us we must LOWER the standards so all the kids can learn on the same pace? is that not holding the smarter and average kids back from a higher education?

        16. I can ask more.. but these questions bothers me the MOST..”why was it passed in such a secretive and rushed manner? why does it have to be mandated and controlled by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? and
        What is their AGENDA?”

        • MamaBear

          Thank you.

        • Lizzie

          Actually, this method is very similar to the Singapore math program, a program that produces students with some of the highest math scores in the world. Common core has some definite problems, but this is NOT one of them.

  • a mom who does math at work

    I have been reading this chain and I am amazed. First, anyone who could not readily understand the various simple and easy ways of approaching that little problem should not be commenting and certainly should not be teaching. Our country (while clearly the greatest in the world) has fallen embarrassingly behind in education. I hire people who must do math and 80% of college graduates who apply cannot pass the basic math test we give. Our little kids need to learn to “think through” math problems and not just apply rules and formulas. When they are 40 years old and can’t remember the formula, they will still be able to derive an answer if they understand the concepts. I recall in 8th grade algebra many conversations about why we even needed word problems because they were so hard and everyone preferred to just solve equations. The travesty of that should be obvious – life does not present equations that are placed in a section dedicated to one type of formula. Life presents word problems, with no guidance in which formula to use. Parents need to get off of the evil government nonsense and start actually worrying about how their children will support themselves in a worldwide economy. Or, do we really think we can just put up walls so those smart kids from other countries won’t steal the jobs at McDonalds from our kids?

    • Cris

      “Parents need to get off of the evil government nonsense and start actually worrying about how their children will support themselves in a worldwide economy.”

      I love a good conspiracy theory just as much as the next person but this sentence summarizes my thoughts on the entire conversation! Thanks!

  • Steven Meyers

    What a bunch of psychobabble! Common Core Math makes zero sense, takes longer to solve these so-called “situations,” and generally confuses what is already a simple, easy to apply, old-fashioned way of doing things. Just sinful for the government to force this on people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lt.doherty LT Doherty

    Interesting!