I am sure you have heard many arguments for and against Common Core, and you probably have already formed your own opinions of it too. I am not going to get on my soap box for today's post, because I have seen both positive and negative impacts of common core in my two years of teaching it. My goal for today's post is to remove your teacher shoes and step into your student's and parent's shoes.
Over the past two years my state has implemented Common Core, we are flying the plane as we build it, especially in the first year. As a parent of a first grader I can understand some of the parents frustrations out there. One night at dinner my son asked how much was two quarters. My hubby told him to add 25 and 25, note he is not an educator just a normal parent. :) My son talked out his mental math strategy aloud: 5 and 5 is 10, 20 and 20 is 40, 40 and 10 is 50. My husband then said...what did he just do!?! I replied...Common Core Math.
I think my husband expected our son to solve the problem the way we were taught...5 plus 5 is 10, carry the 1, then 2 plus 2 plus 1 is 5. As educators you know that all my son did was demonstrate his knowledge of place value to add the two digit numbers. However, think about the parents that aren't educators...they are frustrated because they don't understand this new math. They don't see the big picture, heck sometimes I don't see the big picture and I am an educator.
I have seen the problems many parents are frustrated about. I have also had to explain and teach the new methods of learning to some of my parents. In fourth grade the most questions I receive from parents are about the area or box method of multiplication and the partial quotient method for division. I don't mind explaining Common Core or these new methods to parents, but what I can't explain to parents is why their children are required to answer questions like this:
There was a question very similar to this one on a district assessment given to our students. Do you know the answer? If so how long did it take you to figure it out? I will be honest, it took a teammate and I a few minutes of talking it out to finally determine the correct answer.
Here are some other images I found online from post were people voiced there frustration with Common Core Math. I do understand many of them, and bet if I asked my first grader he would most likely be able to explain them to me as well.
I seriously don't get this one. If you do please share your knowledge :)
I am curious as to what questions you have come across in Common Core that made you go "What!?!", or if you wish to share your opinion of Common Core Math.