### Author Topic: SO: Common Core  (Read 2499 times)

• Pencil Stache
• Posts: 710
##### Re: SO: Common Core
« Reply #50 on: November 30, 2018, 04:22:26 PM »
Well that's what I did.  Because it was too hard to just remember 7 x 6.
Fact memorization failed me, so I had to remember another fact, and then add.

This is why fact memorization on it's own isn't useful without understanding the relationships of numbers.
To KNOW that it works to just do 7 x 5 and then add 7 more you have to understand the relationship between multiplication and addition. It's why we practice skip counting when multiplying.

It is a much more flexible approach than memorization on it's own.

The problem my students have is that they forget how much more they are supposed to add.  They might remember 6x6 is 36, and know that to get to 6x7 they need to add one more.... something.  But they aren't quite clear if they need to add another 6, or another 7!

Yes, it should be obvious.  But no, it isn't obvious to some kids.  The other problem is they will start at 36, add on one more 6 by counting and ... miscount!   They will end up at 41 by counting on.

They won't use the fact that 6+6 is 12 to realize that they are starting with a 30 and a 6, and adding another 6, which is one more 10 and a 2... so the answer had to end in a 2.

Once kids are in 4th grade, it is almost impossible to find the time to go back and correctly remediate.  They just want to "get the answer", understandably, so they can finish the worksheet.

#### I'm a red panda

• Walrus Stache
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##### Re: SO: Common Core
« Reply #51 on: November 30, 2018, 04:46:32 PM »
I was literally counting on my fingers still when I was about to start student teaching, I missed so much understanding early on, because I couldn't memorize.
I have Masters in math educaton now and work full time in a math field.

So it's possible to eventually figure it out. But it's hard to make up.  I wish someone had taught me earlier why things worked rather than me having to figure out coping strategies to make up for what I missed.

#### Rosy

• Handlebar Stache
• Posts: 1922
• Location: Florida
##### Re: SO: Common Core
« Reply #52 on: November 30, 2018, 05:27:24 PM »

SO many of my FB friends are all butt-hurt about it.  "Our old ways or better!"

I remember sitting at the table yelling at my Mom "no- you're doing it wrong" learning addition and multiplication.

So apparently they change the method every generation or so.  And whatever the new way is, is never received well by those who didn't do it that way.

Yeah, I'm not sure this is better.  There may be a number of people whose brains can work this way, and some who can't.

When I try to explain the short cuts methods, people look at me in complete bafflement.  Like "99x99".  You don't have to multiply all those 9s.  You just do 100x100 and subtract the edges off the square.  Done.  Whuh....?

Trying to teach everyone the techniques that work for math nerds might not come out right.  I haven't seen enough evidence either way.

Well don't confuse me with an imaginary square FT:) I just think of the next closest higher rounded number. I agree, the short cut methods are the best thing ever.
When I was going to school they taught several different methods all at once - like you said - if one method doesn't work for you, maybe a shortcut will set your brain on fire.

It seems weird to me to insist on one method - whyever would one do that? FWIW the memorization has faded after almost 60 years but the logic behind subtracting the edges of the cube still works. Logic always solves the problem.
Although I've always loved stuff like 25x25 = 625 - it was part of some random memorization games our math teacher played with us.
It was fun and exciting to play senseless memorization with big numbers - more fun than 7x6 for sure:)

Once you understand that you can add numbers and it is the same as multiplying them, you are good. Add the same number seven times is the same as multiplying them seven times.
You can even break down the seven into 3 plus 4 - or 5 plus 2 - it still all comes out to the same number. Amazing.

Of course, if you happen to know that 7x7 is 49, you can just deduct one seven - voila, you just figured out 7x6, much faster:).

#### teen persuasion

• Handlebar Stache
• Posts: 1047
##### Re: SO: Common Core
« Reply #53 on: November 30, 2018, 09:14:59 PM »

SO many of my FB friends are all butt-hurt about it.  "Our old ways or better!"

I remember sitting at the table yelling at my Mom "no- you're doing it wrong" learning addition and multiplication.

So apparently they change the method every generation or so.  And whatever the new way is, is never received well by those who didn't do it that way.

Yeah, I'm not sure this is better.  There may be a number of people whose brains can work this way, and some who can't.

When I try to explain the short cuts methods, people look at me in complete bafflement.  Like "99x99".  You don't have to multiply all those 9s.  You just do 100x100 and subtract the edges off the square.  Done.  Whuh....?

Trying to teach everyone the techniques that work for math nerds might not come out right.  I haven't seen enough evidence either way.

Hey, somebody who thinks about math like me!

Seriously, my sister considers herself "scarred for life" because our school introduced some different style of writing when she was in K, and then abandoned it soon after.  Her cohort was out of step each year because they started to learn writing in an unusual experimental style, and were never retaught later.  That's sort of how the Common Core roll-out seemed in our state: pushed out prematurely, and when it hit snags it is the kids that suffer the fallout in the skills they didn't master because theory didn't pan out as expected.  Move on to the next grade - teach to the test for that grade, don't have time to fill the gaps from previous years, too busy testing testing testing!

The focus on testing has triggered pushback - many districts have high numbers of parents choosing to opt their kids out of the testing.  My brother's district has something like 72% opt out rates - administrators are frantic, because the state is threatening to ?? if a majority don't test.  Brother and his wife are both teachers, but are adamant that their kids skip the testing.  I think the testing is a waste of time better spent on teaching, and the tests are badly designed, but, eh, my kids can take them, if only so the state can get enough data to improve them (or ditch them as pointless).

Our district says the scores don't affect the kids' local grades, but they do affect resources used - DS5 was assigned ELA AIS when he scored a 2 on the ELA test one year. Three is considered acceptable, 4 mastery, 2 is not quite good enough.  Given his teacher's glowing grades and comments for that class, I have to assume the standardized test was the issue (or DS5's lack of concern for that test), but regardless, DS5 had ELA pullout instruction for the year.  Waste of resources.

DH has just returned to teaching HS ELA.  He was actually so fed up with the Common Core hassles (from our state's botched roll-out) that he left teaching for industry for 3 years or so.  He was bored silly, and missed the teaching, so jumped when the opportunity arose to get back in another school.  It's only with the break from it that he's realized it was the CC part that was the frustration.  Not the concept of CC, just our state's implementation.  Although he doesn't like the shift to emphasize more nonfiction - he'd rather have more fiction!

Which leads me to personal differences in how each of us thinks, and learns.  DH and I frequently discuss the differences in our preferences.  I love the idea of more emphasis on non-fiction.  Much of the fiction we read in school was not to my taste, and that lack of interest in the subject matter I now realize means I wasn't focused well on the lesson at the time.  To this day, I abhor short stories and novellas (i feel like I've been dropped in the middle of a story, don't know what's going on, and it ends abruptly), but time constraints meant those were the most frequently used versions of literature in school.  But a chapter out of a book on, say, the origins of our quirky number systems (we can thank the Babylonians for our time system of 12 daytime and nighttime hours with 60 minutes and 60 seconds - they used base 5 and base 12) would have been right up my alley - something useful to know, not just another story.  Of course, DH is much less enamoured of math - it's all fake to him. English is his preferred language skill, mine is math and logic.  We each enjoy more the one we are more fluent in.  I've come to realize it's a sign of how differently we each think and learn.

There isn't just one optimal way for everyone to learn X, but there is at least one optimal way for each of us.  So I like the idea of teachers showing multiple ways to do X, but I recognize that many children are black and white thinkers - they just want to be taught the "right way" to do X.  Different methods can become jumbled together in their minds.  It also makes testing harder - can the kids use any method, or only the one taught this week?  Learning "why" helps me immensely, but others don't want the why, just the process.  And I recognize that certain methods just click with you - when i tutored Calc in college I found it useful to explain things in different ways, until I found the one that matched the student's thought process.  Tutoring also showed me that early mis-learned topics made it incredibly difficult to be successful in college math; order of operations was a common problem.  Once identified and relearned, students who believed themselves "bad at math" improved remarkably, and suddenly felt smart.

My biggest objection to the Common Core (and education in general as it is done currently) is the whole age cohort model, with every subject taught in equal shares daily.  That's not how my brain works - I'd much rather pursue in depth study into one or two related topics for a while, learn lots rather than shallowly, and then start again on something different.  I might be ready for math before my peers, but only develop an interest in history later.  Just because I was born in xxxx year should not determine if I study American vs European history, or Bio vs Physics in school this year.  We are trying to cram more and more into the school day, but so much is superficial due to lack of time, and time spent switching mental gears with classrooms.

#### Sugaree

• Bristles
• Posts: 362
##### Re: SO: Common Core
« Reply #54 on: December 01, 2018, 06:45:48 AM »
I get what you're saying about the age thing.  I have a different perspective.  I grew up near a military base so a lot of my friends had attended 4 or 5 schools by the time they graduated from high school.  It was common for someone to transfer in already having taken whatever, let's say, history class that their grade was studying that year.  I'm high school, this wasn't as big of a deal because you just assign them to whatever history class that they needed to be in.  But in elementary school it was  easily possible that a kid gets two years of American history, but no western civ.  For example, if school A taught American history in third grade and western civ in fourth grade but a child transfers to school B over the summer and school B teaches American history in fourth grade and western civ in third grade.  So, I can see where having specific subjects in specific grades will help the kids who move.around a lot, for whatever reason.

One thing that my kiddo's (in kindergarten) school is doing that I like, and I don't know if it's related to the CC curriculum they are using or not, is that they teach in units and everything is kind of tied to that unit.  For example, right after school started they did an apple unit.  They counted and added apples in math (including a chart of how many kids preferred red to yellow to green apples), they read stories about apples, they concentrated on the letters A, P,  L, and E, and they did art projects about apples.  At the end of the unit they had a class apple tasting party where they sampled different apple foods.