Common Core math has most parents throwing up their hands in frustration as they attempt to help their children understand very basic math concepts made more convoluted.
These multiple sets of ‘strategies’ are supposed to be part of the ‘clearer, deeper’ Common Core with the intention of fostering critical thinking skills in abstract learner minds. Small wonder it’s become a national hot button.
Basic teaching of algorithms is delayed until 4th grade, leaving kids in K-3 dangling by their sticks and dots.
Barry Garelick makes this point and more in his article, where he notes this about the math ‘strategies’ in his multi-part series on Common Core math:
The methods are side dishes that ultimately become indistinguishable from the main dish of the standard algorithm. As a result, students can become confused—often profoundly so. As Robert Craigen, math professor at University of Manitoba describes it: “This out-loud articulation of ‘meaning’ in every stage is the arithmetic equivalent of forcing a reader to keep a finger on the page, sounding out every word, every time, with no progression of reading skill.”
Here in North Carolina, parent ire over Common Core math is alive and well. Clearly, staff and school officials are hearing about it since Wake County Schools in North Carolina is apparently making an effort to teach the Common Core math strategies to parents of 2nd graders.
This speaks volumes to the developmentally inappropriate nature of Common Core math that this parent instruction set is even needed for elementary level math. I give Wake County credit for trying to stem the tide of complaints, but it ultimately does not address the problem — Common Core.
In years prior, I can attest we did not receive such instructional materials from Wake County concerning Common Core. I’ve scanned and uploaded a set of parent instructions we’ve recently received to one of my document repositories.
To their credit, they include algorithms. Remember, algorithm use isn’t taught until 4th grade in Common Core and all previous ‘strategies’ up until now excluded using them and in many cases had even resulted in being marked incorrect if used to ‘explain one’s thinking’ for a math problem.