Video: Common Core Math ‘Strategies’ Versus An 8 YO

Parents across the country have had it with the multiple and often convoluted Common Core Math strategies being forced onto their kids.  Proponents claim this is supposed to help them understand math at a ‘deeper’ level.

Are some strategies going to work for one kid but not another? Sure.

Is introducing different ways to work out a problem bad? No.

Is forcing kids to learn all the strategies and apply each of them in order to get credit instead of letting them pick the one that works best for them appropriate? Hell no and it’s confusing the kids and parents alike.

And proponents out there, YES – that is exactly what is happening. Do not try to tell me ‘it’s just a set of standards’ and no one is told how or what to teach because we both know that’s a load of crap.

Dots and sticks math ecardWhen you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

I get Common Core is trying to marry the ELA writing standards with the math, but stop. Please. This is ridiculous.  Proponents are kidding themselves – these kids are not abstract thinkers at this age.

What throwing all of these different strategies at the kids actually does is create confusion for all involved.

Newsflash to Common Core Proponents: There is nothing wrong with kids learning basic, foundational methods like 2+2=4 and LEAVING IT AT THAT.  Having to draw a picture and then explain their thinking in detail for each and every problem is taking up valuable instruction time that could be spent getting to other concepts.

To be blunt, this is the same ‘new math’ they tried to push on us a few times over the last few decades. It was dumb then and it’s dumb now.  For the record, I’ve never had a single employer ask me to explain my spreadsheet in a column of sticks or my thinking about how I arrived at any given equation.

In about 45 seconds, this 8-year-old says about the same thing. The ‘old’ method was fastest and easiest.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor at American Lens. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her past writing can also be found at IJ review, Breitbart, FOX news, Da Tech Guy Blog, Heartland Institute, Civitas Institute and StopCommonCoreNC.org. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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23 Responses to Video: Common Core Math ‘Strategies’ Versus An 8 YO

  1. daveeckstrom says:

    ““my way or the highway” is your phrase, not mine. ”

    LOL. I copied and pasted it directly from your blog entry.

    “And yes, kids are being forced to use multiple strategies under common core. I’ve seen it at my kitchen table as have parents across the country.”

    So kids are taking CC assessments at their kitchen tables? That seems odd.

    • “LOL. I copied and pasted it directly from your blog entry.”
      Really?
      Show me WHERE in the blog entry above that phrase is found? Oh wait, it’s NOT… because it’s from your own comment.

      All due respect, but you’re being kind of a jackass.


      “So kids are taking CC assessments at their kitchen tables? That seems odd.”

      Again, I didn’t say that.
      You are taking two different statements and parsing them into one. It’s neither productive nor funny, it’s just sad.

      • daveeckstrom says:

        This is a new level in deception, even for you. Here’s a screenshot: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Gnc_RqBLSPVXZFWE9UTWdFTjQ/view?usp=sharing

        And here’s where you said that kids are being forced to show multiple strategies by common core at your kitchen table. I’ll just post a screenshot right away, so we can skip the step where you deny saying what you’ve said: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Gnc_RqBLSPem5fQjAxdjF4WDA/view?usp=sharing

        I’ll anticipate your reply, which will be to say that it wasn’t a CC assessment happening at your kitchen table. So that means it wasn’t the CC forcing this on your kid, it was their teacher. So talk to the teacher, instead of lying to the whole universe about what’s in the CCSS.

      • “This is a new level in deception, even for you. Here’s a screenshot: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Gnc_RqBLSPVXZFWE9UTWdFTjQ/view?usp=sharing

        That is a comment from another blog entry, not from the article at hand.
        The deception is yours.

        You’ve taken what I’ve said and turned it into what you wish I had said.

        Your anticipation of my reply is hilarious.
        Yes, I watched my son being forced to use a set of strategies at my kitchen table.
        Yes, those are being assessed and used to form his grade. I also saw that at my kitchen table as I went through the papers that came home with him.

        You want me to stop believing my lying eyes?

        Again, you have proven you cannot and will not stay on topic. You have proven that you cannot follow a simple topic through to conclusion without muddying the waters.

      • daveeckstrom says:

        “That is a comment from another blog entry, not from the article at hand.”

        Scroll down. It’s right here.

        Your lies are completely out of hand. I’m guessing the reason only you and I are ever on the comments here is that everyone else has figured this out and stopped talking to you. You are like a 5 year old denying taking a cookie with crumbs falling out of her mouth as she speaks. Ludicrous.

      • Ah, I see it now. Seriously, you had spammed this article with so many comments, I really didn’t scroll down far enough.
        I did use that terminology on another article, which is what I thought you were referencing. Regardless of where that reference comes from it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE in your arguments; you are including a response to a different question as proof of… something?

        Sir, all due respect but you’re a unhinged.

        I don’t lie and frankly, your insults are proof you have lost this debate — which wasn’t really a debate since you spat out your opinion with no evidence and then went on a non-sequitor tangent. I think the litany of comments here displays both your character, demeanor and level of maturity. God help the students in your classroom if this is your mentality on a blog.

        By the way, you posted your comment at 1:37 pm. Does your employer know you take time out to troll blogs on their time?

  2. daveeckstrom says:

    “I’ve never had a single employer ask me to explain my spreadsheet in a column of sticks or my thinking about how I arrived at any given equation.”

    Your employer is not your teacher. Totally different person, totally different role in your life, totally different time of life. Learning and knowing are not the same thing.

    • You miss the point entirely. Forcing writing into math is not only time wasting and confusing for early ed, it is pointless.

      Did you not see the kid in the video? The basic “old way” was fastest and least confusing to him.

  3. daveeckstrom says:

    “Having to draw a picture and then explain their thinking in detail for each and every problem is taking up valuable instruction time that could be spent getting to other concepts.”

    Yes, please move on before they understand and get the “other concepts” so they can not understand them, too. Don’t worry, ten years down the road, their science teachers will be happy to sacrifice half their science content to back up and teach them the math their transcript says they should already know.

  4. daveeckstrom says:

    “these kids are not abstract thinkers at this age.”

    So by all means let’s not allow them to use concrete models like lines, sticks and dots. Much better to get them to memorize algorithms based on abstract symbolic representations .

    • Cherry pick what I said all you like. Your spam of comments only reinforces my points.

      On a separate note, your comments all over blogs like mine on this topic are obsessive. Perhaps you should start counting how many comments you make with stick and dots, then explain your thinking to us in multiple sentences.

      Have a nice day.

      • daveeckstrom says:

        When I point out all the inconsistencies and mistruths in one comment, I’m verbose and pompous. When I point them out in individual comments it’s a “spam of comments.” Let’s face it, you just don’t want to be called out on your nonsense, no matter how it’s done.

      • “When I point out all the inconsistencies and mistruths in one comment, I’m verbose and pompous. When I point them out in individual comments it’s a “spam of comments.” Let’s face it, you just don’t want to be called out on your nonsense, no matter how it’s done.”

        5 comments rapid fire followed by another 3? It’s fair to call that spamming.
        You point out nothing inconsistent or untrue. You point out your opinion, which is usually off topic.

        Thanks for calling it nonsense. Any other insults you’d like to hurl?

  5. daveeckstrom says:

    “Do not try to tell me ‘it’s just a set of standards’ and no one is told how or what to teach because we both know that’s a load of crap.”

    I don’t know that’s a load of crap. Please show me a standard, any standard, in the CCSS that dictates a teaching method.

    • “I don’t know that’s a load of crap. Please show me a standard, any standard, in the CCSS that dictates a teaching method.”

      Captain literal, thank you for the Strawman.

      • daveeckstrom says:

        You made a statement that strongly implied that the CCSS dictates a teaching method. I ask you for a reference from the actual standards to back up what you say the standards say and that’s a strawman argument? I think you need to look up what a strawman argument is.

      • I implied it because it’s true. Any parent who has seen the standards in action, especially the math, knows that their kid has to use the multiple strategies being taught or they receive no credit.
        You wish to be captain literal and have me quote a line item while ignoring this reality.

        It must be fun to be you.

  6. lanewalker2013 says:

    I wish the voices of my students could be heard: http://tinyurl.com/ccwrongans I know some teachers insist on “my way or the highway,” but good teachers work with their students. There is nothing in the standards that require every student know “all the methods.” Have you been reading about how it’s going in Kentucky? Why wouldn’t you want NC kids to have those advantages?

    • Ma’am,
      All due respect, it is not the teachers saying “my way or the highway’, it’s Common Core.

      Students, by way of CC assessments, are being forced to show multiple strategies for math. If they don’t, they do not get credit and that affects their final score for the subject.

      • daveeckstrom says:

        What CC assessments “force” students to show multiple strategies for math?

        Don’t bother replying with something some individual teacher or district did, because “it is not the teachers saying “my way or the highway’, it’s Common Core.”

        And how in your brain do you even rectify “my way or the highway” with “multiple strategies”? This is an amazing stretch of logic to equate two phrases that almost mean the exact opposite of one another.

      • “Don’t bother replying with something some individual teacher or district did, because “it is not the teachers saying “my way or the highway’, it’s Common Core.”

        And how in your brain do you even rectify “my way or the highway” with “multiple strategies”? This is an amazing stretch of logic to equate two phrases that almost mean the exact opposite of one another.”

        Your comment is a hot mess of your own making. Do you even read your own words?
        “my way or the highway” is your phrase, not mine.

        And yes, kids are being forced to use multiple strategies under common core. I’ve seen it at my kitchen table as have parents across the country.

      • Somebody says:

        Daveeckstrom, arguing about the standards is semantics. I’m sure the standards do not require the student to demonstrate mastery of each strategy, rather they state that each strategy should be introduced and taught. It is the curriculum that was written to implement those strategies that most take issue with, some of the curriculum does indeed require the student to master every strategy. The devil is always in the details. Teaching the same concept in various ways is sound pedagogy, a curriculum that requires a student to solve a problem using each method is not. The goal should be for the student to be able to solve the problem using the method they prefer.

        My daughter has been homeschooled since kindergarten. She was homeschooled at first due to medical reasons; but we continued after she won her cancer battle because she was doing well in school and it worked for her and our family. She’s now a freshman in high school and we decided we wanted her to have an actual high school diploma. Our choices were limited, public school, private school, or virtual school. We chose the latter, once again because it works and it is what she preferred. She’s already had many of the classes required for graduation in previous years through homeschool, but those don’t count so she’s retaking them, easy A right?

        Common core algebra is extremely frustrating for her, she didn’t expect to be writing essay answers in math. Just so you know, in 6th grade she tested at a college senior level in language arts, so purveying her thoughts in writing is not an issue for her. She has an A, but all of the writing assignments frustrate her, most are quite vague and nebulous. When an assignment, quiz or test is multiple choice or fill in the blank where the student can use whatever method they prefer she usually makes 100’s or may make a sloppy mistake and get one question wrong. However, when she is forced to write essays it seems they are never quite good enough. A recent example asked her to explain a graphing problem, which she did in detail. She has learned to be quite verbose in her essay responses. Well as it turned out on the graph problem mentioned, all of her math was correct, her explanation was spot on with one exception. She didn’t explicitly describe how to make a graph paper, so she’s then marked off 8 points out of 12, WTF?

        My daughter will be just fine, as I said she has an A and she’ll finish up in a couple of weeks, hopefully putting the frustrations of this class behind her. What about the student that is struggling a little bit? The grading rubric could sink a student that was marginal, even though their math was all correct. That is where a big part of the frustration lies, it is in the implementation, of course putting aside central control arguments, etc. You are absolutely correct it’s not the standards specifically, but it’s the application of those standards. It is in the end semantics though, because if those standards didn’t exist then the curriculum and grading rubrics would be different. Text book manufacturers and school districts are responding to the standards, test it and they’ll teach it as it were.

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