Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Problem with Common Core? Parents who don't get it.

The real “problem” with Common Core, clueless parents, is finally getting some media time.

In previous posts I've pointed out how frustrated parents are lashing out at Common Core because they personally don’t understand the newer teaching methods for math. Get a clue parents; teachers are teaching your kids in their classrooms, not you. Yes, it’s frustrating to watch your kid struggle with homework and not be able to help, but tough it out. Here are a few highlights of the jsonline article:
jsonline: There is a special type of frustration experienced by parents who can't understand their child's elementary school math homework.

Bayside mother Mary Cyganiak watched her son complete what seemed like cumbersome tasks to solve basic arithmetic problems on his homework so frequently this year, she started jotting notes back to his fourth-grade teacher: "This seems like a really inefficient way to solve the problems." And then: "This is a waste of time." Across the country, Cyganiak and millions of parents are perplexed by the changes in math instruction.
And isn't that the real problem? There’s more:
For parents, there's perhaps no better evidence of something new happening in schools than math homework that looks foreign to the kinds of problems they were asked to do as schoolchildren. Popular comedian Louis C.K. recently tweeted his daughters' math homework problems to millions of followers, pushing out club-footed questions that he said had made his daughter cry.

The majority of math professors and math education professors, however, say the standards are sound and that Common Core math looks more like the way the rest of the developed world teaches mathematics to its young people. America lags many other developed countries, especially Asian countries, in test scores on math exams.
We're trying to solve a problem, it's not political:
Kevin McLeod, who has taught graduate and undergraduate math at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 1987, suggested the need for stronger math instruction is because many university students arrive needing remedial or high school math courses.

Krista Lesiecki, a math teacher at Homestead High School in Mequon, said (she) has sympathy for parents witnessing the shift in elementary school math. As a mother of triplets in third grade in the Cedarburg School District, Lesiecki has an unusual window into schooling at that level, too.

"In the summer, I taught them all how to subtract the way we did, with borrowing," Lesiecki said. "Then this year, they came home with these pictures in their homework and I was like, 'This is a total waste of time.'" Lesiecki has come around. Today, each one of her children solve the same types of subtraction problems slightly differently — adding to subtract, for example, or using tangible bars and squares as counting aides. "My children now are better at math in third grade than I probably was in fifth," she said.
It might not hurt to include a few instructional step by step practice problems for parents, so they understand the new teaching method.

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