New Math. Parents hate it. They don’t get it. It’s not the way they were taught and they can’t understand why learning so many strategies and taking more steps to solve 52-18 actually helps their child.
She responded with concern about federal control of education and “new math,” which created a perfect opportunity for me to educate this individual. We exchanged several respectful comments back and forth about her concerns and my perspective as an elementary teacher using Common Core every day.
Nope! If you look at the bottom of my old math journal, there is a note about the history of lattice multiplication. “New Math” really isn’t new math. It’s actually REALLY REALLY OLD MATH. Moreover, this illustrates nicely that the Common Core standards didn’t create these methods, since they were obviously being taught in the United States decades ago. If you’re not fond with a particular math strategy, that’s perfectly fine, but don’t blame the Common Core.
Finally, for those still worried that Common Core requires students to use only use specific methods to solve math problems, I want to reiterate that this is not true. Students are still learning the traditional algorithms and formulas as some of the strategies students can choose to solve problems, demonstrated by the assignment below from the Common Core-aligned math journal. It lists various multiplication problems, but the directions state that the students can choose any algorithm they would like to solve them. Having multiple strategies at their disposal helps students choose which works best in various situations, or what makes them most successful in solving problem.
I actually couldn’t believe it. Maybe taking a few minutes to interact with this person helped change one individual’s perspective. If we all take a minute to educate just one person on what Common Core actually is, would those against Common Core really still despise it?
To read my post, along with others written by teachers in support of Common Core, you can visit http://www.educatorsforhighstandards.org