9 Things You Might Not Know about Common Core State Standards


Back-to-School night marked the first time I ever heard about Common Core Standards. “Hang on tight, parents. Common Core is about to change everything,” my first grade son’s teacher warned, “this new standard is all about teaching your kids the how and why. It’s aiming for a deeper understanding of concepts beyond memorization.”

Truthfully, I didn’t know what all that meant. My kid was in first grade. Maybe a deeper understanding was a good thing, heck, maybe it was even a great thing. His teacher mentioned something about this being a pilot year for the standard and how next year it would really count. I still didn’t really know what that meant, but whatever.

“Meh, curriculums change. No biggie.” I thought … until the work started coming home.

You guys, I didn’t know which end was up. What the what was all this? What was the homework even asking? Was there a Common Core homework hotline I could call? Was I dumber than a first grader? Apparently so.

Last week, my girl Monica wrote about the Common Core math question that sparked national media attention proving there’s a herculean disconnect between the parent (and/or teacher and/or students and/or everyone and the Common Core curriculum.

While only time will tell how our students and the new standards fare, I thought digging a little deeper into the hows and whys of Common Core State Standards couldn’t hurt.

Take a look at 9 things you might not know.

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  1. The funny thing about the problem is they want you to tell “Jack” what he did right (jumping 100 back 3 times) and what he did wrong (forgot about the 10s place and only subtracted the ones). It took me less than 5 minutes to figure out what was right/wrong. I think people are getting over worked about the changes. Our parents experienced similar changes when we (I am 34) were in school. I have a 7th grader who runs into weird problems, but the fact is that I think they want to challenge the kids and not just teach basic math but serious problem solving, putting to work the skills they are learning, and building confidence in their ability to solve problems and then verbalized it. I think too many kids can solve basic math, but the real world doesn’t have basic math around every corner. Challenge the kids!! I didn’t encounter these types of problems (find what they did wrong) when I was a kid and I managed to get my Masters but I did have those stupid tree and shadow problems which I never used! I can definitely see how that problem that the frustrated parent went nuts about could be used. I say more of those problems and fewer on two trains traveling opposite directions. 😉

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