Thoughts on the Common Core

Has your state implemented the Common Core Standards? I know many states have. How do you feel about the new standards?
Let me start out by saying that I feel, as do many others that many of the standards are definitely inappropriate for our kids. I wish we could sit down and rewrite standards that are realistic for our kiddos.

I think the biggest problem with The Common Core State Standards is the way the standards have been implemented. There has been a lack of training for both teachers and parents. The materials being created are horrible and many times are just thrown at the teachers, sometimes during the school year like ReadyGen. Read my opinion about ReadyGen here

Here is a video that was put out by Common Core for parents. I am not a fan of this video!

I have to tell you, I really have mixed feelings about the standards. Do I love them? No. Do I hate them? No. I am somewhere in the middle. Let’s say I am in limbo. I don’t really like them but I also don’t hate them.

I do think that there should be some type of common standards. Don’t throw anything at me please!! 🙂
I work in NYC and see many kids come in and out of the classroom from all over the country. The differences in what I see is astounding. I know that all kids are different and are at different levels. But, sometimes there is such a drastic difference in what they know. I am in no way blaming any teachers!!

I think there is a lot of misconceptions about The Common Core Standards. We have taught many of these strategies or skills before the Common Core was introduced. I think they have just been bumped up to unrealistic standards for our kids.

As I look through Facebook posts and see the posts about solving math, I cringe. People complain about the solving of the math problem as “Look at the Common Core Standards!” I look at the problem and think, “That’s not the Common Core Standards. That’s a strategy or a way to solve the problem.” Many of the complaints I see is that the common core makes solving problems more complicated. Do we teach complicated methods sometimes? Yes. But remember some of the kids do need the visuals to understand concepts. For years we have used manipulatives to teach regrouping. Now, we draw out the cubes in place value charts and show how to regroup. What’s the big deal? Do all of my kids like it? No! If the kids know how to regroup and can explain how and why to regroup, then I let them do the work any way they want.

As teachers, it is our job to teach different strategies or methods to our students so that each student can find the strategy that works best for them.
Are some of the strategies confusing? Yes, they are. Do I like them all? No, but I still teach them.
You may ask, “If you don’t agree with the strategy or the way something is taught, then why teach it?” I teach the “confusing” strategy because even if just one kid who struggling with the concept before can compute with accuracy, then it was well worth it!

As a parent of a third grader and a second grade teacher, it is amazing how the kids like to use different strategies. My son Alex, uses math strategies that sometimes I have a hard time understanding. I have to have him show or explain it to me a few times before I know what he is talking about. He is one of those kids who likes to use the unpopular strategies of decomposing numbers.

Like I said, I don’t necessarily like The Common Core Standards but I do what I have to do to reach every student (even teach the unpopular and “confusing” strategies.) 😉

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below.