Common Core Standards- Answers For Parents
Blog Discussion Part 1- MATH
The Framework of Current Math Units
The math units currently being taught in public schools in states that have adopted the Common Core Standards were thoughtfully developed by the collaboration and dedication of mathematics teachers and administrators/ supervisors from across the nation.
K-5 Common Core Math Overview
The K-5 standards are organized using math concepts that connect topics across the grades clusters and progress in complexity from grade to grade. The goal is to clearly define what each student should know per grade. These standards include skills and overall knowledge of the concepts, as well as their practical application.
The Kindergarten through fifth grade standards are organized in the following concepts: counting and cardinality; operations and algebraic thinking; number and operations in base ten; number and operations – fractions; measurement and data; and geometry. The concepts vary appropriate to the grade level. For example, counting and cardinality is a key concept in kindergarten, while number and operations – fractions is a key concept for third grade.
The standards should provide students with a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals, all of which are needed for multi-step math concepts in middle and high school.
The K-5 standards provide guidance to teachers on how to navigate their way through difficult math concepts such as fractions, decimals, and geometry. The standards represent the latest research and insights of professional mathematicians alike.
Using the best practices of other countries and learning from their success, America’s Common Core math standards should help fill our deficiencies and bridge the gap between knowledge and application. By moving away from the mile wide and inch deep approach that clearly hasn’t worked, America is using these new Common Core math standards to improve our math scores as a nation.
The new focus in the K-5 standards is comparable to that seen in high-performing countries, encouraging our students to master topics by developing fluency of conceptual understanding and NOT simple memorization. For the last decade or more, US practices were to encourage students to learn enough to score highly on the text quiz or test, allowing our students to rely on their short term memory and not a thorough understanding of the math concepts.
Misconception Among Parents
Arguments for and against the new standards have had little impact on public opinion because, unbelievably, 62 percent of Americans have never heard of the Common Core.
Parents are fraught with fear of the unknown and therefore resistant to change. Whether Common Core is the answer or not, parents need to see that we have a serious problem, and that regardless of the solution, change IS needed. As a nation we need to see the pure value of “change” and its necessity to help our students succeed.
Some parents feel that it’s just another way for the government to take control. It’s one more rule. One more law. One more freedom lost. But many do not see it that way. I believe the intent is altruistic and has a real long term value for our students. The real long term value for our nation is increased SAT scores in math and the ability to compete on a world stage in the arena of math and science. Also, providing our students with curriculum that is aligned from state to state has tremendous value. For example, if a family with a 10th grader moves from New York to Georgia, their student will have the next math course is succession, which is often not the case by previous standards.
A common misconception is that by teaching our students real world application skills, we are preparing our children for a non-college prep vocation. This is simply not true. Practical, real world application skills are needed for all of our students so that they can make a logical transition into the post-high school/ post-college world with information they can use to become responsible, successful adults. Currently the disconnect is preventing our students from seeing their education as anything more than the required due diligence before attempting to get a job after schooling.
Written by Kimberly Smith
Omega Learning Center Franchisor
If you found this interesting, stay tuned next week for part 2 of our blog discussion.
At the heart of contention is the social studies and state history aspect of unifying a nation’s curriculum. What most parents do not realize is that written in the common core standards, states have the ability to customize that part of the social studies. Read next week’s blog Education In Flux: Part 2 K-5 Reading Standards.
Click here to find all math standards listed by grade: http://www.omegalearning.com/math-tutoring/
Click here to find the glossary of mathematical terms used in common core math: https://www.georgiastandards.org/Common-Core/Documents/CCGPS_Mathematics_Glossary.pdf
Call Omega Learning Center for information regarding your state and county specific public school districts and common core integration. Omega Learning Center can help parents with informational seminars and Common Core-aligned tutoring and test prep programs K-12. Call Omega Learning for more information: 770-751-0181. http://Omegalearning.com