Parents' Guide to the Common Core - part IV - Math
Do the posts on Facebook about math problems have you perplexed? Is your child in tears over their math homework? If so, you are NOT alone. Some current clients, as well as family members, are texting me nonstop about the constant struggles with the new way students are learning math. They hate the Common Core and don’t understand why their students have to learn multiple ways to solve a problem. Sound familiar?!
The standards themselves are really not to blame. They are not much different than what our students have been expected to do for years. The assessments are what everyone is having difficulty with. Bottom line is that our students need to know the basic facts and how to problem solve, think outside the box.
Here are some things that as parents you should know in order to help your child with the standards and continue to prepare for the Smarter Balanced Exam they will be expected to take at the end of the school year.
- First and foremost, there are going to be gaps, unless of course, you have a kindergartener. So you will want to be sure to ask your child’s teacher to tell you what those gaps may be. There are fewer standards for each grade but what your students were expected to know for example in 3rd grade last year is a little different this year and they may end up missing some of the skills they will need for 4th and 5th
- When your child is coming to tears over an open response problem… don’t panic! Simply talk it out with them. Have them draw pictures to show their thinking. Part of the struggle with this is that students are not used to explaining how they got their answers and quite frankly either are their teachers most of the time. The second part is that some students struggle with writing in general so we need to have them talk about it, then write. If they are not speaking about it, they will not be able to write it.
- Lastly, relate the problem to their lives or show them careers that use math that they may be interested in doing one day. The more we can relate problems to your child’s life, the more they are able to grasp the concept behind it. Put it in gaming terms, fashion, flying an airplane, or even as simple as counting back change in a pretend lemonade stand at home.
Here are some fun websites to introduce to your child and perhaps for you to enjoy as well!