I received this comment from a mother in North Carolina. Her daughter is in first grade, where the school is implementing the Common Core math curriculum. Her daughter is confused, and so is the mother.

I am reaching out to the teachers who read this blog. Can you help her? What advice do you have? What has been your experience?

*I have found your page looking for more info. on the common core curriculum. My 1st grader goes to school in N.C. and they just switched over this year to the common core. I absolutely hate it. They are doing algebra in the 1st grade! What happened to teaching the basic’s first? Every night that we do her math homework she and I get so frustrated that we could both pull our hair out. She doe’s not understand it and I don’t even know how to explain it to her so she will understand.Because she is having a really hard time catching on I asked her Teacher what we could do at home to help. She gave me her envision’s math book, and told me that not all thing’s in the math book apply to the new curriculum. She marked the Chapters that did. Do you know that out of 20 chapters in the book only 4 were marked. So tell me how these children are supposed to learn anything at all when their text book’s don’t even teach the new curriculum in them. Doe’s anyone know if there is anyway that we can get this curriculum changed. I was told by another teacher that it would not be possible because within 10 years it will be nationwide.*

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When it came to math of any kind I would bring in a tutor, on occasion, to ensure me (and my children) they were “getting it” In math if your child misses something they will be behind for the rest of their academic career….teachers don’t go back and re teach. A tutor, regardless of the occasional cost, was worth every dime I spent!

Um…if a child misses something in math the teachers DO reteach it. Seriously?! I am a teacher, and we reteach things constantly!

I take issue with the comment that teachers don’t go back and re-teach. I am not a math teacher, but many colleagues and friends are. And not one of them has ever said, I can’t go back and re-teach that. A lot of what gets talked about is that MUCH of what they do teach IS re-teaching.

Although the tutor is not a bad idea, and if affordable, can really make a difference.

I pulled my son out because his teacher told me she cannot go back and re teach and said that I would have to hire a tutor! He is homeschooled now and doing wonderfully. His new teacher, me, doesn’t have to re teach. She said they would provide after school tutoring for the EOG’s only!!! If that’s not teaching to the test, I don’t know what is. This COMMON CORE is horrible. I hope everyone does their research on it. States implemented it before it was even complete. The testing for this is still not complete. Children will be subjected to more than one EOG, they will get multiple tests throughout the year! Way to NC! You probably should’ve questioned the Obama Administration before you went after that large sum of government dollars offered from the grants given to the states that adopted the Common Core.

Here is some info about the first grade math curriculum in NC:

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/acre/standards/common-core-tools/unpacking/math/1st.pdf

As a parent whose district used Investigations Math, a constructivist prpgram that did not believe kids needed to learn multiplication facts, my suggestion is to focus on mastery and proficiency of basic math. You can put the child in an after school math program like Kumon. There are terrific online programs to use also like IXL.com. It’s early enough to teach your kid what you know math is.

I am not happy with what CC has done to 7th grade math and my kid is stuck in the middle of the movie, having not learned CC math things in prior grades. We are still doing Kumon and other supplemental work at home and my kid is one of the top math studets in his class,

It sounds like the administration really needs to hold a meeting with the parents to explain exactly what the CCSS is and what it means for curriculum and instruction in the school at each grade level. It sounds like there needs to me some communication with the parents as to what will be different, what will stay the same, what the expectations are for children and families, as well as what resources are available to families besides last year’s text books.

Perhaps this parent (and the countless other parents who are or will experience this frustration and confusion) can ask for the administration and some teacher representatives to convene such a meeting.

How are such meetings going to occur when probably the vast majority of the administrators have no clue as to what the common crap, oh sorry, core is???

I agree that the CCSS is being blindly implemented in some areas, and that is precisely the problem! Maybe if administrators are held accountable for communicating large scale curriculum & instructional changes to the parents they would be motivated to think deeply on how they actually implement these changes in their schools and what it means for teaching and learning.

Common Core is another way for the federal government to control what our children learn as opposed to the state, the people of the state. It was placed in as a way to keep children, when moving to another state, from falling behind. Sounds good huh. However, the end result is the children are left confused and so are the parents. At its core it is the dumming down of our children. I have read some of the math questions from a second graders homework under common core and it left not just the child and myself confused but also his math teacher who happens to be the kids tutor. This isn’t normal stuff going on here folks. Why would our federal government be involved in deciding what our children learn and how they learn it. We must get Common Core out of our school systems and take control of what our children are learning. If we don’t stand up for our rights and our childrens future they are doomed.

You were right the first time, do some investigating of common core and you’ll see hoe accurate you are in your first assessment. NC has to get rid of common core!

I know next to nothing about Common Core, so I’m no help there, but I would advise her to reach out to the parents of her daughter’s classmates. It’s possible that some of them get it and can help her. But more likely I’m betting that if the writer is this confused, she’s not the only one. Get organized with those parents and demand answers.

And as an aside, first graders shouldn’t have homework at all, and certainly not homework where they’re actually learning the material. If they must have homework (and really, the mustn’t), it should be practice on skills and knowledge already learned.

Alg. in first grade?

Really?

I know little of small children, being a long time high school teacher, but I seem to remember form child psychology class something about the development of abstract thinking ability.

I don’t think that generally happens at 6 years old!?

I guess the conventional wisdom is “teach it earlier, call it rigorous, don’t give a flying flip about developmentally appropriate or even reasonable”

I think first graders can understand and use algebraic concepts. My son was solving simple single equation problems I would give him while in kindergarten.

LG is right: mathematics is about logic and can be taught very early.

That is essentially what I did, though we just talked it through. He did turn out to be a math prodigy, so perhaps the concepts simply ,ade more sense to him.

Yes: if you say to a first or second grader, “What number do you have to add to 3 to make 5,” in a way you’re asking them to find an unknown. The Cuisenaire rods teach this in a really concrete way: “find the rod that you have to add to the light green rod to make a train as long as the yellow rod.”

We had a workshop on the introduction of the common core in my district last year as related arts teachers. At first, we were shocked to learn about the algebra component for children so young, but the way our math supervisor explained it, first graders are not doing “algebra as we know it in 8th or 9th grade”–they are working on algebraic concepts using constructs that are known to them (such as pictures) and basic, kid-friendly logic. The supervisor seemed pretty confident that first graders will not be expected to do “pure” algebra on the incredibly dry and abstract level that older students do.

Ang… unfortunately you hit the nail on the head! There are a bunch of idiots far removed from the classroom dictating what and how children learn when they couldn’t last one day in a classroom using the “methods” they expound… students are confused and teachers are blamed… ughhh

My thoughts exactly. How can you do algebra when you are just beginning to grasp the most basic arithmetic? High school students struggle with algebra! I sure hope that was an exaggeration, but U fear that it is not.

Meanwhile, my first grade daughter gets homework that involves diagramming sentences! What the Hell is going on here?

It will NOT be nationwide in ten years if parents and teachers join together and tell the politicians that this is not appropriate for young children. There are 45 states that have adopted the standards and 5 that have not. They can be unadopted or changed.

I am from the “new math” group of Sputnik. Our teachers did not understand, so we did not understand the math. I was an adult when I learned that I was not “math dumb”.

Effective teachers are doing all they can in the classrooms. If they are instructed to “follow scripts” and “be on a certain pages at a specific time” so they can stay with all the other classes, then sometimes they are afraid to stop and help students who didn’t understand with the first teach.

You can go to National Council of Teacher of Mathmatics and look at standards and focal points for what these experts in the field say that young children should be doing in algebra in K-2 grade levels. I can promise you that it should not cause you and your child nightly struggles.

Greg Tang has a site on Scholastic that has fun ways to practice basic math skills. It has a minimal cost, but it is better than more drill and worksheets which will kill a love of learning!

Finally you can find get infomation about opting your child out of practices that are harmful. Look for “Opt Out of the State Test: The National Movement” on FaceBook. They have information for your state about talking to your child’s teacher, principal, and administrators of the school system.

Let me be clear, I do not object to developmentally appropriate standards, fair assessment that is assessing with more than one method what is being taught and teaching learners in muliple ways of schooling. I do object to using our children for profit, gathering data from our children for the sake of data mining or worse using that data to threaten those who are doing thier best to educate our children. Schools and our children are not raw products like factory materials and should not be treated as a business.

REad The Homework Myth by Alfie Kohn.

Awesome book.

Envisions math series is a disaster. It has lots of flashy digital components with very inadequate content. It is hailed as being common core aligned so I’m not sure why she only marked four chapters. The problem is that the common core does not focus on the standard algorithm for the basic operations of mathematics. The students are trying to apply mathematical skills to “higher thinking concepts” that they do not have. Read this review of common core math standards:

Standard Algorithms—Too Little, Too Late

The CCSS does contain standards addressing and requiring the use of standard

algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. These standards are

clear and straight forward. Unfortunately, the standards for addition, subtraction,

division come too late. In addition to what is currently in place, there should be a

standard in grade 2 requiring the use of the standard algorithm for addition and

subtraction and one in grade 4 or 5 for division. The standard algorithm should be

taught towards from the beginning. Various strategies may be helpful in understanding

how the standard algorithms work but lack in efficiency. Students not oriented towards

the standard algorithms for addition and subtraction in grade 2 may never transition

from well practiced less efficient strategies in grade 4 when required to use the standard

algorithm. This potentially sets students up for failure and remediation efforts wasting

valuable instructional time. The same can be said for division at the appropriate grade

levels.

Is there a link for that quote about CCSS, erin?

you can go to here

https://www.box.com/shared/hh72a91j19

also here for full story http://www.truthinamericaneducation.com

I’m a former middle school math teacher. While I’m not familiar with Common Core (I escaped before that happened!), I can perhaps clarify what Algebra looks like at the elementary level. Remember learning basic addition and subtraction and having those worksheets with problems like (blank box) + 4 = 5?

That’s Algebra. In middle school we give that box a name. We call it ‘x’.

That’s pretty much what our math supervisor said. Algebraic concepts look very different on the elementary level.

I am a math educator with a Ph.D. in math education and I am in the process of writing about Common Core Mathematics and education in general. Specifically, my state is North Carolina so I have most experience with the instruction and standards for NC. However, to make a long story short – teachers were given this curriculum with no training or understanding of what it represents. Overall, it isn’t a bad curriculum if it was implemented in the way it was intended but the teachers out in the schools do not know how to do that and the state does insufficient teacher education. They just added 5 days of school to our school day for kids to improve their education, those 5 days should have been 5 weeks for teachers to learn how to teach common core. I would be happy to provide any further detail on what is “supposed” to be done. Algebra is not supposed to be taught in the first grade in the true sense but algebra concepts can be appropriately brought into a first grade classroom at an age appropriate level, that is the key, everything needs to remain developmentally appropriate and teachers don’t know what that is. I have a first grade teacher who thinks Common Core means having first graders write persuasive essays. I would love to get some feedback on my writing about common core when I get to that point. It talks about what the schools are doing wrong and what the true intent of the curriculum is supposed to be.

“teachers were given this curriculum” – this may be a matter of semantics but the CC is not curriculum, that is the biggest danger of the CC in my opinion. That being said, I’m interested in your writing about the CC.

Ww know that it should not be the curriculum, but that is how it is being used. THAT is just one of the problems with CCSS. We know that good teaching should not include students of any age sitting for six to eight hours, but THAT is what we are seeing in schools as students and teachers are preparing for high-stakes testing. It has been going on for sometime now in low performing and urban schools, but now it is moving to middle America. Visit schools that are not your children’s schools. ALL our children are important. Find out what is going on in every school around you.

I do visit schools, I’m well aware of those issues but the didactic sit and get approach is not due to CC, been going on for many years. And it’s not CC’s fault that schools use it incorrectly. Again, not defending CC but let’s not blame the wrong parties.

CCSS is full of developmentally inappropriate standards ( See Nancy Carlsson-Paige post) which then force teachers to teach in inappropriate ways.

Thank You & did you see the comment from a father who said his first grade daughter is writing a persuasive essay as homework.

People are judging this situation by what they would do or what they see in classrooms.

There are classrooms in which children are being hurt and harmed and we must not close our eyes to this travesty.

I second your remark. As I have been reading is what I have come to the understanding because I am a 25 year veteran teacher teaching kindergarten and this is the second year that we have implemented the CC. Our district Kindergarten teachers were trained in how to implement the CC. We attended 6 different all day sessions 3 math and 3 ELA which opened the world to us, Our training was last year and this year has been smooth sailing since we had that training. Do we still have questions? Yes! However we better understand the CC and how to implement the goals. Our district first -fourth received their training this year. I feel the teachers in NC were just left to sink or swim.

I think what might be going on here is that in some math curricula, all aspects of math are taught from the very beginning and are taught together, rather than segregating algebra and geometry as special topics for 8th and 9th grade, for example. I use some texts for little kids that have some “algebra” activities, but they are very simple; they just are about even and odd number patterns, skip-counting patterns, etc. As an algebra teacher, even I am not sure why this is called “algebra”! But I think there’s some validity to the idea of introducing concepts of geometry and algebra as well as the usual concepts of number, at an early age, in some form.

Some curricula integrate algebra and geometry (and even probability) into the math curriculum from the very beginning, instead of teaching them as separate special topics beginning in high school. But “algebra” in first grade is not what most of us think of as algebra: it’s more like recognizing patterns in a series, even and odd numbers, counting by fives, etc. Don’t get too upset yet! I don’t know anything about this textbook series that this school is using, but my Hands-On Standards books for teaching math with manipulatives include “algebra” activities even for grades 1-2. I think it’s a good idea. That way, when kids encounter the scary variables in 8th or 9th grade, it’s not so scary.

This is the overall introduction for Common Core for Grade 1 Math

In Grade 1, instructional time should focus on four critical areas: (1)

developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for

addition and subtraction within 20; (2) developing understanding of whole

number relationships and place value, including grouping in tens and

ones; (3) developing understanding of linear measurement and measuring

lengths as iterating length units; and (4) reasoning about attributes of, and

composing and decomposing geometric shapes.

Doesn’t sound too bad….

This is that introduction broken down into discrete skills……

Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.

1. Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving

situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart,

and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects,

drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to

represent the problem.2

2. Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers

whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings,

and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the

problem.

Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship

between addition and subtraction.

3. Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.3 Examples:

If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of

addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make

a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)

4. Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. For example,

subtract 10 – 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8.

Add and subtract within 20.

5. Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to

add 2).

6. Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and

subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten

(e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to

a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between

addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8

= 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 +

7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).

Work with addition and subtraction equations.

7. Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations

involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which

of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1,

5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

8. Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction

equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the

unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 +

? = 11, 5 = – 3, 6 + 6 = .

Number and Operations in Base Ten 1.NBT

Extend the counting sequence.

1. Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read

and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written

numeral.

Understand place value.

2. Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts

of tens and ones. Understand the following as special cases:

a. 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”

b. The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two,

three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

c. The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two,

three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).

What it is not is recognizing patterns in a series, even & odd numbers, counting by fives etc.

Tell me that forcing young children, five year olds to seven year olds, to sit still for six to eight hours so that they can practice doing worksheets of math when they do not even have the abstract thinking abilities necessary to understand what the number on that worksheet stands yet is a “good idea”

This way, when kids encounter the “scary variables” in 8th or 9th grades they are going to have math anxiety!

I’m not defending the CC but I don’t see the connection between what you’ve posted and the thought of students sitting still for six to eight hours… Good instruction should never include that kind of work regardless of standards.

That was excellent. my daughter is in 1st grade NYC catholic school, which just introduced the cc. And your dis is 100% accurate. All other parents on this page would benefit from viewing on line tutorials regarding CC. I am a CPA and was so sad every other week when my child would come home with 65% on pretest, then only 80 on the test the next day. It pays off, your child will get it, then all that follows will become easy to them. Also purchase Kumon word problems for practice.

I am responding to the blog entry from the mother in N.C. who is concerned about the Common Core Standards and their effects on her first grade child. I am an early childhood teacher educator–I’ve taught teachers of young children at Lesley University for over 30 years. I can tell you that the Common Core Standards for young children are developmentally inappropriate, not based on how young children learn, and in my opinion, causing a great deal of harm to young children all over the country (the standards have been adopted by almost all states). The standards require young kids to master skills and sub skills that are isolated from meaningful contexts and not at the level of young children’s thinking. Teachers are responsible for teaching these inappropriate skills and facts to young children and do so through a lot of direct teaching. Instead of building their own ideas in ways that make sense to them, young kids have to memorize answers without real understanding. The Common Core Standards were not developed from the professional understandings and input of early childhood educators. As far as I can tell, few if any early childhood educators had input in writing these standards and thus they are not a good reflection of what children should know and do in the early years. We have to find ways to reject these standards by joining with other educators and parents, as they really will undermine the confidence and learning of our nation’s children and have serious implications for our future.

Not defending CC but I’m unclear on why it would force teachers to teach without context and through direct teaching as you mention. That’s an instructional design issue that needs to be addressed regardless of standards and CC.

The Common Core standards don’t have to be taught in a rote way. I use manipulatives such as Cuisenaire rods and fraction circles in my math classes, and I find the standards useful as a reference. They don’t rule me though. There’s a place for rote memorization of math facts such as the addition and multiplication facts. Kids who don’t memorize these are really handicapped. Understanding and memorization are not mutually exclusive.

“Teachers are responsible for teaching these inappropriate skills and facts to young children and do so through a lot of direct teaching. Instead of building their own ideas in ways that make sense to them, young kids have to memorize answers without real understanding. The Common Core Standards were not developed from the professional understandings and input of early childhood educators. As far as I can tell, few if any early childhood educators had input in writing these standards and thus they are not a good reflection of what children should know and do in the early years.” Nancy Carlsson-Paige

Let me be clear, I do not object to developmentally appropriate standards, fair assessment that is assessing with more than one method what is being taught and teaching learners in muliple ways of schooling. I do object to using our children for profit, gathering data from our children for the sake of data mining or worse using that data to threaten those who are doing thier best to educate our children. Schools and our children are not raw products like factory materials and should not be treated as a business.

As I said previously, I don’t object to standards. A reference? I am not sure where you teach, but in the 4 states where I have been those standards were what the teachers MUST teach each year. Standards for a grade level should at the very least have some input from experts in the field, people who know the characteristics of that age, not just the content.

In addition most schools are going to scripted lessons to be sure that those standards are being taught and those scripted lessons are not cooperative, using manipulatives or Cuisenaire rods. They are direct teach and worksheets. I have a friend in an urban school who knows that direct teach is not the best way for her students to learn, but she must teach in that manner or lose her job.

Yes, students must learn and fully understand the math concepts that they are working with, but putting more difficult concepts in lower grades where they are not appropriate because the young child does not think in abstract terms yet is not the way to make sure that they learn and understand. When teachers are forced to use curriculums that do not teach in the manner in which children learn then not only are we failing our children we are failing our teachers.

In pushing this insane urge to measure everything, we are ignoring what we know about learning. We could have predicted that CCSS would be turned into a series of rigid learning objectives that are driving rather than informing instruction.

This mother and child are experiencing what many teachers are also experiencing with the Common Core. It is being implemented BEFORE the curriculum has been rewritten and new materials have been ordered that are aligned with it. She should contact her local Board of Education and register a complaint. Many of the standards are not age appropriate, as well. When parents realize what nonsense Common Core is, things will change.

This is exactly how I feel as a first grade teacher. I’ve been handed the Common Core standards and must align them with my Envision Math Series. I am trying to eliminate lessons that don’t correspond with the standards. I am purchasing my own resources to help the students……….addition and subtraction practice books, story problem books, etc. It is hard to find good resources and the worst ones seem to be the ones labeled “Common Core Aligned.” They are just trying to sell their products. I do like that the standards in math have a much more narrow focus and have an emphasis on number sense. I feel the Envision series is all over the place and never allows for mastery of concepts…………..we move from one thing to the next. I spent my summer “dissecting” the standards and thinking of the changes I could make in my classroom. I do not give math homework. I only do so if I notice a child may need some extra practice with a concept and I speak with the parents if this is the case. I started math kits this year with math manipulatives………cubes, dice, paper clips for measuring, tens and ones blocks. We start everyday with a small math meeting using our kits. I make up a story problem or the kids play games adding up numbers with their dice. There are concepts in the standards that first graders are not ready for. I have taught for 23 years and young children do not understand strategies like “Doubles plus One.” It confuses them. I am supposed to teach math vocabulary using the actual terms…….”commutative property” “associative property!” So we have put the common core cart before the horse and now our teachers, parents, and ultimately our students are suffering.

Gcon,

Thanks for your post. In my writing of the standards I am looking at the decomposition of numbers that the common core standards start asking children to do in first grade. You bring up the point that they can’t do “doubles plus one.” I will agree that most (but not all) students are not ready for that concept in grade 1. My kids devised there own strategies that involved decomposition of numbers to add all on their own starting in first grade but then again they come from a mom and dad with high level degrees in mathematics so genes are probably playing a roll. I have worked with many first graders who can’t get that concept. However, in my writing (based on the standards) I was encouraging the idea of learning to decompose numbers in first grade (as an effort to move away from finger counting by the end of grade 2) with some of the easier decomposition strategies. For example: you can teach with hands that 7 is made up of 1 hand (5 fingers) and 2 extra fingers so 7 is 5 + 2 and with just fingers get children to learn how 6-9 decompose to 5 + ? with a nice concrete fun activity that can be done for a short period of time daily until it becomes automatic. This sets up the second grade teacher to be able to introduce the concept that 5 + 7 = 5 + (5+2) = (5+5) + 2 = 10 + 2 as the standards suggest. Granted, I would never teach it directly like that with second graders, you would have to use hands on learning and the idea of moving numbers around but it would also be a way to help students learn the commutative and associative properties. If you consider what the expectations are for third grade, grades 1 and 2 really set the scene for that big jump. I wonder how you feel about these more simple decomposition ideas for a first grader (finger numbers for decomposing 6-9)?

I like that idea of using fingers for decomposition of numbers. I will definitely try that in my math meeting. I saw a fun game last year at a math workshop of “rock, paper, math.” The first graders work in pairs and add up their fingers instead of having paper, scissors, etc. My kids love it.

I think Boyce makes a good point about interpretation of the standards. Our school quickly purchased flip charts made by a company called Mentoring Minds. This is the source that gave a grade level list of suggested vocabulary words. We will have to use common sense with our common core. I agree with Diane that we need a lot more time to work with the standards and develop good curriculum before our students are tested.

There is nothing in the Common Core standards that says students need to know the language of “commutative property” and “associative property.” There are a lot of schools, I’m sure, that are interpreting things that way, but this is not the fault of CC. That’s the school’s decision on implementation. Sure, students need to apply those properties, but even for first graders the fact that 3 + 8 and 8 + 3 are the same can be made pretty intuitive, if presented well.

Envision, and almost any other math textbook, is not CC aligned, nor will they be for a long time.

The real culprit here is our reliance on pacing guides and textbooks. There are bits of the standards that are going to be hard for first graders to grasp (for example, I’m wary of having first graders use “equations with a symbol for the unknown number” in some cases), but it’s quite possible to apply algebraic reasoning without “doing algebra,” and first graders can do that just fine. We need to learn how to teach in ways that are not simply grinding through a chapter or a topic each day, but that allow students to work with and grasp the underlying reasoning of these concepts.

I would tell advise that mom to get involved in the discussion and to write the lawmakers of her state. I am quite sure her child’s teacher is struggling with the Common Core just like almost every other teacher that is being forced down this slippery slope. Parents must become vocal and at times even militant when government threatens the emotional well being of their children.

When the public becomes aware of this sham of reform, Common Core State Standards will be deemed a failed social experiment in a few short years.

Envisions is yet another money making product by the same Pearson of pineapple without arms fame. I’ve been trying to decipher their 5th grade program, the more I unpack the more I realize it’s just a load of $%^#.

I suspect (or perhaps want to believe) that using the term ‘algebra’ begining early is a way of aclimating students (and parents!) to it. In my experience with middle schoolers, when you introduce the term ‘algebra’ you ellicit widespread panic. If they know they’ve been doing it all along in age-appropriate steps it’s much less intimidating when they transition from the generic term ‘math’ for that period of the day when they deal with numbers to more specific math courses. In NC, it’s the shift from taking the EOG to taking the EOC.

As far as reteaching goes…in my experience teaching in NC the district pacing guide for the curriculum was so rigid that it was difficult to reteach. We were told what to teach on each given day, and woe upon any teacher caught behind :( This was before common core was implemented, I’m sure it’s worse now.

Perhaps the problem isn’t so much that the Common Core is flawed; it could be that the implementation of such is.

In my district, 8th grade algebra has always been taught in “a lesson a day” format with very little room for re-teaching or review of previous work. My middle school students were pulled out of class for music lessons on a rotating basis so they would not miss the same class period for five weeks, however one 8th grade algebra teacher insisted that the students never miss her class since she was not re-teaching anything.

I often wondered how it was expected for students to solidify learning when new concepts were being introduced on a daily basis or how being absent for a day from school impacted student success in this class. Considering this was before the Common Core, could the trend to keep moving on be particular to the way math curricula is taught?

Re: “reteaching”: It’s a hard thing to figure out sometimes, whether to just go on when a lot of kids don’t understand what you’ve just taught, or whether to slow down and go over it again. If you go over it again, you risk boring the students that already have it, and also not making it to the end of the book. If you just go on, though, a lot of kids feel lost and discouraged. This is where one-on-one tutoring SHOULD come in, but of course it usually doesn’t. Parents can’t afford it, and public schools don’t provide it.

Teaching is the responsiblity of the teacher. Reteaching can be done in a creative way that does not “bore” other students or they could assist the teacher. That is Vygotsky, it is called the “more knowledgable other”, you may know it a cooperative learning. Of course, this might keep you from “making it to the end of the book” because that is certainly more important than students learning and understanding the concepts.

There are a couple of things being confused by both the parent and some folks posting replies. First, CCSS is not a curriculum or a pacing guide – it does not determine what a teacher teaches at a particular time, but goals for information to be learned by a particular point in time. The parent’s concern that the teacher is teaching information above a child’s instructional level is a fundamental problem of implementation of CCSS by failing to differentiate learning and teach on the child’s instructional level.

A central point to any set of standards is that goal level is different from instructional level. Even with CCSS, it’s quite possible that “best practice” using CCSS would involve never even teaching content relating to those standards, but rather more foundational content important to future mastery of standards. It simply depends on where the child is.

Any attempt to artificially and inappropriately teach above the child’s instructional level is not the fault of CCSS, and can occur with any set of standards. The blame lies with administrators (state, district, building) and/or teachers who fail to understand that differentiation is not defunct with CCSS.

“Any attempt to artificially and inappropriately teach above the child’s instructional level is not the fault of CCSS…”

Sorry Ed, but you are wrong. The hallmark of the CCSS is to inappropriately increase the level of difficulty, in some cases, by as much a 1.5 to 2 years. This is what the “architects” of Common Core have specifically called for. That is why this mother and child are experiencing such frustration and for this reason the CCSS will ultimately fail.

It will only fail if we do something now to stop it. This is coming straight from the white house and they have as much intention in stopping this as they do obamacare. Speak up now or forever lose the right. Right now it still is our right!

You might want to do a little research about common core before you bloviate about. Common core has to go now!

I have taught grades Pre-k – 5. Before the Common Core, I taught “algebra” to Kindergarten. But what is it? It is using symbols to represent values. If I taught my class all the addition facts for 10, then I expect them to also tell me that how many red marbles are int he bag of 10 if I told them that 6 are blue. That is x + 6 = 10. It should be taught at their level. Now of course age appropriate algebra for K is they each got blue and red manipulatives to work out the problem.

Here is a quote from our NYS Common Core for 1st grade:

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

• Represent and solve problems involving

addition and subtraction.

• Understand and apply properties of operations

and the relationship between addition and

subtraction.

• Add and subtract within 20.

• Work with addition and subtraction equations.

I think that is appropriate. What is hard is that we as teachers have to read the Common Core, interpret it, and make it developmentally appropriate. There needs to be more Professional development for teachers to do this. Some districts are not doing this. I spoke to a teacher in a district not too far away form me, the whole district is adopting a pre-written curriculum based on Common Core. It was not a well written Curriculum and they understood that what they were doing WAS Common Core in of itself.

I come form a different place than many. We have had a lot of Professional Development towards the Common Core. Our school does not use text books. We use real world research, examples, and trade books for information. So we had to really dig deep into what it means and write our curriculum around it. When you have the opportunity to do that you can see how Common Core can be met at developmentally appropriate levels.

What is your child’s district doing to help with the transition into Common Core? Are they getting new text books? Are they writing their own curriculum? Hold them accountable for making sure that your child is not skipping basics because they think that those have been dropped – they haven’t.

I really like what you said. That is how our county did by providing necessary professional development for all of the teachers, then our own school provided more extensive professional development and how to apply it to real-world by providing us with activities and make and take games to use in the classroom. As a grade-level we also conducted parent workshops to inform and involve our parents in the learning process of their children our students. We do integrate subjects by using a variety of literature with most of our standards (math and ELA). It has been a learning experience for those of us that were originally trained on the Standard Course of Study (14 or more years ago). I feel that is has been an improved way of teaching our students the necessary abilities to succeed in our ever changing society.

I am a 1st grade teacher of the common core. It is not that hard. it is not *hard* algebra! For example ___ + 6=12. All you have to do is draw 12 circles, circle 6 of them and say: we know the answer or WHOLE is 12. We know we have 6. That is what we circled. How many did we NOT circle? 6 right. So six plus siz equals 12. It is not that hard. There is nothing wrong with common core standards- at least in first grade. And NO teacher worth her weight in salt is teaching out of a frigging book at that age. That is LAZY. You do not need a book to teacher things at that level. you need activities, manipulatives, pictures, counters, crayons to draw the math problem etc. Anyone one RELYING on a book to teach is not a good teacher. I do blame administration though and not the teacher because there is a right way to implement new standards (and we get new standards all the time) and a wrong way. That school needs proper professional develpment.

We have to get common core out of our schools, do you recall anyone ever asking parents what they thought about this change? Its terrible!! Are we the employers or subjects, we have to speak up and take our schools back. I personally know that teachers are as frustrated with this as we parents are. So why are we not Stopping this garbage, the last time I checked we are still a republic, and we are the BOSS. Make your voice heard, research common core and let’s get it out!!!!!!

NC threw the teachers under the bus.

NC has done a disservice to the children in the schools.

NC has used the students for guinea pigs in the year 2012-2013.

NC has implemented a curriculum without a book and expects its employees to find the material, run off the material, buy the material, create activities, buy the material to create the activities, and share the material and activities with the rest of the state.

NC’s teachers are teaching a test..NC teachers are running around blindly searching for hours trying to make some sense out of the most chaotic curriculum to date.

NC will not give any teacher the highest mark on the evaluation unless the teacher teaches teachers.

NC promised a deeper curriculum but they have packed so much material into all of the courses and demanded that teachers COVER the material.

There are groups working on this problem in NC and NC will see law suits by the hundreds before this is over with.

I see some good things with some of the curricula in certain subjects …but it is too much in the courses and they expect teachers to COVER ..not TEACH…and the expect students to perform without practice..

The people who are using our children as guinea pigs in any state should be held accountable for this madness.

The common core madness and the states are in bed with one major publishing company.

They expect the employees to plan yet NC and other states did not plan ahead..

They have thrown it on the wall to see what sticks.

What a shame.

Visit stopcommoncore.com and learn the facts about common core that no one wants you to know. You will find a link there to a you tube video that explains common core. Everyone needs to see this video!

Hello, I’m a first grade teacher and have been teaching for 14 years. With that being said I was taught how to be a teacher using the Standard Course of Study so when the Common Core Standards were introduced it was a difficult change for me as well. My county did a great job of providing the teachers with specific training in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA Standards) and also Math (which has 4 specific domains-Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Numbers and Base Ten Operations, Measurement, and Geometry). We were given examples of each objective and ideas on how we could cover that objective within our classrooms. The first year we used the Standard Course of Study and found the corresponding Common Core Standard in order to teach. The second year we completely done away with the Standard Course of Study and used only the Common Core Course of Study. We were also given a multitude of workshops to enlighten us to the higher order thinking, more rigorous and relevant to real-world course of study. This was very valuable for the teachers in my county to familiarize ourselves with the new standards. In conjuction to this we as a grade level at my specific school conducted parent workshops to help aid our parents with the new vocabulary and objectives within the Common Core. We also gave parents example problems that their children were working on and allowed them to do a make and take to aid them at home. The parents felt that this was very enlightening for them and made it easier to visualize the math objectives. The problem I have found in the past 2 years is the fact that change is very hard but needed because the world is changing very rapidly and the United States is at the bottom according to research on educational abilities. In order for our students to be able to compete in the world outside of education they need to be given the tools to do so, that is where the Common Core comes into play. I remember growing up and when I came home with math my mother would say “I don’t know how to do that new math stuff.” Believe me I was so frustrated on some days I didn’t even want the teacher to assign homework because I knew I had nobody to help me. Now we are experiencing the same difficulties with the new Common Core. This is not new math this is teaching the basics, vocabulary, using rigorous and relevant (relating to real-world) lessons. For example if I am teaching a student how to do a word problem then I need to teach my student the correct vocabulary (addends, compare, equal, equation, less than, missing addend/unknown, tens, ones, place value) and why it is important for them to know how to add (grocery shopping, party supplies, classroom snacks, gasoline in your car, sharing with a friend). This is the same as when we went to school we were taught that if we saw the word AND in a word problem it meant that we were going to add, or if we saw the word LEFT we knew we were going to subtract. Now with the Common Core we are teaching students how to arrive at and show the an answer in multiple ways, for example to answer the equations my students must show their work (remember doing this when we were in school) an equation (number sentence-3+[]=7), then provide an explanation (picture or words how they can find the missing number-draw three red apples, then 4 green apples to equal 7 apples all together or written as I just did), then provide me the completed equation (number sentence-3+4=7), and then writing the correct answer. This allows the students to see there are multiple ways (strategies) to solve a problem. This is a way to reach a multitude of diverse learners because of the different ways to solve problems and the tools we use to do so (white boards, manipulatives, journals, real-world applications). I hope this helps with understanding the Common Core a little more. You can also go online and order a Common Core flip chart that gives you the standards and strategies to help with each objective in math and english language arts, the utilized vocabulary, higher order thinking question stems, and student motivation strategies. You can find it at MentoringMinds.com and it is called Common Core Standards and Strategies Flip Chart. You can also visit the Common Core Website CoreStandards.org to see each standard, explanation, and an example of how it applies to students.

Kumon is the worst program around. It is an outdated

Japanese program. The content hardly covers what is taught in

school. Kumon teachers are uneducated Japanese and Chinese

stay-home moms. The English program is even worse as it does not

teach English the correct way and the teachers themselves cannot

speak, read or write English correctly. Children hate Kumon

everywhere you go. Parents are stupid to put their children into

Kumon. Children get stressed out with the rote learning that they

become worse than before. Kumon teachers are rude and arrogant.

Save your money and save your children. Kumon program is a bad

program for kids.