Monday, September 15, 2014

Elevator Speech Challenge: Day 4

Here is day four of my Common Core Math Standards Elevator Speech Challenge, in which I am trying to write a week's worth of elevator speeches designed to respond to a variety of ill-informed attacks on the Common Core Math Standards. This speech came in response to another one of those silly I-hate-common-core-because-I-can't-understand-my-daughter's-homework posts on Facebook.

HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION: "Duane…come on…why do the Common Core Standards force kids to learn fuzzy math?"

My Elevator Speech: Great question. If “fuzzy math” means students are using math techniques that are different from how we learned when we were kids, then guilty as charged. Rather than teaching rote memorization, the Common Core Standards are written such that students are given a chance to actually learn WHY math works the way it does. “Fuzzy math” is merely a label used by anti-Common Core activists as a scare tactic, but it does not reflect the reality of the Common Core Math Standards. Each grade level from K though 5 has at least one major concept for which students are expected to be fluent. Nothing fuzzy about expecting students to be fluent. Additionally, scattered throughout the standards are references to “algorithm” and “standard algorithm”. While the teaching may look a little different from the old days, the expectations are not terribly different: students will learn the standard algorithms. The difference is now they will actually understand it.

Is my response fuzzy? Maybe? What say you?

Day 1 ] [ Day 2 ] [ Day 3 ] [ Day 4 ] [ Day 5 ] [ Day 6 ] [ Day 7 ]