CONFUSING COMMON CORE

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Hello friends…

A Disclaimer: No, I am NOT jumping into the bandwagon of people who say they hate common core. However, it is time to give my 2 cents…

I think common core is confusing ! Now, keep in mind that I am Chinese and grew up with this so called ‘Singapore Math’. I agree that math and science in Asia are more advanced. I grew up with it, so take my words for it 🙂

However, I think common core is build upon a lot of assumptions and it needs tons of revisions. Our school district use a specific math curriculum that supposedly provides authentic math curriculum.

Check out this homework page for a kindergarten student (aka my son).  Unfortunately, this is NOT the first confusing page that I have seen 😦
math

The success to give the correct answer is based on many assumptions!

1. They assumed that the children have the literacy skill and able to read the ‘ How many more flowers do we need’ in this 2nd qtr of the year in Kindergarten. WAY too advanced for a kindergartener to read!  My son can read that!  But he read and all he comprehend was the instruction on top says ‘ count and write’, he saw ‘ how many more flowers do you need and he counted the flowers and write the ANSWER 2!

2. They assumed that the children have the cognitive skill to make the abstract connection between the 2 sets of pictures (without any instruction to match)!

3. They assumed that all kids have the same cultural understanding that the straw goes with the cup! You may laugh at me and say that all kids know a straw go with a cup  (I would think like you last year). However,  I would say NO, now.  I have interacted with kindergarten children from different cultural backgrounds who are FIRST exposed to ENGLISH and AMERICAN way of living in Kindergarten.  Some of these kids may never drink from a straw… who knows, we don’t eat with FORK… We eat with spoon at home 🙂 If you asked some kids what are the two most important utensils you need to eat with?  They will probably say SPOON and chopsticks 🙂

4. They assumed that ALL parents can help with homework and explain it to their kids!  We all know that this is so not true.  Even I struggle with this! Again I have seen those kids who barely seen their parents….

5. WHAT IF THE PARENTS have LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY??

I agree that we should give more challenging subjects to kids… but WE HAVE TO SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS… not for failure!

The instructions should be made by those who understand language and cognitive development… NOT just math experts..

That page will be good if :

1. The boxes were numbered

2. Add the instruction, ‘MATCH the items in box 1 to box 2’

3. Now, see how many more…… do you need?

I worked with children who have many challenges to keep up with their peers.

I am so afraid for these kiddos because I think common core will WIDEN the gap between them and their typical developing peers…

Friends… IT is our responsibility as ADULTS to help them succeed…

THUS we have to BRING THINGS to THEIR LEVEL!

BREAK it down… reach for their hands and bring them up!

Don’t set children  to FAIL!

By the way… My son erased and gave the correct answer after I explained the problem to him!  I am blessed that I understand English!

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