Oh Common Core theoreticallly is great. Implementation’s another story. [my nephew’s dealing with it and I’ve seen the workbook]. Whole thing was rolled out like a Microsoft product is. En masse, not enough in-house testing. Buggy. Needs lots of patches. Eventually might be a solid product. Users blamed for poorly made app. Fingers crossed.

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Well, I was overgeneralizing in any case. Those involved are doing they best they can and there are many successes. Even with my nephew, it’s not a failure by any means. But I’ve had to help him at two levels, as he does math in his head:

a) do the math in your head the way you know

b) show your work in the way the teacher wants to see it.

I had to do the same thing when I was in school in the 80s, because I always “thought math” like an algorithm – usually in BASIC, with for loops and such, rather than math notation.

So I had to do the math at two levels at once, from the 4th grade onwards: One in my head the way my brain “maths”, and THEN the way the teachers need to see it for THEIR purposes.

It’s the coping skill I used for the way they taught math to me, and it’s helped my nephew (5th grade now) in his 30 years later. Nothing’s really changed.

He doesn’t think in algorithms like I do – he has his own ways. None of it’s reflected yet in Common Core. Maybe one of the methods will.

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The way that worked was the “look it’s a scam. Math is math as long as you get it right. Give the teacher what they want to see so they can show the principal who can show the board so they can get money for the school. Tying system together and how he fits in helped it “click” for him when he was 9. (He knew scams and systems from online Mmos he plays) and then he was able to do the work on two levels. His way that gets the right answer and then whatever the lesson is about. Works for As for him at least.

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To me, the new systems should’ve gone to Kindergarteners. Let the others finish off how they started. 12 year plan for full scale implementation. The thing is, knowing how education trends tend to go, by the time Common Core is at the 12 yr mark, something ELSE will be en vogue and it will be declared a failure but this NEW THING will be just the magical ticket. I had to resign myself that school sucks will always suck and always did suck and you gotta get through it as best you can, learn a few things, make some good friends and get to the other side.

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My older brother was a victim of New Math. Set Theory was all the rage for about 10 years. The theory was, introduce Set Theory abstractly and kids will automatically work out traditional methods themselves.

Maybe some did. I just know he didn’t.

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Sometimes I do. I usually mentally use various back and forths of quick roundings. it’s not the same as the 5 + 10s of Common Core although it’s not THAT far off [the instructional materials right now are terrible, at least in the “Student Math Journal” my nephew uses}

Othertimes, I’ll write a quick BASIC (yes, Microsoft BASIC) routine in my head and watch the different FOR/NEXT loops output the results quickly.

Estimations are usually enough for most daily math. Over-estimate how much something will cost, under-estimate how much you have. That sort of thing.