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How Will Common Core Affect Workbooks and Curriculum?


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I keep seeing more and more workbooks that say "aligned with common core standards" but I really am struggling with what that means aside that it is national standards. Does it mean they lowered the bar and manufactors of educational materials are adapting? Will this make it even harder to find a good quality higher math program? Will homeschool curriculum end up changing to meet the demands of people wanting something that aligns with common core so if/when their children return to a b&m school they are not behind?

 

Math is my big thing. I want a more traditional math curriculum NOT some of the math curriculums I have seen come out of the public schools that do not actually teach math.

 

 

I am not looking for general "common core is evil" or "common core will save America" answers.

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I am leaning AWAY from those homeschool publishers who are adapting to meet the common core. In many cases, it means that what was previously considered a very rigrous course/sequence, is being adapted DOWN to meet those new standards. Not something I care for, on principle alone.

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I'm tutoring a little girl right now (as well as homeschooling my own kids)-- she is in public school, so I've been trying to read what I can about the common core standards. I'm curious why you think the common core math is dumbed down. What she brings home for homework doesn't look dumbed down to me.... it looks similar to Singapore Math. The way they seem to be teaching the concepts is very similar to what was in Singapore when my 18 year old was working through that years ago. The girl I'm tutoring is only in 1st grade though, so it may be that the older grades look different?

 

Anyway, I'm just interested in opinions!

TIA

Laura

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I could be wrong, but my understanding is that common core is often WIDER than back-to-basics type curricula. Oldschool homeschool curricula were often based on vintage textbooks and back-to-basics scope and sequences. I personally believe the early success of homeschooling was partially based on these narrower scopes.

 

I don't worry so much about the sequence of topics. It's easy to use a curriculum a year ahead or behind. It's the ever widening of the scopes that concerns me.

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I'm tutoring a little girl right now (as well as homeschooling my own kids)-- she is in public school, so I've been trying to read what I can about the common core standards. I'm curious why you think the common core math is dumbed down. What she brings home for homework doesn't look dumbed down to me.... it looks similar to Singapore Math. The way they seem to be teaching the concepts is very similar to what was in Singapore when my 18 year old was working through that years ago. The girl I'm tutoring is only in 1st grade though, so it may be that the older grades look different?

 

Anyway, I'm just interested in opinions!

TIA

Laura

 

I am thinking along the lines of math like Everyday Math which is aligned to Common Core for lower grades. I was disgusted and it has me worried about algebra and beyond.

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I am thinking along the lines of math like Everyday Math which is aligned to Common Core for lower grades. I was disgusted and it has me worried about algebra and beyond.

 

This is what we are seeing locally. Our state has adopted common core standards and it is having a huge impact on math instruction. My friends complain about alternative algorithms being taught, particularly "lattice multiplication". Many of the parents would just teach the traditional algorithms at home, but our local elementary schools require the students to use the alternative algorithm and show their work. I hear a lot of complaining about this. All the districts in our area are switching over to integrated math in the fall for high school. Our new sequence will be: PreAlgebra, Integrated Math I, Integrated Math II, Integrated Math III, Pre-Calculus. This is coming after a year where math acceleration was eliminated at the elementary level and all 8th graders were being required to take Algebra (resulting in complaints of Algebra being watered down). My understanding is that all 8th graders will still be required to enroll in Integrated Math I. I imagine that will make it even easier to water down the Algebra. I don't know whether the common core actually requires these things, but this is how it is being interpreted locally. If these sorts of changes are widespread, then it can't help but have an effect on the curriculum being produced.

 

BTW: I live in a highly educated, affluent area on the east coast. Parents here feel powerless to do anything about the math situation. All our school board does is argue about busing and putting armed guards in the elementary schools. Curriculum changes just happen without any input from the parents.

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I have been able to compare what my dd's 4th grade peers are doing compared to what we are doing. From what I can tell, their Math looks more in depth than SM, but maybe because they teach multiple ways for each concept. The workbooks that we use on grade level are subpar to the stuff they give out at school. However, much of their stuff is tailored to the *test*. I am not sure to show inference you need 3 pages of reading material.

 

Each state can use whatever curriculum they want (as well as districts), so yeah, until there is national testing, you won't know if your area is teaching at a lower level than another one. But you don't now. And if you think that workbooks are at the right level, someone in another area of the US may think they are too easy.

 

I think common core is great, especially for kids that move a ton or parents who are only homeschooling for a short amount of time. If your kid is above the level of worksheets you are using, then just use the next level up!

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Singapore Math is revising their secondary sequence to make it Common Core aligned without sacrificing any of the rigor. They actually shifted some topics from the higher levels down to the lower ones to make it align with Common Core. Having seen their revision of the Primary Math series to align with the California state standards, I think it's safe to trust they won't sacrifice quality in their revision.

 

Common Core does not HAVE to equal "dumbed down" even if some of the big PS textbook players do tout their lousy programs as Common Core aligned.

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I have been able to compare what my dd's 4th grade peers are doing compared to what we are doing. From what I can tell, their Math looks more in depth than SM, but maybe because they teach multiple ways for each concept. The workbooks that we use on grade level are subpar to the stuff they give out at school.

 

My observation has been the complete opposite. The stuff my kids do in the 3rd grade Singapore books are harder than the stuff in the 5th grade PS books on the same topic.

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OP -- I was wondering if you had had a chance to read the Common Core Standards yourself. I keep a copy in Notability and find them very helpful. There is emphasis on mathematical understanding, which I think is good.

 

http://www.corestand...h Standards.pdf

 

BTW, I think Everyday Math could be very useful -- if you had a match and needed tinder to start a bonfire, lol....

 

One new thing on the horizon -- the 4x yearly PARCC assessments that are being adopted by a growing number of states.

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My local school district just switched from Everyday Math to Singapore because it aligns with Common Core. Until that announcement was made, I had no idea they used Everyday Math. I am glad they switched, but now I understand why ds's best friend talks nonsense when discussing math. She is a very smart girl, and it is pity that her elementary math instruction was so poor.

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Common Core does not equate to Everyday Math. Lattice multiplication isn't even mentioned in Common Core.

 

My local elementary just switched to Go! Math, which I think is supposed to be somewhat similar to Singapore. Remember that Common Core is just a set of overall standards. It does NOT say exactly how to teach everything. You can have vastly different curricula all aligned to Common Core. The curricula can add things that aren't in Common Core as well.

 

I personally don't worry at all about Common Core with relation to my homeschool. If my materials align or don't align... it really doesn't matter to me. My kids don't work at just one grade level, so it really doesn't matter if one topic is in a different grade with Common Core than without. If I'm following a series through, we'll hit all the topics. I just find a series that fits my kids and me, without worrying about standards.

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OP -- I was wondering if you had had a chance to read the Common Core Standards yourself. I keep a copy in Notability and find them very helpful. There is emphasis on mathematical understanding, which I think is good.

 

http://www.corestand...h Standards.pdf

 

BTW, I think Everyday Math could be very useful -- if you had a match and needed tinder to start a bonfire, lol....

 

One new thing on the horizon -- the 4x yearly PARCC assessments that are being adopted by a growing number of states.:

 

I am not familiar with PARCC.

 

I have briefly looked at the lower grades. I was unimpressed. This from 2nd grade really bothered me:

 

Add and subtract within 202. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.

 

 

 

2 By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

 

 

I know I have pretty high standards but I believe this is 1st grade material. Along that same line I believe that the introduction to multiplication should be 2nd grade, not 3rd. I haven't really looked beyond that because I was too disgusted with the lower grades.

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Not sure if the CCS will lower the bar,but our school district uses Go Math , which is very similar to Singapore math. In fact,some topics in go math are not even taugh until the next level of Singapore. What I've experienced from having my dc in PS for three months, is that the CCS ( which our state has already adopted) has high standards. That said, only about 30-40 % of the kids have passed the standardized state test comparatively to 80% before the CCS were implemented.

 

There are samples of go math here. The computation is relatively easy,but many of the words problem are similar to the ones in Singapore math. Especially the HOT problems .

 

http://ww2.bullittschools.org/ShepherdsvilleEL/?page_id=1592

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I know I have pretty high standards but I believe this is 1st grade material. Along that same line I believe that the introduction to multiplication should be 2nd grade, not 3rd. I haven't really looked beyond that because I was too disgusted with the lower grades.

 

 

That is the "floor" rather than the "ceiling". Any textbook that goes beyond those topics would still meet the CC standards. Singapore Primary Mathematics Standards Edition goes beyond the CA state standards on many topics, but it still was approved by the state Board of Ed for use in PS.

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That is the "floor" rather than the "ceiling". Any textbook that goes beyond those topics would still meet the CC standards. Singapore Primary Mathematics Standards Edition goes beyond the CA state standards on many topics, but it still was approved by the state Board of Ed for use in PS.

 

 

:iagree: All that educational standards represent is the base level that you want all children to be proficient in by the time they leave that grade. It does not mean that you do not teach above that or expect above that. It does not mean that you do not teach concepts beyond that or that children will not achieve much more than that. All they want teachers to do is make sure that all the children can do the things listed in the standards when they leave that grade, but they do understand that quite a few students will be able to do much, much more or might have reached that standard in the previous grade.

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I have briefly looked at the lower grades. I was unimpressed. This from 2nd grade really bothered me:

 

"Add and subtract within 20. Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies.

By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers."

 

 

I know I have pretty high standards but I believe this is 1st grade material. Along that same line I believe that the introduction to multiplication should be 2nd grade, not 3rd. I haven't really looked beyond that because I was too disgusted with the lower grades.

 

Looking at all of the standards for second grade, one can see that operations with larger numbers are found in the standards under 'place value.'

 

"Fluently add and subtract within 100....."

 

And the foundation for multiplication concepts is also introduced in 2nd grade.

 

Today, I was rereading Liping Ma's book on teaching elementary mathematics -- it really stuck me how much the new standards are similar to what she recommends . The standards are also similar in mant ways to the teaching process in Singapore Math, which is generally regarded as a rigorous curriculum.

 

As, Crimson Wife & Chelli have said, the standards are the floor for what should be learned, not the ceiling.

 

Perhaps what you intended was a JAWM post? I would guess that there are plenty of people who agree with you. But, since you didn't phrase it that way, I thought I'd throw in my personal opinion, FWIW.

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Guest Elizabethj

Hi, folks. I'm new to this forum and found it googling 'homeschool common core.' I just withdrew my kids (grades 7 and 5) from public school and will be homeschooling them. I am trying to align my children's education with the new common core standards.

 

Here's the skinny.

 

All of the states currently have varying educational standards. California and Massachusetts have some of the highest standards across all subjects. Common core is to increase standards for all states across the board. There are three exceptions -- Indiana, California, and DC all have Language Arts standards that are currently higher than Common Core standards.

 

The two primary benefits will be that standards will be raised for all states and all states will be aligned, so if you move from SC to MA, your child will have the equivalent standards and curricula. It often means that the sequence is different. Some concepts are shifted from one grade to another. For instance, some concepts that were in the California standard grade 7 are now introduced in grade 9 (example). It doesn't mean that the changes are dumbing down the standards -- it's just a different educational philosophy. The math is actually more aligned with Asian countries' math under common core.

 

States are permitted to add 15% content unique to each individual state. Common core is only math and LA currently. Some states haven't adopted Common Core, such as Texas and Alaska (I don't know them all).

 

You can certainly teach above the standard. Some states will struggle to reach the standard and some are already teaching far above the standard. Good California schools teach well above the California standards. That's how Palo Alto and Piedmont have the vast majority of their kids testing in the advanced range.

 

IMO, it's about personal philosophy. I'm used to public school, and I want the use the common core as a guideline. For everything else, I'm using CA standards. I plan on using all California textbooks and supplement with actual homeschool material. I want to be sure I teach all of the standards.

 

I hope you find the information useful, and if anyone has any information on common core for me (like curricula), I'd welcome it!

 

BTW, there's a website that evaluates curricula and intervention materials for student achievement. Everyday Math does improve student achievement. Some of the highest performing school districts in California use Everyday Math. However, California didn't adopt the Everyday program until the publisher added some traditional content. Apparently, there isn't enough reinforcement in the regular program. California won't adopt new textbooks until next year, so I will use the CA standards and then teach the common core standards from Khan and other textbooks. I am using Everyday Math for my grade 5 son (he likes it), and I Can Learn Grade 8/Algebra Readiness for my grade 7 kid.

 

Here's the website for checking out program effectiveness.

 

http://ies.ed.gov/nc...dwhatworks.aspx

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I plan on using all California textbooks and supplement with actual homeschool material. I want to be sure I teach all of the standards.

 

Sweetie, please don't do the bolded. I've seen the California-approved PS textbooks in our virtual charter's lending library and they are nowhere remotely near the quality of good HS curricula. Read The Well-Trained Mind, Drew Campbell's Latin-Centered Curriculum, and Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Take a trip to the closest HS bookstore to look over their selection. Join a support group and ask other moms to bring their favorites to park day for you to look over.

 

Seriously, ditch the PS textbooks- your kids will get a MUCH better education as a result.

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We were having this discussion re: Math Mammoth being revised to align to CC standards, and some worried that meant it was dumbing down. Here is Maria Miller's response to my question about this. Hope someone finds it helpful:

 

 

Aligning MM to the Common Core Standards is not a dumbing down at all. It mostly involves moving topics from one grade to another, not making the lessons or concepts "dumber". I could not do that! I still dearly love teaching children concepts of mathematics.

 

Besides, Common Core Standards aren't that "dumb" anyway. They are a big improvement over many current states' standards because they focus more (hence "core" standards), because they emphasize algebraic thinking, and because they specifically mention certain CONCEPTS that students should understand (and not just procedures).

 

In fact, some teachers feel CCS for math are a move towards too much conceptual & algebraic thinking in the lower grades :) They feel they are too difficult.

 

And, while some homeschoolers may not care for CCS, the fact is, those who are tested yearly will eventually have to take them into consideration because the tests will start reflecting the CCS.

 

I'm not yet working on MM7. It will be pre-algebra, yes. Please see these two draft documents for my planned scope and sequence for MM6 and MM7. I hope it will allay everyone's fears. The scope of MM6 currently actually includes some pre-algebra topics, so those will move to 7th.

 

 

Sincerely,

Maria Miller

 

 

Here are some actual examples of CCS for math. The whole document is available at

 

 

(Third grade - mastery of multiplication facts is expected)

 

3.OA.7

Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the

relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 ×

5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end

of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers

 

(Distributive property in 3rd grade - I consider that a bit advanced)

 

.7

c. Use tiling to show in a concrete case that the area of a rectangle

with whole-number side lengths a and b + c is the sum of

a × b and a × c. Use area models to represent the distributive

property in mathematical reasoning.

 

 

(Write and solve equations in 4th grade)

 

.7

Recognize angle measure as additive. When an angle is decomposed

into non-overlapping parts, the angle measure of the whole is the sum

of the angle measures of the parts. Solve addition and subtraction

problems to find unknown angles on a diagram in real world and

mathematical problems, e.g., by using an equation with a symbol for

the unknown angle measure.

 

 

 

(Explicit mention of the standard algorithm)

 

5.NBT.5

Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard

algorithm.

 

 

(5th grade fractions - conceptual understanding required)

 

.5

Interpret multiplication as scaling (resizing), by:

 

b. Explaining why multiplying a given number by a fraction greater

than 1 results in a product greater than the given number

(recognizing multiplication by whole numbers greater than 1 as

a familiar case); explaining why multiplying a given number by

a fraction less than 1 results in a product smaller than the given

number; and relating the principle of fraction equivalence a/b =

(n×a)/(n×B) to the effect of multiplying a/b by 1.

 

 

.7

 

a. Interpret division of a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number,

and compute such quotients. For example, create a story context

for (1/3) ÷ 4, and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient.

Use the relationship between multiplication and division to explain

 

 

 

(6th grade - problems that can be typically found in pre-algebra and even algebra 1 books)

 

6.RP.3.

 

 

b. Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and

constant speed. For example, if it took 7 hours to mow 4 lawns, then

at that rate, how many lawns could be mowed in 35 hours? At what

rate were lawns being mowed?

 

c. Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a

quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems

involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.

 

(Maria's note: This means a problem like this:

 

Twelve students in the class are sick today, which is 30% of the class. how many students are in the class?
)

 

 

 

(6th grade statistics - I feel these are advanced concepts)

 

6.SP

Summarize and describe distributions.

4. Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots,

histograms, and box plots.

 

5. Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by:

a. Reporting the number of observations.

b. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation,

including how it was measured and its units of measurement.

c. Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and

variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as

well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations

from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the

data were gathered.

d. Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the

shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data

were gathered.

 

 

 

(7th grade - pre-algebra stuff)

 

 

7. RP

 

2. c. Represent proportional relationships by equations. For example, if

total cost t is proportional to the number n of items purchased at

a constant price p, the relationship between the total cost and the

number of items can be expressed as t = pn.

d. Explain what a point (x, y) on the graph of a proportional

relationship means in terms of the situation, with special attention

to the points (0, 0) and (1, r) where r is the unit rate.

3. Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent

problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns,

gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent

error.

 

 

 

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I came across a website called truthinamericaneducation.com that is very anti-common core. I do not live in a common core state, but I also kept coming across things that were saying "aligned with the common core", so I have been interested in seeing the pros and cons. Anyway, it is one side of the coin and obviously biased against it, but at least according to this site there is starting to be some pushback against it in some states that have adopted it. FWIW.

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the standards are the floor for what should be learned, not the ceiling.

 

 

 

Part of why I homeschool is because I have not seen schools reach beyond the "floor". I see schools barely doing the required and only because that is what is on the test. I am also against the number of tests the kids already take and this will increase them. I feel, and have always felt, that our children are capable of so much more then what they are taught in PS today. Lowering the bar does a great disservice to our children.

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Part of why I homeschool is because I have not seen schools reach beyond the "floor". I see schools barely doing the required and only because that is what is on the test. I am also against the number of tests the kids already take and this will increase them. I feel, and have always felt, that our children are capable of so much more then what they are taught in PS today. Lowering the bar does a great disservice to our children.

This.

Many public schools, sometimes through no fault of the teachers, rather, a lack of resources, can only (or ARE only) meeting the floor. Some of these new standards are lowering that floor even more. Not a fan. At all.

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I think that Math has come from just learing how to add/subtract to actually thinking about why something is done and how to manipulate numbers in different ways (like the Singapore approach). My oldest is in public school and she can breeze through math facts, formulas, etc, however they ask a lot of why something is the way it is. I know this is so very different than the way I learned. Math is so much more than a formula and I think that kids are at an advantage having to explain why something is done. Now, I do see the lack of "basic math" teaching so I do make my kids do math fact drills and teach some of the more traditional as well (I homeschool the youngest).

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I think that Math has come from just learing how to add/subtract to actually thinking about why something is done and how to manipulate numbers in different ways (like the Singapore approach). My oldest is in public school and she can breeze through math facts, formulas, etc, however they ask a lot of why something is the way it is. I know this is so very different than the way I learned. Math is so much more than a formula and I think that kids are at an advantage having to explain why something is done. Now, I do see the lack of "basic math" teaching so I do make my kids do math fact drills and teach some of the more traditional as well (I homeschool the youngest).

 

 

While I agree that understanding why is important I also have found that understanding doesn't mean carp if you do not know 16-8=8 when you are working on borrowing.

 

I have encountered too many kids who understand why math works but cannot do a fairly easy math problem such as:

 

 

26

- 8

 

 

Not because they do not know how to borrow or regroup but because they do not know 16-8.

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