As school starts back up, it’s time for one of the most dreaded things throughout all of childhood: homework. Many students require additional help from their parents or guardians in order to complete their homework outside of the classroom, but what happens when those who are helping students are confused as well? This has been happening more and more as states have adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative as part of their academic curriculum.
As of 2015, 45 states have implemented Common Core into their education systems, with Common Core Mathematics being one of the most important—and noticeable—changes. So, what exactly is Common Core Math?
Common Core Math is a new set of mathematic standards that have been developed from years of research to replace a failing math curriculum that has been around for decades. Common Core focuses on students understanding mathematics and being able to use math to solve real-world problems, as well as being able to explain the strategies they used. This is a distinct difference from simply memorizing multiplication tables and plugging numbers into formulas to reach an answer without fully understanding mathematical concepts.
There are 8 main standards for students set by Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, which include:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
As a specific example of Common Core Math in practice, let’s look at the number 75. If a teacher assigns students an equation to determine strategies for getting to 75, they are not simply asking the student to think in terms of 25 x 3 = 75. Instead, they want students to look at numbers and think about the various amounts they represent.
So, while 25 x 3 does equal 75, students should also think of alternate numbers and combinations of getting to that number, such as:
15 x 5
7 x 10 + 5
12 x 6 + 3
20 x 3 + 15
20 x 4 - 5
And so on. Instead of only finding one specific answer, Common Core Math is focused on helping students to fully understand mathematics in a more complete way.
Through standards like this, Common Core Math holds 3 main goals for students, which are:
- Give students the knowledge and skills they need in order to be successful in the workforce or pursue further education.
- Raise the Math test scores for all students around the country.
- Standardize math curriculum and practices between schools, states, and regions in order to ensure students around the country get the education they need.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mississippi Delta aim to serve the children in our communities, especially as students return to schools for in-person learning. One of the ways we do this is through our afterschool programs which provide homework help, like with Common Core Math, fitness activities, workforce development, literacy activities, and more. Each of our clubs provides kids with a safe place to play, learn, exercise, and receive nutritious foods. Find out how you can get involved with our organization by signing your child up for a club or afterschool program, making a donation, or volunteering to help our cause today!