Common Core – it’s no longer good enough to know the answer. Students in California must know why the answer is right.
Parents have been told about the changes happening in the classrooms across the state.
In fact, many school districts have even held workshops to get parents ready for the changes to school curriculum.
However, now that Common Core curriculum is in the classrooms, it’s also part of the homework students are completing at the kitchen table.
Dan Winters, Principal of Camarena Elementary School in Chula Vista, Calif. said while the style of teaching may be upping the standards, it can also be foreign to parents.
For example, instead of memorizing the multiplication tables as so many students once did, students are asked to use an array or other tool to display the values as a way to solve the problem.
“Our teachers used to be really fine with us doing the algorithms now you have to explain it a lot more, different ways,” one student explains.
Math in particular can confuse adults because the students are learning the same answers but in different ways.
“Yeah, some parents are a little frustrated with that but we tell them just to relax and let your kid teach you,” Winters said.
The principal talked about the differences in homework with one of his students.
“So can your parents help you with those things that are not algorithms?” Winters asked.
“Sometimes,” the girl answered. “Sometimes they get it sometimes they don't.”
Winters said students know about Common Core, and why it's different. They not only need to show they know the correct answer, but they also need to show they understand why the answer is the correct one.
“That’s causing people to really work hard and think,” the principal said. “Which we think is a good thing.”
Winters suggested parents make sure their children are reading and talk with them about the books they are reading. Asking a child about character development can help the child show that they understand the material.
Different standardized testing will measure student progress. No longer will students be just filling in a bubble with a No. 2 pencil.
Chula Vista Elementary School District will have a Common Core math workshop for parents of students in grades K-2 Wednesday night.