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This Common Core Math Problem Makes Zero Sense

Posted by Faith Braverman • 31 Jan 2014

Jennifer Hall took to Twitter this week to vent her frustrations over her daughter’s ridiculous math homework provided by Common Core. Hall’s 3rd grader is just learning fractions for the first time, but this assignment is likely to leave any child more confused than they were before.

 

The assignment calls for the children to “Match the picture with the fraction that names the shaded part.” However, as Hall points out in her tweet, “There are no shaded parts.”

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This is the type of education that children in 45 states and the District of Columbia are receiving. Unbelievably, this isn’t even the worst example of what Common Core is “teaching” to children.

Last week, a concerned older sister posted her 4th grade sibling’s math instructions to Twitter. This worksheet for Common Core students in New York is impossible to fathom. “Use number bonds to help you skip-count by seven by making ten or adding to the ones,” the directions state. What does that even mean?


Twitchy has compiled an expansive list of Common Core’s greatest hits, each one more redundant than the last. These assignments are self-evident that when you leave the government in charge of anything, they’ll erode it into a complicated mess. Children deserve a better education than this.

  • Ben Orona

    When things are lightly shaded and they are copied multiple times the copier will eventually just see the shaded part as white. This is a copier malfunction. People read way too much into crap.

  • Richard Blum

    I have been a mathematician all of my life and a Vedic Math (VM) teacher for the last 18 years. I can’t believe that one of the main dictates of Common Core is to downplay the ability of a student to calculate in favor of their ability to “conceptualize.” Every time that get in front of a class of students – I always ask the same first question – How many of you hate math and if you didn’t have to study it you wouldn’t? Almost every time every hand gets raised. These students have already be taught to hate math. The way math has been taught traditionally (pre-Common Core) is hard, boring and not especially effective in solving problems quickly. Now, add to this, Common Core, with a student not being well grounded in knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide and you have a student who will not be able to compete on the world stage. Math should be taught in an interesting and methodical manner that students will not only enjoy, but, understand quickly in a natural manner. Switching to Common Core will not achieve this goal.

  • Nick L. Gale

    Poorly done class lessons are a non-unique to Common Core.

  • Carl-Cathy Wisnesky

    The first one is totally messed up, but we understand & agree with the 2nd one. Most people who can add quickly & mentally, without paper & pencil, add by 10s. For example, mentally, a person might think out 47 + 36 + 64 as 70 + 60 = 130 and 7 + 6 + 4 = 10 + 7 and finally mentally think 140 + 7 = 147. Adding by 10s has been taught since the beginning of counting.

    • Tracy A. Goode

      I don’t know; even mentally, I add 47+36 to get 83+ 64 to get 147. It’s faster that way.

  • Mario Lawrence

    This is a grammar problem, and that’s why it confuses children.
    Each fraction in this problem can be solved.

    I’ve seen bad grammar like this even in college textbooks when I was in school. You end up going online, or spending a few minutes with your professor or tutor for a better explanation.

    You’d think the writing jobs for these books have been outsourced. lol

  • Ashley Arthur

    I have a 1st and 3rd grader in public school. (Truly considering homeschooling, however my state of California makes it pretty difficult. My third grader came home a couple months ago with common core math hmwk…and I kid you not, instructed him to play Rock Paper Scissors with someone at home twenty times. It even had visual diagrams that showed how to play, which took up most of the paper. No real following questions, except to keep talley marks every time you won a game. I assume…it was their attempt to explain probability…but my kids and I agreed it was stupid. This is a shame.

  • E.J. Burger

    I have had similar homework with my kids in sarasota county. The other problem I am noticing is that I am told by my children “No dad, that is the right answer but that isn’t how they want the answer written.” Meaning IMO they 1.) programing my kids to be robots and answer only in very specific ways with creativity and/or efficiency being looked down upon 2.) are programing kids to know what is right and what the authority figure wants can be two different things, and to get points you need to give the authority figure what they want.

    As to the directions they are over complicating teaching strategies.
    Our schools would be ok reviving 700 tests and having all the written answers worded exactly the same. They would think they did an amazing job. A generation of robots ready to ring shit up at wal-mart.

  • JF

    I have also seen math homework not have a shaded area on the figure. I’ve also seen assignments come home with bad grammar. I’m not even sure these are Common Core materials.

    • Olen Thomas Giles

      well then youre blind…atleast in reference to the second paper…it actually says ”NYS COMMON CORE MATHEMATICS CURRICULUM” at the top of the page

      • JF

        I was referring to the homework my kids have brought home.

        • Olen Thomas Giles

          this ” I’m not even sure these are Common Core materials.” is why i was brought to conclusion you were talking about the article