Friday, July 25, 2014

Math problems of the week: Common Core Math vs. Traditional Math

I. A set of 1st grade word problems from Hamilton's Essentials of Arithmetic, published in 1919:


 


II. A 1st grade Common Core-inspired math test, circulated via Slate and the Washington Post:



9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first problem with the Common Core test is that the reading level is *way* too high for first graders.

lgm said...

The students have the test read to them. Remember, this is a full inclusion environment. The paper may have come from someone who did not have the attention span to perform well.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Hey, with the first problem-- the part he knows is 9, because it said 9. And he knows what nine is. Why should he pretend not to know something just to make the testers happy?

Auntie Ann said...

Deirdre: I think your point is what is so frustrating about this. It isn't about showing what you know or can figure out.

It's about divining what the intention of the test writer is. It's an exercise in mind-reading at-a-distance that many adults can't figure out.

To expect our kids to do so is insane.

What are we teaching: how to do math, or how to read and interpret idiotic test questions.

FedUpMom said...

Problem 12 asks "which is a related subtraction sentence?" but all the possible answers show addition.

Otherwise, this test is just confusing. The pictures don't clarify anything, and the language requirements are too high. There's no way a kid with reading/writing issues could "write a subtraction story", and I see the kid who took this test left that out.

The insistence on calling equations "sentences" shows the pro-language-arts, anti-math bias of the people who design this stuff.

FedUpMom said...

Problem 8, "circle the number sentence that is true", shows no true number sentences.

FedUpMom said...

Ack! Yes it does -- 4 = 7 - 3.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention how wonderfully grounded in easily comprehensible reality the problems in the old text are…

It's as if they're trying to move forward from the basis of what the children already know and understand...

lgm said...

One positive is that the child was given a legible copy of the test. That does not happen much...usually those filled oval and coin shapes are lacking in the detail of the original enough that they confuse the children.