# Common Core Crazy? Making sense of the viral common core math rounding problem

## Perhaps you have seen the Facebook post by an angry mother who  is upset about her daughter’s Common Core-based math problem. There’s a larger lesson here, but it’s not about the Common Core.

Carole read 28 pages of a book on Monday and 103 pages on Tuesday. Is 75 pages a reasonable answer for how many more pages Carole read on Tuesday than Monday?
And the student responded,
Yes, 75 is a reasonable answer because 103-28 = 75
for which she was deducted a point for not estimating the answer of 70, since that appears to be the lesson about what is a “reasonable” answer. The teacher marked:
-1 [pt] Estimate 100-30 = 70
For background on Common Core math methodologies, see Key Shifts in Mathematics

### Right math lesson, wrong question

Other blog and news sites have taken this on, for and against the question. I think this is a horrible question, but not because the exercise of rounding is worthless. It’s a poor assessment question because, Continue reading

# 3.14: A Pi day celebration from a math idiot

## Is math just for math people? Are you just not wired for math? Well, you and your math-struggling student can celebrate Pi day, too!

I was awful at math in  high school. So bad, in fact, that I  didn’t qualify to take math in college.

Felt great at the time, but looking back on it, what a shame. The only math I could do as a kid was “breaking a twenty” as a cashier at my job at the drug store. I could make change like a champ! Now, cashiers don’t even have to know any math at all, since the machine does it all for them.

### So do we really need math?

Sadly, some universities think we don’t:

Wayne State drops math as general ed requirement

What a shame — and I know why they’re doing it, although they’ve got an excuse for it: Continue reading

# Help for students struggling with math: “guided” v “independent” practice

### At the A+ Club we often hear from parents that their child is struggling in math.

Sometimes it’s, “she never does well in math” or “he does his math homework but scores poorly on quizzes and tests.”

Guided practice” is when the teacher shows or “teaches” a new topic or skill.

Independent practice” is when the student engages it by him or herself.

Effective teaching develops learning through a deliberate combination of guided and independent practice, where each builds upon the other. However, if the two are disconnected b an absence of effective and direct teacher to student feedback, then learning doesn’t happen.

This is why kids often say, “I get it when my teacher explains it, but I can’t do it on my own.” When your child complains that he or she “doesn’t test well,” it’s because your child is not receiving effective feedback to empower the independent practice required for learning.

This process is the same for all courses and subjects, but it more frequently manifests in math classes because math learning is not as easily processed through “guided practice” as other subjects.

In our A+ Club academic program, we engage students in effective learning techniques and provide guidance and direct math tutoring and in all subjects for overall academic success.

– Michael

# Speaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

### Speaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

Student Success Podcast No. 11, Dec. 18, 2013

Today’s Guest: Joy Ferrante

Joy discusses how parents can be deeply involved in their child’s math learning. We use math and other school subjects all day long — how often do we use those concepts and tasks to help our children learn? Calendars, cooking utensils, house addresses… anything can be turned into a useful, effective math lesson for children, and not just young children. Continue reading

# Math success: believe you can achieve with Okera Hawkins

### Math success: believe you can achieve with Okera Hawkins

Student Success Podcast No. 9, Nov. 29, 2013

Today’s Guest: Okera Hawkins

Co-founder of The A+ Club, Okera Hawkins, discusses what it takes to succeed in high school math. If there’ any single thing, Okera tells us, it is “confidence.” Getting there is a process — but it is a process that every student can engage and master. But they have to want to. Okera leads us through the pieces of success in math, including organization, asking questions, and math literacy.  Please enjoy this excellent and important interview. Continue reading