That’s the way I have done math since I was a child too (raised in the 60s) and I was the quickest child in class in coming up with the answers. I was helping my fourth grade grandson with some problems recently and how to do the problems using common core and I didn’t even realize that’s what I was doing. Didn’t find out until later that’s what it is called.

]]>i completely agree. I have always done mental math this way but I don’t break it down to so many levels. For the 8+6 example I would just transfer 2 from the 6 to the 8 and add 10+4. I think the only downside for CC is that it is excessive beyond the way I have always done in my head.

]]>It just seems needlessly complicated because they’re using small enough numbers that their methods are unnecessary, but this is the exact process I use to perform mental math and I’ve never ever studied the common core curriculum.

]]>Example

19 + 7 = 26… see 7 subtract one move it to the tens spot.

This is just a quick mental short cut.

It is better to teach math by going linear across starting with the very right in adding and subtracting and move left. They are making it so our students cant do basic math problems.

]]>My math teachers never understood how I got to my answers, but I was correct in the final answer.

Im not a math teacher, or even knowledgeable of advanced math.

Its basically just balancing the equation.

Round one side up to make a ten, and subtract the rounded difference from the other side.

+4 to make 30, than balance that additional 4 from the other side, so 17 becomes 13.

30 +

is easier and quicker than 26 +

But there doesn’t have to be a specific order. You can choose to do this to the left side or the right side. adding up to the 10, or down to the 10.

its all the same concept, just a different preference.

Keep up with the Kumon- it is one lifeline parents have to combat the fuzzy math. Your daughter is lucky to have an involved parent.

]]>I implored my child not to use fuzzy math to solve her addition problems. I asked her to solve three digit addition problems using common core fuzzy math. Explaining this new fuzzy math required extra steps. Had she followed traditional logical steps, as she knows how, these three digit problems would have been solved easily.

Although she understands the concept of solving two digit addition problems by tens and ones ( 20 + 32I 50 + 2 = 52 ), that method is more long winded for her. I implored her to continue to use the traditional method to solve addition problems. She is a second grader doing 4 digit division and multiplication problems in Kumon. Traditional arithmetic methods in Kumon helped her move at least 2 years ahead of most of her peers.

]]>Where to begin? There is no need to rush children to get them to Algebra in 8th grade if the standards are scaffolded correctly. Early mastery of Algebra is the greatest indicator of success in college. Increasing the progressions a little each year is appropriate, not cramming it in. The CC does offer an accelerated path to Algebra 1 in 8th which does seem like a nightmare. They suggest students all receive the same track through sixth grade. They split in 7th, with a very select few receiving all 7th grade and half the 8th grade standards in 7th grade. In eighth grade, they get the other half of the 8th grade standards and all of Algebra 1. This is a bad idea and will indeed rush students through Algebra.

Yes, some kids need the opportunity to reach Calculus in high school. Many selective college and those seeking to enter STEM fields must have it in order to compete against our international competition. I don’t know what high performing countries you reference in your post, but all the top performing international students who come to US colleges are starting in Advanced Calculus. Not giving American students the same opportunity is unfair.

I believe students must understand number sense, but holding off on the standard algorithm until sixth grade is more than ridiculous. The CC takes it too far, and students progression to Algebra is made much too slow. Teaching algebraic thinking in 1st grade is a HUGE waste of time. I’m sure you must be unaware that 500 Early Learning Experts wrote a letter for the standards writers to redo the K-3 standards. Children don’t develop the mental processes to think abstractly until around 11. This is why there is so much frustration going on in the young grades with CC. Please watch this video to explain this in greater detail. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrQbJlmVJZo

]]>How did you solve it “in your head,” I wonder?

I am a math teacher too and I think Lynne’s method presented of partial sums using place value is a good one! However, I also see great merit in the method presented in the original post. The idea of these so called “fuzzy math” methods where students are not using the standard algorithm is to be able to do addition and subtraction of larger numbers in their head without putting pencil to paper as the algorithm would call for. I tried to think of another example where I would definitely use this method in my head. Try 209 + 38. Would you think it was too confusing to be able to say this is the same problem as 210 + 37? Being able to rearrange addition problem like that shows great number sense–something that is sorely lacking in most middle school students today. I am glad this type of number sense is now being explicitly taught in elementary school. Hopefully teachers will become more skilled at teaching it in a less confusing way as they get more training in teaching the Common Core.

]]>I wonder, however, what is the problem with students not reaching “Algebra 1” until they are in the 9th grade? Is the point of speeding the progression of taking Algebra 1 so that our students can get out of it faster? Speeding through a course as important as algebra is not going to help the majority of kids in the long run. Common core has a focus on college and career readiness; in major surveys of college professors, they have overwhelmingly noted algebraic skills as the most important prerequisite math skills for success in college, but have said they find them severely lacking. Is it because so many students are being pushed through it at an earlier grade level than they are ready for? The middle school common core standards place a major focus on developing algebraic thinking in a much more meaningful way than in previous middle school standards. They are in effect getting what used to be Integrated Algebra in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and the 9th grade curriculum is more challenging than it used to be as “Integrated Algebra” (New York State). Trying to cram multiple years of the math standards into 1 year will ultimately be detrimental to our students (and as an 8th grade teacher, I know it’s damn near impossible to do it well).

Is the point of speeding the progression of taking Algebra 1 so that students can get to calculus in high school? When you look at higher performing countries, their students do not see calculus until post-secondary education, period. Being high performing in math does not mean getting to higher-level courses earlier. It means having a deeper understanding of the building blocks of mathematics that then is a solid foundation on which all other math learning can be built. They are high performing in math because their students took the time when they were in 1st and 2nd grade to focus on addition and subtraction and ALL the different ways it can be done.

There is certainly much training for teachers that needs to be done on how to effectively implement the Common Core standards. Conceptual understanding is not the only tenant of the Common Core. I recently heard one of the authors of the Common Core standards speak and he continued to emphasize that instruction should be equally weighted between conceptual understanding, fluency, and application. So while conceptual understanding is being built in addition of double digit numbers, there is a focus on single digit addition fluency. The benefit I see in delaying the standard algorithm in favor of alternative methods is that learning how to break apart numbers in different ways will ultimately be a skill that leads students to greater number sense. A method like the one in the original post actually makes students think algebraically at a very early age (“what is the number that I need to add to 26 to get the next multiple of 10 which is 30?”). Algebra is so important that the Common Core standards are starting to include it as early as 1st grade! Once a standard algorithm is taught, it is very difficult to get students to think about alternative methods. As a middle school teacher, I deal with this every day. My students cling to standard algorithms they have been taught but do not understand and when they are asked to do anything that does not have a standard algorithm, they shut down. Their poor number sense makes learning the middle school standards near to impossible.

I am not saying that every teacher knows how to implement the standards properly, nor should they know without being given sufficient training and support. I am saying, however, that the problem seems not to lie within the standards themselves but instead within the haphazard implementation that has been expected of teachers without the proper training.

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