A quick look at some of the Common Core math standards, grades 7 & 8

I was prepared to be appalled by the Common Core math standards, but I’m not.

The CC math standards — at first glance, anyway — actually look quite a lot better than the old middle-school math standards we used to have in DC, which had interminable lists of many minute details kids were supposed to know — and which lists repeated themselves over and over again in grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Mile wide, centimeter deep it was.

So far, I don’t see any sign of that ridiculous nonsense in the new CC standards.

However, I can just see teachers requiring their students to copy and recite turgid prose like this, which is a direct quote from page 56 of the PDF. It means something to me, but to how many other adults?

“Understand that patterns of association can also be seen in bivariate categorical data by displaying frequencies and relative frequencies in a two-way table. Construct and interpret a two-way table summarizing data on two categorical variables collected from the same subjects. Use relative frequencies calculated for rows or columns to describe possible association between the two variables.

For example, collect  data from students in your class on whether or not they have a curfew on  school nights and whether or not they have assigned chores at home. Is  there evidence that those who have a curfew also tend to have chores?

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Insanity! Math folks often assume that the rest of the world gets Math and understands Math immediately. If they don’t, it is their fault. Writing objectives, knowing that kids are supposed to get something out of it, in this fashion is outrageous. Math stereotypes exist for a reason.
    Get real teachers who teach Math to write this stuff!


  2. I teach the times tables for four to my many students (8th graders) who have not mastered this skill. Then I would give them all sorts of problems and work sheets just using the 4 times table including balancing equations, ratios, and proportions. Once mastering 4’s we would move on. I submit that this method will do more to help kids master math standards than another exercise in laboring the obvious–about the only thing the core standards seem to do. Fifteen years ago some math professor in Conn. determined that learning the times tables was too difficult for students and cited long division as a real turn off to learning math. He was right but talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!


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