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The adoption of the Common Core standards in public schools seems to have led to an identity crisis in high school math instruction. At kid #3’s school, pre-algebra, algebra (1 and 2 as far as I can tell), and geometry are no longer offered as separate classes. Now it’s Integrated Math I, II, III, and IV. Get through those and you’re on to Pre-Calculus, Calculus, AP Calculus. Well, that’s what I hear. I don’t expect to ever have firsthand or parental experience with Calculus.

From what I’ve seen of her assignments, Integrated Math smooshes everything together, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not a great way to learn brand new concepts. We used a fair amount of geometry in the two college algebra classes I took last year. But it was the easy, straightforward geometry: the Pythagorean Theorem, in particular. For students who’ve never learned the Pythagorean Theorem it wouldn’t have been so easy or straightforward. It would be hard to recognize the Theorem as a separate piece of geometry if you’d only ever seen it used as a part of algebra. I think.

It’s entirely possible that I’m just used to seeing things in the same way that I learned them. Kid #3 struggles with math and the integration is really not helping her. The math teachers all appear to need a sabbatical; they’re frustrated and tired. Last year’s teacher sent out angry emails to parents whenever he reached the end of his rope — which resulted in frantic text exchanges at school like this one:

Me: “Mr R is p*ssed. Show me your homework as soon as you get home. You did it, right??? You said you did it!!!”

Kid #3: “Calm down Moooommm. My team was the only one that did the homework.”

Oh yeah, the math classes are divided into teams which theoretically work together to learn. Kid #3 has math first period (just like last year) and nobody’s working together on anything at 7:10am.

It’s a goatrope.

This year’s teacher, Mrs. C, has a voice straight out of the Charlie Brown cartoons. Robotic with a side of snark. And she was voted “Most Intimidating Teacher” three years in a row.

It’s shaping up to be another long year mathematically.

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luciddream85

said:In 5th grade, my math teacher threw my homework at me and told me they were all wrong. Little did she know that my mom was standing at the classroom door watching, and Mrs. Blackburn nearly got her damn head taken off.

I hate math. Even now when numbers are thrown at me, my eyes glaze over (and I work as an Ophthalmic Tech doing eye glass prescriptions (O_o) ….

The introduction to common core (my kid is in 6th grade) has made it very clear to myself and everyone around me that I will not be able to help her with her homework. I hardly get standard math. Now this? Not all of us are so inclined to just ‘get’ math. I love English. I had my books taken away from me in Math class all of the time.

Gah.

Don’t go mess up something that isn’t broken.

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3kids2cats1divorce

said:I’m very glad your bada** mom witnessed that teacher’s tantrum. Jimininy Christmas.

I’m fine with basic math; I have to use it all the time to figure out the bills, bank balances, etc. But algebra+ gives me the twitches and I can offer only limited help to kid #3 because common core is messing around with the presentation so much I don’t recognize it.

Books and words are better, so sayeth this English major. 🙂

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