Are you familiar, yet, with the Common Core Standards which are taking precedence over the existing required educational standards?
Don't worry. It's new to us all. And whether or not you agree with them or not, it is best to be prepared for the changes it will bring.
Who do these new standards affect? Well, According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, 45 states, The District of Columbia, four territories, and the department of defense educational activity have all adopted it. Chances are, this will affect you where you live. Click on the link above to read up about these standards. Boy, teachers have really had to do their homework this Summer to ready themselves to teach in the classroom with these new guidelines.
To help you understand the changes this will bring to your student's math class, here is a fantastic transcribed article explaining the changes we can expect in math instruction following implementation of the new Common Core. You can hear or read about the interview with Doug Sovde. He is a former Seattle Math teacher and helped write the new standards.
It has been said that the old standards were a mile wide and an inch deep. In response, Sovde said this:"There was always this constant rush and, you know, they were never learning things as deeply as I wanted them to. And the Common Core state standards really focus on learning less and learning it deeply."
So...now what? Your student's teachers are brushing up on this new framework. Your children will be learning and working through some new ways of figuring math.
What can you do as a parent?
There are tools out there that can help you help your students succeed in their classrooms. I don't know about your kids, but I know my kids suddenly think math is super interesting if they have an iPad sitting on their lap!
www.inkidseducation.com is a wonderful site, providing tools for teachers to build and share game content to share with students. The site even gives teachers access to free cloud service, allowing games to be shared with multiple iPads and classes using a class code. A brand new game, Math Champ Challenge, has just been released and helps students in grades 4-7 succeed at the new Common Core standards by strengthening understanding of math principals. Math Champ Challenge allows students to select an avatar and record their achievements. Students can also challenge other students locally or across the world. They can earn badges, see their results and reviewing their wrong answers if desired. What is nice about Math Champ Challenge, is that kids can go at their own pace, try to beat the clock, or that of an opponent!
But don't listen any longer to me talk about this awesome tool for kids, click here for a tour of this brand new app!