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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Schrodinger's Math

I'm going to dip my toe into something very controversial: Common Core Math.
First, some facts about me.

1. I'm not a mother. I don't have children, and I'm not invested in our education on a personal level.
2. I hate all math. It is the scourge of the universe.

Okay, so, this is just my opinion based on the small amount of research I've done and how I grew up. After all the vitriol and spewing of hatred towards this way of thinking I became intrigued because I believe that the way I learned math in my early years screwed me up for life. If you don't have a solid addition and subtraction foundation, then you will be stuck at that level for the rest of your damned life. It's true, I'm more right-brained than left-brained. I lean towards art much more than equations, so math is naturally harder for me to begin with.

I learned TouchMath. If you are unfamiliar with it, here is a preview:

I call it the dot system. Basically it means that instead of memorizing what 4+9 is, you count it out. Always. Forever. I am 30 years old. To this day I can not tell you what 4+9 is without counting it out. Guess what happened when I changed schools and moved onto our times tables? Yeah. Suddenly I couldn't use the dot system anymore. I was completely lost. I never fully got it. And when I went into JH and HS and tried to learn even more complicated subjects? I barely kept up.

My brain can not hold numbers in my head. If I tried to take 34-52 and had to do all that crossing out bullshit, it would almost literally float away. Numbers were the enemy.

So, maybe Common Core Math is more my style. I've watched a few videos, saw how some of it is done. It's conceptual and you know what - maybe it seems convoluted and silly, but maybe it's just what I needed. Some arguments were along the lines of some Common Core adult standing in the grocery store drawing circles on a napkin to figure out how much he is spending. No. A child will need this for learning, but once it's learned you won't need to draw it.

I still need to count the dots.

To the adults of today's Common Core students, it looks idiotic. That's because that's not how you learned it. They cry because math is hard? Well guess what - so did I. Maybe not all children need to learn with circles and diagrams but I think it sure as hell would have helped me: the right-brained student.

So, let me have it in the comments! What do you think about Common Core Math?

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