Common Core and the People Who Hate It.

What is Common Core, anyway?

I’ve had an interesting dynamic of commenters on one of my math videos that I posted 3 years ago (April 2014). This video teaches how to do the “Big 7 Division” method, which is an alternative method to the traditional long division algorithm.  If you’re not familiar with this method, you can watch my video here. However, to answer the question above, Common Core is…” a set of educational standards for teaching and testing English and mathematics between kindergarten and 12th grade.” The theory is that now each state will teach one set of common standards across the nation, rather than having each state have their own way of teaching.  Simple enough, right?

So why do so many people hate it?

If you don’t watch the actual video, you should at least check out all of the feedback I’ve received in the comment section below the video (especially since that is really what this post is all about). Many of the comments are positive; messages of thanks
for helping with homework or an upcoming test, etc. Then there are the folks who tear this method apart, and who are clearly upset by Common Core and the direction it’s taking students’ math curricula. I even had to BAN someone after a back and forth between her and another commenter because of her increasingly rude and belligerent comments.  Yes, that’s right! I had to ban someone from a discussion on a math video!!  Once she started swearing, that’s where I drew the line. I have a lot of kids who subscribe and watch my videos. I’m just not having that, people!

The method behind my madness.

As a side note, I want to point out that I created this YouTube channel with the intention of helping parents help their kids. So many of my tutoring clients tell me, “I don’t know how to help him with his homework. They just do it so differently than I did when I was in school.” I am certainly not the brains behind any of the methods I make videos about. I simply learn the new method, and then translate that into a video that is (hopefully) easy to understand.

More answers = More questions

In all honesty, I find this sort of feedback fascinating. I get so many comments on this ONE VIDEO. Not that I don’t get feedback on my other alternative method math videos, but this one in particular just seems to draw viewers to their keyboards like moths to a flame, and those moths can be “spicy!” I truly love all of the debate and discussion, not only about this particular method, but Common Core in general and what it is doing for our students. However, the more comments I get, the more curious I become. Here are a few questions I have, and I’d love it if you commented with your thoughts and opinions.

What is it about this video, in particular, that makes viewers take the time to write a comment? Is it just the method itself? Is it my delivery?

For parents: How do you feel about Common Core and alternative methods for solving math problems? Do you find it difficult because it is different from how you learned the skills in school, and therefore difficult to help your children? Do you find it helpful for your children because it teaches them another way to learn the same skill?

For educators: Do you teach alternative methods for solving math problems? How well are those methods received at home? Do you get negative or positive feedback? How do you handle that?

For everyone: What does “the easy way” mean to you? The fastest way? The method with the least amount of steps? The most intuitive way? The method that produces the fewest number of errors?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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