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Meaningful application of math concepts means better long-term learning

Madeline Ahearn, school administrator in Eugene, Oregon, wrote recently that the Common Core standards offer students a better chance at success in math.


Stanford Education Professor: Math is more about deep understanding than memorization — Hechinger Report

In an article for the Hechinger Report, Stanford mathematics Professor Jo Boaler argues that, contrary to popular belief, true math skills come from deep understanding rather than memorization.  This erroneous assumption is widespread and detrimental to math learners who come to believe they simply aren’t “math people.”

The Common Core math standards do, she says, recognize the value of conceptual learning in math, opening the door for more math learners:


Common Core math standards too challenging for little kids? This teacher and early childhood expert says, “Not at all!”

Critics of Common Core often argue that the standards–particularly the math standards–are too challenging and are developmentally inappropriate for children. Indeed, it was the basis of several testimonies to the House and Senate Education Committee when they were considering bills on standards and testing in this legislative session.

But Douglas H. Clements, an expert on early childhood education (holder of the University of Denver’s Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and serves as the Executive Director of the Marsico Institute of Early Learning and Literacy), disagrees.  In an article featured in Preschool Matters, he and his co-authors say that people use the phrase “developmentally appropriate” as a “Rorschach test for whatever a person wants to see or argue against.” (more…)

If you think “Common Core math” is confusing, watch this video!

Here’s a great video by Vox, the news website that’s all about the bottom line reality of issues in the news.  In other words, the video is not from an advocacy group.  And it shows in 3 minutes and 11 seconds why the Common Core standards want our second graders to understand more about subtraction than “borrow the one.” (more…)

Fluency Without Fear – the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts – by Jo Boaler and others at Stanford

Here is a wonderful piece by Stanford math professor Jo Boaler.  I offer it not as part of the Common Core debate but because it lives in a world so far beyond that debate.  Whether or not you are a math person, so to speak, you will enjoy this. (more…)

Common Core can help overcome math phobia

There will continue to be those who oppose the Common Core standards because, in the end, they just oppose standards.  But in this piece by two Cleveland teachers explains the math standards in an unusually clear and straight way.   (more…)

Fox News in Arizona does the Common Core…right!

Here’s an authentic bit of information about the Common Core math standards from Fox10 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Play the video.  It’s short and to the point.  And you hear from Bill McCallum, an author of the Common Core math standards, what they’re all about. (more…)

Here’s a good overview of the debate about Common Core math: hang in there…we’ll get better results

You’ve seen the debate over whether we should be worried that some parents are confused by Common Core math, similar to the “new math” debates over the past generation.  Today’s New York Times has a very good piece putting it all into perspective.  Here’s a key excerpt: (more…)

Middle school math teacher Jamie Sirois explains Common Core rigor: “I’ve made big changes in how I prepare for my classroom.”

Jamie Sirois, Stratham Cooperative Middle School teacher and Learning Area Leader, along with two of other colleagues from Bow Memorial School and Winnisquam Regional, gave a great workshop on the Common Core math standards at the NEA-NH Spring Instructional Conference at Bow High School on April 5th.

Among other things, she said,

“Rigor requires conceptual understanding, procedural skill, fluency and the ability to apply math to real problems.  It is an equal balance of these three that creates rigor.”


House Education Committee testimony by Milgram and Stotsky has no news for New Hampshire


Drs. Milgram and Stotsky have made a career of traveling the country opposing the Common Core on the basis that all the other participants are engaged in a conspiracy and that only Milgram and Stotsky know how to teach math and English.

They both submitted testimony to the New Hampshire House Education Committee making those very points.  Here is James Milgram testimony to NH House Education Committee and here is Stotsky’s. (more…)