Education

Common Core Strikes Again

In place value, a period is each group of three digits separated by commas in a multidigit number.
period Definition – Math Glossary from MathGoodies
www.mathgoodies.com/glossary/term.asp?term=period

Is this a new thing? I have never heard of this/used this term. I had to look it up. I had the answer right without knowing the definition, but I’d have called what it was asking for the place value, not the “period”. E said last year it was called a “house” and not a “period”. Way to confuse kids. How can they not even use the same terminology from year to year? How can we expect kids to “perform well on tests” if they can’t even decide what the correct terminology is to test their knowledge about? 

Don’t even get me started on using a more ethnic name (I have zero problems with any name you want to use, my kids names are purposefully not names like Michael or William or Sara or Jennifer and could be considered ethnic as well) in a math word problem. My kid is now hung up on pronouncing this imaginary Latricia and imaginary Marta’s names correctly over ignoring this useless information and getting to the math problem that needs to be solved. She literally spent longer asking me if she is saying the names properly than she spent solving the presented word problem. I see my next few weeks worth of math help will also consist of showing her how to quickly assess and cross out the information that you don’t need so you only have to pay attention to the information that you do need.

She also started crying earlier that she is worried she might have the answer wrong. I asked her if anxiety over having the wrong answer is why she dawdles and she nodded and freaked out and turned back to a problem she was struggling with said “but what if I’m wrong?” I had to have a discussion that if she’s wrong that just means she’ll learned something new when it’s corrected and then she’ll move on. She sniffled and didn’t really look very comforted. 
 
Why am I dealing with SAT level stress over a math homework problem from fourth grade? What are our schools doing during the day? I know this teacher. Both of my boys had her for fourth grade. I specifically requested her for this year because I knew E needed more of a challenge than she got last year and I wanted to deal with a teacher who I was familiar with and I wanted E away from the crowd she was with last year. Win-Win-Win I think. I have to say though, I don’t remember dealing with this kind of stress and anxiety and drama within the first week of classes. Have I so misjudged my kids abilities? Did I succumb to the “my kid is a genius” trap? Or has Common Core so thoroughly screwed our system that even my truly certified genius child would have problems if he were thrown back into fourth grade?
 
I may never know, but I may be tearing my hair out by the end of this year to find out.

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