Over the past week, Ive seen this image multiple times on Facebook and elsewhere, a supposed denunciation of the Common Core version of math that kids are now learning:

That picture is especially popular onconservativesFacebookwalls and Im sure one of your relatives has said something about it, too.

On the surface, it seems ridiculous. The top makes sense; the bottom is silly;*screw you, Common Core*!

Except that the top*doesnt*make sense, the bottom*does*, and the connection to Common Core is completely misunderstood. (Says this math teacher.)

Heres whats going on: The top is how most of us learned subtraction. Im sure your teachers taught you what was going on mathematically, but do you really remember what they said? Probably not. For us, its just an algorithm. You can do it without thinking. You hope theres no borrowing of numbers involved, but if you had to do it by hand, you could probably pull it off.

The problem with that method is that if I ask students to explain*why*it works, they"d have a*really*hard time explaining it to me. They might be able to do the computation, but they don"t get the math behind it. For some people, thats fine. For math teachers, thats a problem because it means a lot of students wont be able to grasp other math concepts in the future because they never really developed number sense.

Thats where the bottom solution comes into play. I admit its totally confusing but heres what its saying:

If you want to subtract 12 from 32, theres a better way to think about it. Forget the algorithm. Instead, count up from 12 to an easier number like 15. (You"ve gone up 3.) Then, go up to 20. (You"ve gone up another 5.) Then jump to 30. (Another 10). Then, finally, to 32. (Another 2.)

I know. Thats still ridiculous. Well, consider this: Suppose you buy coffee and it costs $4.30 but all you have is a $20 bill. How much change should the barista give you back? (Assume for a second the register is broken.)

You sure as hell arent going to get out a sheet of paper and do this:

Instead, youd just figure it out this way: Itd take 70 cents to get to $5 and another $15 to get to $20 so you should get back $15.70.

Thats it. Thats the sort of math most of us do on a regular basis and its*exactly*the sort of thinking the new way in the picture is attempting to explain. Granted that was an *awful* example to use, but thats the idea. If students can get a handle on thinking*this*way instead of just plugging numbers into a formula, the thinking goes, it"ll make other math skills much easier to understand.

...or maybe it"s just being used as a political crutch?

I can accept the kids with real problems having difficulty.

Now I don`t work in disability services anymore,

I have a higher expectation.

Peoples limbs depend on it.

Would YOU like to operate a Beam Saw or CNC with somebody that cannot perform proper maths?

Let me give you a little background on myself.

My stepfather is a retired Headmaster whose main subject was maths.

My mum is a school services officer.

I have 16 years under my belt training kids with disability fresh out of school.

Quite a few of those kids on pensions, did not need it, they were just never taught properly.

Quite a few of them ended up getting their asses of the pension, and into fairly high paid positions operating machinery.

Most people will perform a task in the first way they were shown, if given a choice.

It is very hard to break a bad habit once it has been cemented in them.

Teach them the correct way from the start, or else you are setting them up to fail.

A lot of these kids are not stupid, they just had lazy teachers.

The bad habits they learned at the start, stayed with them.

Sure simple multiplication of 2 single digit numbers.

AxB=10(A-(10-B)+(10-A)(10-B) This is the algebraic representation of the Sutra used for single digit multiplication. The second term on the right is the calculation done by using memorized single digit multiplication tables up to 5x5 while the one on the left is the difference carried out crosswise.

totally misses the point. Of course after you understand the principles you use the quickest method applicable. But how to develop that level of understanding in the first place is the question. Or are you hiring 6 and 7 year olds in your line of work?

Try Vedic maths and see how you cope.

I know many methods of maths, but still find that the standard method is best/simplest in most situations.

In my line of work, it would hold up an entire production line while some clown tries to figure out how many cuts to make.

hell, even when I was training guys with disability, they weren`t THAT dumb. What`s YOUR excuse?

Perhaps you should be on a pension too hmm?

solution explained. nothing mystical there.

the second method is just insanity.

guess what you use the "common core way" to do this the "old" way.

To get from 5 to 7 you need 2...

To get from 40 to 120 you need 80...

to get from 300 to 400 you need 100...

To get from 0 to 145000 you need 145000...

Add them up and you have 145182..

Or did you not all really understand what the "old" way was in the first place.

ARRRGGGGGG there is no NEW system being taught here. It is still the number line and base ten representation of values. I am quite glad that you were able to go deeper into math having "only" been taught the "old" way to solve multi digit subtraction problems. But allow me to make three points.

First, Your example uses the very algorithm being attacked.

Second, I doubt seriously that that was the only way you were ever taught to do subtraction.

Third, just because you were able to go on to "higher math" having only learned one way to do things does not mean that it is the best way to educate current students.

I was thoroughly taught how the "old" system worked in math and has not ever prohibited me to go deeper in to more complex math. Nor has it denied using math tricks (like multiplication of ..9, math involving numbers 5 or 10.. or 2).

The only thing i see happening is that people are better prepared to work

Please elaborate. Your child was not able to keep up, was to advanced, refused to learn more than one way....? Do not mean this in a bad way honestly just want to know.

What you mean God gave us the original algorithm to solve subtraction problems using the base ten number system? I thought people figured that out over the course of several thousand years. The particular example shown in this posting is ONE of the ways of doing subtraction that HELPED people figure out the algorithm in the first place.

By just jumping to the algorithm without helping kids get a deeper understanding you are cheating them.

I have spent too many years getting to a point where I finally own my own business, to have some numpty screw it up.

Go back to working a BP checkout before somebody gets injured.

@broizfam, to be fair to ollie it was me that called them f*cktards. Maths have been around for 1000s of years. It`s one of the most constant things we have. So why does someone suddenly decide they know better than ALL those that have gone before throughout ALL of time?

At their out-of-school math class, they are taught to approach calculations using several different algorithms, some of which offer shortcuts. Some come from traditional maths, some from competition speed math methods, some mental maths.

At home I teach them a feel for get-it-in the ballpark estimation and show them how to cross-check their calculations so that they know that the answer makes sense.

When it comes to the real world, to the workplace, let`s see what either of your systems achieve. My kids will `get it`. They will use (or invent) the best way of doing it and no matter how they do it, they`ll come up with an answer that makes sense and that they understand the implications of.

She is reading almost at my level as well.

I`m not bragging about my kid, I`m bragging about the public school system.

People say our schools suck? My daughter was reading and doing addition in kindergarten.

Know what I was doing in Kindergarten? Napping, waking up and eating graham crackers and milk.

Our schools aren`t nearly as bad as the media makes them out to be.

Fine if you are teaching the basic "Concept" of how math works but eventually you *WILL* have to teach the "Algorithm" of the mathematical model used by the rest of humanity or our future mathematicians will not be able to communicate with the rest of the planet.

It`s bad enough that we still use the Imperial Standard of measurement rather than metric, now we`re going to be unique in how we solve math equations?

Maybe we should build a 50 foot wall around the entire country and ignore the rest of the planet.

::facepalm::

But is that

85745

-756

- 1

- 976

- 4567

--------

79445

or

85745 - 756 = 84989

84989 - 1 = 84988

84988 - 976 = 84012

84012 - 4567 = 79445

or

85745 - (756 + 1 + 976 + 4567) = 85745 - 6300 = 79445

or

...

After all, not everybody will sell burgers.

Not a new problem. 20 years ago I had to explain to a cashier at Burger King (who`s register was broken) how to make change from a $5 bill for a ticket that was $3.74. I said `Give me a dollar, a quarter and a penny`, and she said `But, how do you KNOW that?`.

That said, EVERYONE should know how to perform simple math with a pencil.

Hell, nowadays the Registers don`t even have numbers...just Pictures of the Food. (and these people want $15 an hour?)

CrakrJak-[quote]Using the easiest and most direct method is common sense.[/quote]

That being said, no one method is the easiest and most direct for every individual.

What I`ve found tutoring math students is the major problem is that they don`t `get it` the way it`s being instructed. Some students need it explained differently.

It`s like having a debate between whether apples or oranges are tastier. Is this really worth having a debate over?

Wait, what? This is exactly when it IS a good idea to use this method, like it says in the link. My parents used to own a grocery store. If someone bought something that costs 2.13 and gave me a 10 pound note, you don`t sit there and try to subtract 223 from 1000. You get 2p to make it to 220, 10p to make it to 230, 20p to make it to 250, 50p to make it to 300, 2 pound coins to make it to 500 and a 5 pound note to make it to 10 pounds. Easy, quick.

Of course it is.... after you have developed enough understand that it is common sense for you. That is the entire point of this strategy, how to get students to a more complete understanding faster.

You are correct of course. However, I would argue that some algorithms are more abstract than others. Starting with the less abstract and working toward the more abstract build understanding faster in general.

Using the easiest and most direct method is common sense. Using a screwed up, convoluted and overly complicated algorithm is nonsense.

No one is going to look at 3000-2999 and use the supposed "old way", just as no one is going to look at 32-12 and use this "common core" way. Forcing kids to do things the hardest way, to do anything, only makes them resent the lesson because it seems like punishment.

What "common core" needs is some damn common sense!

If 2 numbers are 1 off and you add them ie 4 and 5 you don`t just say 4+5=9, you have to say 4 is 1 less than 5 so you double 4 and add 1. I keep getting told that common core is so the kids `understand` why 4+5 is 9 and not that 4+5 is 9..

Sounds like more work for the same result...

You don`t USE common core. You (hopefully) gain from it the ability to handle mathematics in the real world without needing a calculator, or pencil and paper.

The article is wrong on one account. Both methods are algorithms. An algorithm is any method used to derive the correct answer (as opposed to a heuristic, which is an educated guess). The argument is that the algorithm used for "New Math" is ultimately easier for kids to learn and understand than the older algorithm.

It`s because every time something like this comes out, some knee-jerk conservative Democrat-hater like OldOllie blames it on "liberal f*cktards". It`s stupid, tiresome and wrong, I know, but I do believe that`s the reason.

And no one is suggesting that you do......

List the paired scores.

Calculate the product for each XY pair (3rd column below)

Square each individual X and Y score (columns 4 and 5)

Sum and label the columns (see bottom row)

5. Use the following formula to calulate r.

= number of pairs

= product of XY (multiply)

= multiply each X times each Y, then sum the products

6. Find the probability value (p) associated with the obtained r = .667

a. Calculate degrees of freedom (df)

df = N (Number of pairs) - 2

df = 12 - 2 = 10

b. Use the abbreviated table of Critical Values for r to find the p value.

For this example, r = .667, df = 10. The obtained value of .667 exceeds the cutoff of .576 (df = 10) shown on the table at the .05 level. Therefore, p <.05. I

And exactly how does he define math problems?

And so what???

Being able to type 15-8 on a calculator is fine after one understands what is really going on. That is the purpose of the algorithms in the first place so simplify and speed up the laborious calculations required to do more complicated problems. The issue is that for years the algorithms replaced "understanding" of mathematical concepts. This significantly impacted students ability to grasp higher level material because they lacked foundational understanding.

That being said: While I think Common Core, without a doubt has a liberal agenda because, well, it was created by liberals, in this case of the math problem it`s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it`s presented with equations that go along with it. It`s always a good idea to teach more than one way to do things.

Too, just do a google search on "conservatives supported common core before they didn`t" to see all you need to see about what`s actually behind this *controversy*. It was one of those rare bipartisan initiatives until, sadly, President Obama made the mistake of singing its praises.

I`m not trying to be political (I`ve made great effort for months now *not* be), that`s just the pretty clear truth.

my algebra teacher (who`s been teaching for over 35 years, calc, geom)is seeing a change in higher math as well. he said doing math problems in any way on paper is becoming obsolete and the curriculum is changing towards automated calculation. Cashiers no longer need to know how to add or subtract as the registers do all the work and everyone has access to a calculator.

I tend to agree, as in 10 years I doubt anything is going to be calculated on paper.

Only if we want progress to come to a screaming halt.

Because he might get mad and smite us all, or something, right?

Oh, and common core punishes smarter people for being able to calculate without arbitrary steps.

- ...or maybe it`s just being used as a political crutch?