Examining the Common Core Standards for Mathematics

The standards are the same as what is emphasized in the article such as:  counting, cardinality, pairing each object with only one number, comparing objects in a group to another group (more, less, equal), represent add/subtract in different ways (fingers, drawings, acting out), decompose number into pairs (5=4+1, 5=3+2).

To me, this is surprising because I would have thought that the standards would be more vague in lieu of so much emphasis and concern about whether or not this it taught, and the underlying assumption that true meaning and foundation are not taught.  I guess what has happened is that teachers are rushed to cover everything in the K and 1st grades and feel the need to teach the “testable” material.

But from what I have seen in Kindergarten and 1st Grade recently, teachers are doing a great job of building on these beginning math concepts and providing strong foundations for future learning.  Lots of use of manipulatives, integration with everyday examples (lunch counts), using songs and rhymes, demonstrating understanding with groups and how to make them, etc. is incorporated on a daily basis.  Granted I do see the “testing” side of number recognition, rote counting, and number writing, but this is only a small percentage of time spend keeping “data folders” current for each student.

Katie – What have you seen in the younger grades lately?   Have you seen teachers building understanding or just teaching rote counting and/or number memorization?



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