For math students the Common Core Standards for Missouri can be a challenge in Grades 1 – 5. Using COMMON SENSE we show students and parents how the Traditional Math method is related to the Common Core Standards method. Remember, both have the same goal and that is to teach math. We show the students how to use the new Common Core Standards method while at the same time building a strong Traditional math foundation. We believe the two are totally compatible since they are based on the same fundamental concepts of the four math operations, addition ( + ), subtraction (–), multiplication ( x ), and division ( ÷ ).
Our programs help all types of children and adults across the spectrum of intelligence, whether they are classified as average, above average, with or without dyslexia, ADD or ADHD. We have found a strong correlation between all struggling students and poorly understood basic math operations. The concepts could have been presented earlier in a school year or quite often even presented in a previous school year. Our programs help children and adults fill in the gaps and overcome their confusion.
As examples of this we have chosen to discuss multiplication and division operations using Traditional and new Common Core Standards for Missouri. Since there are four math operations, addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (x) and division (÷), and we are only discussing two of them please feel free to contact us for more information about addition and subtraction. Also these were chosen as examples because for them parents and children have the most difficulty finding a clear relationship between the Traditional and Common Core Standards methods. Our intention is not to discuss the strengths or weaknesses of either method, but to demonstrate how to solve problems using both methods. However there is one caveat, when applying either method you must minimize the number of steps used to solve a problem to maximize accuracy and efficiency. So every unnecessary step, even if mathematically correct, has the potential to introduce an error. The reason I say this is to bring to your attention that the new math approach can encourage some students to take less efficient routes to solve problems that results in incorrect answers and lower grades. Our experience shows that parents have little exposure to the new Common Core Standards for Missouri. Therefore our lessons are designed to give the parents confidence in our teaching approach, and more importantly so that the students develop the ability to solve problems using both math methods. We’ll begin by looking at multiplication:
In the above table we’ve shown examples of multiplication problems solved two ways. Row A is the traditional math method and rows B and C show the second or new math method. Each is demonstrated for the same one digit x two digit and two digit x two digit multiplication problems.
During each lesson the focus is on developing an awareness of and competence in the common core math abilities needed to solve problems using either method. In this case we begin by stressing the need to have a command of the multiplication tables. Both methods require the student know the math tables from the ones to the twelves. And since multiplication is taught after addition we only address adding difficulties as they appear. Here is where the one-on-one teaching at Math with ET at Webster’s Reading and Learning shines. We take the necessary time to back up, clarify and develop these weaker concepts. In a short time the students become aware of what they know and quickly demonstrate their abilities in the classroom. Then after reaching this level of confidence we offer more detail while continuing to stress commonalities between methods. For example, we would expand the well understood concept of number places by explaining how it’s determined in each method.
Next we will turn our attention to the traditional and new math methods as they are applied to teaching the division operation.
In the above table, column A shows a solution using the traditional division method and columns B, C, D and E show the application of the new math division method. Each method carries out the division operation on the same numbers, 2048 ÷ 8. Take note that there is only one example of the traditional division method, while there are four examples of the new math division method. Here I have to admit to a slight prejudice favoring the traditional method, although at the same time not suggesting that the new method be abandoned. For either method to be used accurately and efficiently there is a basic requirement, the student must have a strong working knowledge of the multiplication tables. The reason there are four division examples of the new math method is that, from B to C to D to E in that order, they demonstrate a student’s greater understanding of the multiplication facts. A student’s highest level of performance is shown by the traditional method in column A and the new math method in column E. Math with ET at Webster’s Reading and Learning encourages use of both methods, as long as the student applies the highest level of accuracy and efficiency.
Please contact us for more information about the math and reading programs.