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How can I help my child who is struggling with Common Core Math?

For a response, we turned to Matt Friedman, Education Editor for Scholastic's Math and Science classroom magazines. Here's what he had to say:

Today's teaching techniques can seem very different from what parents (and even teachers) learned when we were kids. Our textbooks often showed only one way to learn any given skill. And if we were unlucky, that single way focused on how to do the math rather than how to understand the math and why it works. The best teachers have always been able to show the "why" as well as the "how,” but knowing the variety of techniques required to get an entire class of students to the "why" was often left to the teacher, and not the textbook or even the standards.

Rounding using a number line is an example of how the new standards require teaching and learning the "why" in a way that is not familiar to many of us, but has the potential to create a generation of more flexible, knowledgeable mathematical thinkers. That's why my first suggestion for any questions on how to teach a given skill is seeing what you can learn from your child's textbook and notes.

If that doesn't do the trick, always feel free to contact the teacher for suggestions. It is her job to help your child—and you, if need be—understand how skills are being taught in their classroom.

These flip books are also a helpful resource. They provide the basic mathematical concepts being taught at every grade level.
 

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