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What strategies can I use to support my son with Common Core Math? He is doing well in all of his subjects but Math.

For this response, we turned to Jillian Baden Bershtein, a Professional Educator and an Adjunct Professor specializing in Elementary Education, Mathematics, and Literacy at The College of New Jersey. Here's what she had to say:

As schools have converted their traditional math programs to new programs that align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Math classrooms have flipped from teacher-centered to more student-centered places, with an emphasis on problem-solving. This has left many of our upper elementary students who are used to the traditional ways in a precarious position. In time, they will adapt to the new standards and practices.

The CCSS focuses not just on the "how" of mathematics education, as our generation was taught, but also the "why." To prepare students for an increasingly complex world, classroom teachers are asking students to solve real-world problems and explain how they solved those problems. Students are being asked to communicate through the language of mathematics, construct arguments, and give reasoning behind their thought processes. They are learning that there can be several ways to solve a problem. This can be a challenge, particularly for students who do not have strong reading and verbal skills.

The best way to support your child is to familiarize yourself with the standards. Here are some resources:

The CCSS: What Parents Should Know

Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards: Mathematics (Council of the Great City Schools)

Examples for each mathematical standard at each grade level

Talk to your child about what he explored in math class each day. Have him show you the concepts he's working on in class. He will be practicing the language of mathematics with you. As he adjusts to the expectations and demands of his teachers and the CCSS, he will gain confidence and be successful. Until then, keep the lines of communication open with him and with his teacher.

 

 

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