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District Hosts Workshops to Help Parents Understand Common Core Math

District Hosts Workshops to Help Parents Understand Common Core Math

Parents in the Hazelwood School District are no different than many parents across the country in that they don't understand how to help their children with Common Core math.

While math for current students' parents used to involve limited steps, Common Core math problems encourage students to know multiple ways to solve one problem, resulting in a variety of methods used to visualize numbers. This confuses parents, who then begin to question the effectiveness of the standards due to lack of understanding.

"The approach has confused some parents who learned more straightforward methods for math, such as drills and memorization. Some have resorted to YouTube videos to understand the new process of long division," said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

When a survey in the Hazelwood School District revealed that parents in the district overwhelmingly sought help to better understand Common Core math, the district responded by holding workshops to do just that.

Hazelwood's math coordinator, Nevels Nevels, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the new strategies behind Common Core math help to ensure that students understand how they've arrived at their answer versus giving "the right answer for the wrong reason."

He and the rest of the dedicated staff in the district have set out to show parents how Common Core math works by conducting the workshops alongside the parents' children. The students are given Common Core math problems and, in front of their parents, explain how they get their answers.

"One by one, the children walked everyone through how they arrived at an answer.'Some of these kids are coming up with some pretty in-depth strategies,'" teacher Lesli Henderson told the Post-Dispatch.

Parents in the Hazelwood District are not alone. A survey conducted earlier this year in California found that a majority of parents- 55%- were not familiar with the Common Core or the tests assigned to them. 36% claimed to know very little, emphasizing the need for parents, teachers and students to get on the same page.

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/09/2015

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