Common Core is a controversial topic among parents, internet-users, and politicians. It seems that people enjoy talking about Common Core math, especially. I have seen the link on Facebook that has been posted and reposted about the Common Core homework sheet. There is also the story that has been posted and reposted called, "5 Reasons Not To Share That Common Core Math Sheet." It seems everyone has their opinion. As a teacher, I have my opinion too. I am no expert, but I do teach Common Core math everyday to twenty-six second graders. Like other things, there are parts of Common Core math that I like and parts I dislike. But my experience is that, compared to previous years, students are learning, growing, and gaining a deeper mathematical understanding.

The students I have this year are students who have been taught the Common Core standards since kindergarten. This is the first group of students who will not have gaps in their instruction because they have had consistency for almost 2 and a half years. What I have seen from my students is a solid understanding of foundational math skills, and I think they are very well-prepared for the more advanced skills that they will learn in later grades.

Here are some examples that show that seven year olds CAN explain their thinking, and they CAN do what we are asking them to do. (Remember, though, that they are still children and their answers are not perfect...but why would we want them to be?!)

The students I have this year are students who have been taught the Common Core standards since kindergarten. This is the first group of students who will not have gaps in their instruction because they have had consistency for almost 2 and a half years. What I have seen from my students is a solid understanding of foundational math skills, and I think they are very well-prepared for the more advanced skills that they will learn in later grades.

Here are some examples that show that seven year olds CAN explain their thinking, and they CAN do what we are asking them to do. (Remember, though, that they are still children and their answers are not perfect...but why would we want them to be?!)

This says, "Both numbers have the same numbers in them except the numbers are not in the same place. James has more cars because in 150, the one represents 100 and the 5 represents 50 and the 0 represents 0. But in 105, the one represents 100 and the 0 represents 0 and the 5 represents 5 and I know that 150 is greater than 105."

The first one says, "It's true because in standard form, 2 hundreds and 4 ones is 204."

The next one: "It's true because in standard form 2 hundreds, 6 tens, and 4 ones is 264 and 624 is more."

The next one: "It's true because in standard form 2 hundreds, 6 tens, and 4 ones is 264 and 624 is more."

"Jack was right because in 105 in expanded form is 100+5. In expanded form 150 is 100+50 so it's more than 5 so it's 45 more than 105."

"Value of 7 (in 75) is 70. Value of 4 (in 412) is 400. Both values are 300. The value of the 81(in 818) is 810."

"No, 399 is 10 more than 389 not 100 more. 100 more is 489."

"300 is greater than 245 because 3 hundreds is greater than 245 and the value of 3 hundreds is the number 300. And I know 300 is greater than 245."

Yes, I think these kids are impressive, but that isn't the point. The point is that if you are a parent and find yourself feeling opposed to Common Core math, maybe your child's teacher or principal can help you understand its purpose. If you are an internet-user who opposed to Common Core, remember that you can't believe everything you read about it. And if you are a politician who is opposed to Common Core, visit a classroom to see how it is used and talk to teachers and students about its benefits before forming your final opinion.

Yes, I think these kids are impressive, but that isn't the point. The point is that if you are a parent and find yourself feeling opposed to Common Core math, maybe your child's teacher or principal can help you understand its purpose. If you are an internet-user who opposed to Common Core, remember that you can't believe everything you read about it. And if you are a politician who is opposed to Common Core, visit a classroom to see how it is used and talk to teachers and students about its benefits before forming your final opinion.