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Common Core is making me stupider.

As you may know if you follow me on Facebook, I pretty much hate, with a capital H-A-T-E, this “new common core” math being taught. Every day it’s a massive struggle for Chris and me, him with a Masters Degree and myself with a Bachelors, to teach 3rd grade homework to our daughter.

Putting aside that we work for hours past an already 8 hour school day, ignoring that we are provided no text books to learn about the material, and sweeping under the rug that they send home homework on things they have yet to even teach yet, we are doing our best.

But we are lost.


And I am a bit angry to tell you the truth.

Today was just another example of “fuzzy” math.

This is on Charlotte’s homework:


All her problems have to be done this way.

Under what math EVER would 291 be “estimated” or “rounded off” to 200?  Am I missing something? And this is the example for her to base all her other math homework on.

I can tell you that if I estimated or rounded off my bills from $291 to $200, I would get a notice of an unpaid bill. I am not sure my mortgage or car payment would agree with that.

And let’s jump to the answer. The estimated sum ‘500’ is considered reasonable with ‘645’?

Is 5 million the same as 6.5 million? Ask an accountant that. Ask a corporation that.

I can’t help but wanting to refuse to teach Charlotte something that I find completely and utterly wrong.


Hi, y'all! If you got this far, awesome . I am assuming you want to know more about me. I am a *cough* 36 year old mom of 2 great kids, 6 rescue animals and proud wife of my high school sweetheart. This blog is my outlet and allows me to pretend I am a kid at heart. I get to play with glitter and glue, eat lots of sweets (its for the blog, I swear!) and connect with readers and friends. As a blogger I love to share with you- so the rundown is that I am currently reading this, using these for calmer bedtimes, giving away this, and suggesting here if you ever wanted to be a blogger yourself.

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  1. Here’s the thing… anyone who learned estimating and rounding in the past learned anything past half of the amount is rounded UP not down. So it would be 400 + 300, an estimate of 700, which would be reasonable. Teaching them not to round up if it’s closer to the next hundred is stupid. Teaching them to place more value on the first number and ignore the others is foolish.

  2. I think common core is just another advancement in the education world that parents are against because they do not understand and they do not want to change their way of seeing things.
    – 17 year old high school student with two younger brothers who are both in elementary school

    • I feel as though it is you that doesn’t see the problem. They did assume 1 significant figure in the math, which would be unnecessary as addition wouldn’t change the significant figures in this problem, but they rounded down when the obviously should have rounded up. In my intended major of Chemical Engineering an answer being off by 55 (400+300=700) is acceptable but 145 (300+200=500) is way to far off and would be wrong. If I were calculating the amount of force, hopefully in Newtons, that a bridge must be able to hold I doubt you would want me to be off by much if at all, and in the real world and college you would be penalized, with the respective punishment, for not having the correct answer because close doesn’t always count. — 18 year old College student

  3. The more I look at people’s reactions to Common Core math problems, the more I am convinced that these adults lack basic understanding in elementary mathematical notions and concepts. And frankly, to those of us who have an understanding of mathematics, you are making fools of yourselves.

    First of all, this is a practice problem in a technique. Mathematics training, at all levels including the most advanced, has been doing this for ever. Practice problems are often simplified illustrations of a concept, given for learning purposes. The goal, is for the student to grasp the underlying principle. It is not necessary that the problem reflect anything immediately useful.

    What I find most striking about people who criticize common core by picking on math problem examples, is not even that they are ignorant of the elementary mathematical concepts being illustrated. It is the arrogance with which they proclaim their ignorance as knowledge. People, the problem isn’t with the Common Core … it’s with you and your level of understanding… and the fact that most of these elementary concepts are lost on you.

    However, for all of those too dull witted to be unable to contrive a example for this particular problem where this estimation technique would be both useful and valid, let me do it for you — A ballroom has a capacity of 700 people. We are having a party where two classes are invited. The first has around 354 students and the other no more than 291 students. Is the room large enough? Using the estimation technique above, we estimate 500. The real number has to be within 200 of that estimate (why?), so yes, the room is large enough.

    The problem is you. Not Common Core.

    • your mother says:

      This reply is the stupidest ever! Its insulting. The way we learned math when we were kids worked for us and now they are doing it a longer harder way. I think your smarter if you can do math in your head rather than have to write out a huge problem that can be done faster the old way. Common core sucks and I think you suck too.

      • Have you learned the math or just memorized a line of math facts and spent your entire life quoting a text book?

    • What an imbecile! The problem is people lime you who don’t care about the correct answer. The correct answer is not an estimation. I am completely with Trisha. According to your mentality, 1 + 1 = Could be 1 or three because the estimation is close. You are a nut job.

    • Just exactly where are these kids gonna be using this Common Core Math at in life? Explain that to me. All they are doing is putting more stress on our students.

    • Your example is flawed. You would round up to 300 for the 291, and you’d probably round up for the second since it’s past the 50 mark, making it 400, so the answer would be 700. You’d know that the number is actually less than that because you rounded up. To use your example, how about if the room can hold no more than 550. According to this and your rounding estimates you would be under the mark, when in actuality you’re more than a hundred over it. Terrible estimation, terrible rounding.

      Teaching students to ignore the math to the right and focus on the largest number is a recipe for disaster. When you use rounding and estimates you round up if it’s past the half mark, round down if it’s under the half mark, there is a huge difference between 200 and 291, it’s asking them to ignore even earlier information on the number line. (Is it closer to 300? Or 200? If you were to estimate where it was, would you pick 200 or 300? Shouldn’t we be building on this information they get in common core in the first grade? Can you begin to see how a child may think “how can 291 be more like 200 than 300?”)

      The parents are just stupid is a foolish ‘sticking my head in the sand’ comment. It’s an excuse to ignore real issues that are cropping up. Most parents can and do understand estimation and rounding. This is simple, and still used in real world and much higher math. But 291 is never going to be closer to 200 than 300.

  4. Common core is terrible. There is no reason for 6th graders to cite text evidence on a classic fiction story.

    • TO answer your question of when they will use this information: when have yo9u ever used Latin? or trig? or calculus? or any of that information you learned in high school? You have not used half of it so why can we not teach kids with this new way

  5. I HATE common core! How can I help my 6th graders with homework when I don’t understand it myself??!! My son asks his teacher for help and she tells him to try and figure it out by himself! They have no books with references or examples for educated parents to look at. My son use to get great grades in math, now he gets frustrated and feels stupid because he can’t solve simple problems that should take a few steps instead of 30 steps. Common core is the most ridiculous thing! I don’t understand how my 11 year old is suppose to learn something when there is no one or no book to help him! It’s incredibly frustrating and and demeaning. Teachers expect these kids to understand the concept they day they teach it and then to move on to the next concept, when they can’t understand any of it.

  6. My daughter and I struggle through her homework, which calls for diagrammatic representation, explanations, and justifications to explain the most basic concepts. Did we really pay millions of dollars for this? And the educators are now blaming the schools, the teachers, & (are you kidding me), the parents! Do the parents need to go to school again to help their kids with the homework?

    • Would you rather your daughter grow up and struggle through classes not having full understanding of math and chemistry and other classes in school or her job and career, or would you rather go and ask her teacher to explain how to do this math to you and be able to help her and support your daughters learning career?

  7. I 100% agree with you. As for the person commenting without kids – his opinion is null and void!!! I have no idea how to teach my daughter how to do her 4th grade homework. I don’t see how this is going to help her in the real world – you cannot estimate that the pineapple in the grocery store is $1.00 if the price tag is $1.69. Sorry. They wouldn’t sell it to you.

  8. Ummm, have you read the Common Core Standard (CC)? So I just saw this example and yes, I agree, it is wonky. So then I did a little research (very little) and read the entire 3rd grade CC. It doesn’t take long, it’s just some achievement standards. So all these ridiculous examples I keep seeing friends posting or reposting have nothing to do with common core and everything to do with your state implementation, the teachers, and probably most importantly, whoever is writing the textbooks. I don’t have kids, so I really don’t care all that much. But I do not like misinformation so guess what, the common core is not the problem. Read it then point your laser cats at the right target.

    • Since the books have this stamped on them….. (and this came directly out of my daughters desk)

      • I can see where people would be confused but it seems the makers/authors of the textbooks are to blame, not the standards. What does the inside cover show I wonder. And seriously, you should read the common core guidelines if you haven’t. If everybody start directing the problems at the right source, maybe something can be done.

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