Warning: Personal Story Ahead Then Some Talk About Common Core
(scroll to bottom for TL;DR message)
When I entered sixth grade, my school tried to label me a "genius" and forced me into the Gifted and Talented program. This isn't a brag on my part; I hated it and eventually got out of it. The reason I hated it was two fold: the first reason was that I was clearly not a "genius", the second reason was because the GnT program was mainly reserved for upper middle and upper class kids who hated me (the poor kid) for intruding.
The reasons for me hating the gifted group are unimportant. The important part is why I found my way into the group.
Like I said, I'm not a genius. What I am,
however, is quick and intuitive when it comes to some things. One of those things is problem solving. Once I see a solution to a type of problem, I tend to remember it and work out ways to get to that solution pretty easily. That sounds a lot cooler than it really is, but that trait skewed my test results back in elementary school. That's why I found myself in gifted classes for half a school year decades back. Once I got into high school all my 'skill' gave me was the ability to annoy my teachers.
Earlier, +Russell Holly
reshared a link that +Jeremy Reger
shared previously: http://goo.gl/m9H42J
That link goes into an explanation of the image being shared on social networks about the "new math" being proposed. I'm not sure why the author in the link says that conservatives are the ones criticizing this new math stuff, since I've seen people leaning left complaining as much as those leaning right. I've heard educators complain about this method as well. The rage I've seen in comments based on the left half of the image below seem to know no political ideology as far as I can tell. And I have to admit, seeing the image without an explanation of why it's doing what it's doing seems pretty weird to me as well. However,
once I saw the explanation I was surprised. I wasn't surprised because it finally made sense, though. I was surprised because that's how I figured out how to solve large subtraction problems back in fifth grade.
I say "figured out" because I don't recall being taught to do it. I do recall getting complex problems in paragraph format where I had to solve the problems by doing math (subtract, add, multiply, divide). Doing enough of them just made me work out shortcuts. That those shortcuts already exist as a known system is pretty much irrelevant. The algebra shortcuts I used in middle and high school are probably also part of a known system as well. Regardless, those methods I used sure as heck were faster
and just as sure used to get me in constant trouble for not "showing my work" because the methods I used involved fewer steps.
So what's the big honking deal? I used to (and still) call it "working backwards" for reaching a solution. Heck, we already teach this to people who handle money as a way to give people change. Why would providing this method of doing simple math be a bad thing if it actually has practical application? There's no practical application for the "borrowing" method of subtraction, that's for damn sure. Instead, this just seems like more of the same hate on the education system that comes from the left as well as the right (though admittedly using different arguments).
Here's Jeremy's original post (sorry for not using the share button, dude): https://plus.google.com/+JeremyReger/posts/2QaBoS8H37M
Give Jeremy a circle if you like this post. Conclusion for TL;DR folks: None of what I'm saying here is meant to defend Common Core as a whole. I don't know enough about all of the details for it to form a solid opinion one way or the other. But this proposed math change seems like an incredibly good idea.