Parents want what is best for their children and keeping up with their education is a key component to being mindful of what is happening in their lives. As any educator can attest to, trends develop and come and go with amazing rapidity and sometimes parents can be bewildered by the strange “educationese” language that teachers can speak. An alphabet soup of acronyms are common including IEP, 504, SAT, ACT, AP, EOCT, TEKS, and the list goes on and on. One of the newer trends which will definitely have an impact on your child’s learning as we move into 2013 is the advent of the Common Core Standards.
Common Core Standards are a series of standards adopted in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Prior to this, each state set it’s own standards for what skills were taught and when they were to be taught. This led to fifty different curriculums with great disparity between the individual states which led to major headaches, particularly if a family moved from one state to another and found that material only to find that their children’s education didn’t match up with what was being taught in their old school district. Common Core hopes to alleviate this by setting exact standards and suggested grade level reading lists for each grade.
Many feared that this would involve a complete takeover of education from the federal government. This, however, is not the case. Common Core is completely voluntary with forty-five of the fifty states having signed on to the standards. (As of this writing, Alaska, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia have not joined in.) The federal government took a hands-off approach to drafting the standards which were adopted by a committee of representatives from the individual states.
The emphasis for mathematics will include a foundation in both content knowledge and skills. For instance, the K-5 standards include strong work in numbers and counting and the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division and then build their way through trickier topics such as fractions, decimals, negative numbers, and geometry. What this means for parents is that they will probably see an even greater emphasis on these skills in early grades as they build on each other and move the child into college and career readiness mathematics.
Mathnook online games provide a fun and informative way to help reinforce these skills at an early age. You can take what your child is learning in his or her classroom as part of the Common Core standards and then strengthen and support these skills with interactive games that are eye-catching and challenging. Mathnook is devoted to helping your child develop as a learner with the new standards and beyond.