Common core arithmetic

I’ve seen plenty of references to ‘common core’ and the changes in ways arithmetic is taught.  This article: ‘There’s A New Way Of Doing Subtraction — And It’s So Much Better Than How You Learned In School‘ caught my eye because of its claim of being ‘new’.

Common Core Arithmetic

After we had taken our GCE ‘O’ levels (yes, I’m that old) our form master said “Now I’m going to teach you something that I’m not allowed to teach as part of the curriculum.  It’s called ‘Practice’ “.  He wasn’t being sarcastic and indirectly telling us to practise more, instead he went on to describe exactly the common core techniques now being described as ‘new’.  Techniques he said he was taught at school.

I’ve used them ever since and consider that old ‘Donkey’ Bray did more for me in that few minutes of description than he had in any of multiple lessons before – and that’s not an implied criticism of his teaching.

Ever since, the approach has been so ingrained in my way of thinkng about simple arithmetic that I assumed that everyone uses it, and I taught it to my son as well.

So educational fads come and go, but the good ones don’t fade away completely.


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A personal blog about a few of my interests … other than Visual Thinking