5 Fun Ways to Use Common Core Math Curriculum

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Ways to Make Common Core Math Useful

Common Core is frustrating for students, parents, and teachers. It will soon be frustrating for college professors in science and engineering, as their incoming freshmen are unprepared to handle the first year calculus, chemistry, and physics required of STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) professionals-in-training.

With tongue firmly in cheek, I offer ways overworked K-12 math teachers can use the required Common Core materials without harming their students:

1. Bonfire/Career Day: Invite local firefighters to supervise a bonfire. Invite local scientists and engineers to talk with students about STEM careers while everyone toasts marshmallows and hot dogs for lunch. Common Core-aligned textbooks provide the fuel for this educational activity that is sure to get students excited about careers in technology!

2. Physics Activity: Drop a Common Core math book from the roof of the tallest building on campus to demonstrate gravity.

3. Chemistry Activity: Immerse books in various acids and caustic chemicals and record which chemical consumes the book most quickly.

4. Physical Education: Use books to create an obstacle course. Students can jump over Common Core hurdles, crawl through tunnels of crummy math texts, and slalom around tall stacks.

5. Political Science: Have students write essays speculating about why anyone would want kids to be unable to solve math problems quickly and efficiently.

In all seriousness, as a librarian and a STEM-educated woman married to a STEM professor, I have finally found books I would be willing to burn when it comes to Common Core "math" "standards."

Speak Out Against Common Core

Math Instruction That Works--Seriously!

  • Ray's Arithmetic Series
  • Saxon Math (at least until they are brought into Common Core compliance--ugh!)
  • VideoText Interactive Math, currently used by the classical school one of my daughters attends and by my Ph.D. engineer husband in homeschooling another daughter

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Comments 4 comments

goatfury profile image

goatfury 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

Ha! Well played. My parents (now long retired from teaching for 30 years each) utterly hate Common Core, and I got quite an earful whenever I'd go home to visit during the late 1990s.


Krystalyn 24 months ago

What a joy to find sonmoee else who thinks this way.


kimberlyschimmel profile image

kimberlyschimmel 21 months ago from Greensboro, NC

Yes, as the wife of a STEM professor I worry that students who are good at math will grow to despise it, while those who are not naturals will never learn it at all. Common Core is a lose-lose scenario. Only the publishers of the "curriculum" win, at a terrible cost to everyone else.


MikeSyrSutton profile image

MikeSyrSutton 17 months ago from An uncharted galaxy

Very Good! Here in N.Y. our Governor forced this through, against our wishes. Be grateful it's not in your state!

Voted up and then some!

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