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Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 5:10 PM

I'm a mechanical engineer who learned math the old fashioned way. I have a daughter who is a junior in high school and taking honors algebra - correction, COMMON CORE honors algebra. It's absolutely driving me crazy. She's a smart kid, but still needs occasional help with her homework. I have no idea how to help her. I try to show her the way that I learned, or that I know, and it's rarely the common core method she is learning in school - and if she doesn't do it the way they teach her, it's wrong. It is apparently no longer good enough to be able to arrive at the correct answer, and there is now only one correct way to get to the answer. To make it worse, there is no text book. She brings home a few stapled pieces of paper, copied from some state-mandated common core lesson. I have nothing to refer to - no table of contents or index, just a bunch of loose papers. As if that wasn't bad enough, they seem to jump around and do something different every night. They don't seem to focus on anything for more than a day or two. So just when I'm figuring out what they're doing, they're on to something else. Don't worry though, it will come back in the form of a CR (cumulative review), which is just as likely to have geometry on it as it is an algebra question from earlier in the year. Oh, and most of the teachers didn't learn this way either, and half of them don't even understand it themselves. It's very frustrating to know that I know how to solve the problem, but don't know how to help my daughter because I don't solve the problem the "right" way. I'm incredibly frustrated, and more than a little angry about this. I'm curious if anybody else feels my pain here. Anybody know of any online help sites, or maybe a common core support group for old-fashioned Dad's like me?

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#1

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:10 PM

I share your pain.

I went to a parent's common core 4th grade math meeting.

Somehow drawing boxes and bow ties and writing numbers in them was supposed to be better than adding/subtracting in columns.

It made no sense to me and still doesn't.

I'd search for "common core algebra help for parents".

My daughter, who is a teacher, hates it. Her daughter is taking CC algebra and her mom can't help her.

I'm all for having consistent educational standards across the USA, but dumbing down and complicating the processes is just flat out stupid!

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#19
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 2:46 AM

Many people are the same

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#21
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 8:41 AM

Then there are those, such as you, who are clueless.

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#112
In reply to #1

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/22/2015 11:48 PM

Before we were only taught to count 1 to 10, now I counted 1,133,444,313

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#2

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:11 PM
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#3

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:15 PM

Try this site... then click on the appropriate link on the right-hand side. It should at least get you started.

http://www.corestandards.org/Math/

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#7
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:52 PM

I looked at this site. With much dismay. Why do I get the sense that this whole common core math thing probably stemmed out of some PhD dissertation? Some of it, I get. In other cases, trying to solve a math problem with geometry (area) seems like putting the cart before the horse. Math is the tool we use to apply to geometry. Just seems so cumbersome. But if you didn't teach math in this new, cumbersome manner, how would we employ all these people to teach the teachers (and parents) how to do something so inefficiently?

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#53
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 9:45 AM

I believe that this CC math method and most other CC curriculum teaching methods are centered around current social standards for public education and behavior instead of improving intellect and ability.

Instead of pushing those students that are advanced to attain maximum knowledge and skills, the system instead is designed to keep all students in the mediocre range so that the slower students do not get socially offended and/or discouraged.

I fear that if this mode of thinking is left unchecked our nation will soon crumble and cease to be a world power.

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#54
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:22 AM

So, to put it in mathematical terms, the lowest common denominator.

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#91
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 7:58 AM

Exactly!

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#55
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:23 AM

Eloquent but disturbing observation . Even in our military now we are manipulating standards to accommodate social goals . We as a society and a nation are in serious trouble . And I'm not at all sure what the answer is . Perhaps the complexity of the breakdown of common sense leaves us in an impossible situation ?

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#92
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 8:36 AM

A good friend of mine recently resigned from his position as a Nuclear Control & Operations Instructor for the US Navy.

We had an "off-the-cuff" discussion that stirred my emotions and caused a "four alarm warning" to go off in my small cranium.

The reason he resigned basically was/is: "It used to be that when I stood up in front of a class to deliver a dissertation on a particularly difficult topic when I looked around the room I could see the "lights come on" as the students "got it". It has progressed to the point that when I looked around the room all I saw was darkness and total oblivion. Out of some 300 students in 10 different classes over the last 12 months not one student ever experienced a breakthrough that was noticeable. I first thought it was due to my teaching methods but came to realize that most if not all of the students do not have the basic educational skills nor do they fully grasp the overwhelming responsibility required to comprehend their failure to react properly when dealing with nuclear energy. I could not bear the thought of my having anything to do with the disasters soon to happen aboard nuclear vessels so I resigned my commission." (Not word for word as I did not record the conversation.)

It is not an impossible situation. There is a simple answer to the problem.

Remembering that "Children live up to the parent's and society's lowest expectations and requirements".

First; We must stop social eloquence and required political correctness in our society.

Second; We must set high educational standards that meet or exceed every other nation in the world.

Third; We must set high requirements for teachers and professors then be willing to pay top dollar for their services.

Fourth; Stop hiring quotas based on race, gender, or any other social agenda and instead test the applicants then hire the best candidates based on their attained score. The screening test must be comprised of knowledge, experience, and the ability of the applicant to apply their knowledge & skills in a "hands-on" situation.

Last; Strictly enforce anti-discrimination laws so that all applicants are judged upon the same criteria.

Of course, I am a dreamer.

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#93
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 8:45 AM

that is like a cancer,.....

recently, this crap going on in college, some of the liberal progressive faculties members involved, want to pass students, not because they ' get it', instead on the premise that because of the racist structure of the curriculum, the students aren't 'getting it'.

Basically defining and giving them a diploma that more resembles a participation ribbon, because failures too hard on them.

IMO, A lot has to do is the class is beyond their skills-set. And as hypocritical as this sounds, I'm all for people improving themselves,

BUT,...

I have personally experienced this having recently taking college night courses, some of these students do not belong in college. Maybe a trade school, but not in college.

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#98
In reply to #93

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 10:00 AM

"Maybe a trade school, but not in college."

Do they still HAVE trade schools anymore? It seems that all the private and 'prestige-public high schools have shifted away from "Technical" high schools (which were focusing on practical skills and Engineering basics. you know, "Technical" classes, Drafting, Shop classes) and have all become "College Prep" schools, focusing on SAT/ACT competency. Even my old Alma Matter, Gordon Technical High School has become Gordon College Prep School. I wonder how the priests handled the change? Gordon Tech was a Catholic High School, run by the Resurrectionists Congregation of the Resurrection(1).

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  1. Sorry old joke from my High School days. Before I even knew what a Resurrectionist was, I had a dozen priests introduce themselves to the class and explain that the C.R. after their name meant Congregation of the Resurrection, and that they were NOT to be called Resurrectionists. The joke had become cliche before I even understood it.
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#99
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 10:27 AM

It pretty had, We had a Technical Institute in our area and they were really good at supplying skilled workforce to the area, Then they become a technical college, BUT, still offer trades, Woodworking, machine shop, carpentry, Welding, Automotive. These are non-credited college courses, but are vocational credits

The still offer some of the more hobbyist, that resemble liberal arts, but that is fading quickly.

the High School I went to, had one of the best industrial arts programs (listed above) in the area. Until a new crop of school board members came in and steered away from this, as well as STEM, and focused more on liberal arts classes such as Drama and the like.

Didn't help that a large auditorium was constructed on school grounds for musicals, and plays.

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#101
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 10:58 AM

Yes, typically at the County-level. Rather than complete your last two years at your local High School, you go to the County Vocational School.

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#102
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 11:08 AM

That's what they had, BUT, you didn't take vocational instead of high school, you took vocational (night class) along with going to high school.

Most were for Welding and the local shipyards, (we had (3) shipyards)

I had taken quite a few classes also, (Machine Shop) when I was 15-16 years old, not so much for the vocational training, It was to use the machine tools for the projects my dad and myself had going on at home.

They were pretty good about that, mostly just to fill up the classes.

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#104
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 2:20 PM

Yep. I recently heard an argument between academic leaders from three different major universities about the validity of certain "tailored" Bachelor Degrees specifically created to satisfy the NCAA athletic requirements.

I was completely taken back that there are actual degrees available for such subjects as: "Black Cultural Studies", "Black Political Awareness", and several other unrealistic topics.

I had to change channels as my disbelief became frustration very quickly.

And I thought a degree in "Underwater Basket Weaving" was ridiculous?

I can only imagine the fallout for any major university offering a degree in "White Cultural Studies" or "White Political Awareness".

That being said it occurs to me that many colleges and universities have become very involved in training athletes for the professional ranks and are raking in the big bucks for doing so.

I suppose it is all well and fine for those that reap the windfall but what about all those athletes that do not make it to the pros?

I know several people that I played sports with that are dirt poor laborers or welfare recipients with damaged bodies who in my opinion were taken advantage of by the system.

Too bad they did not have the insight to see through the smoke and mirrors before it was too late.

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#105
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 2:30 PM

Underwater Basic Weaving?.. Oh my god.... that was a term that was used I thought was a joke when I went to college in the 80's.

Anyways, even back in the 80's, the students were looked at as product... and the goal was to produce as much product as possible..... unfortunately I felt that the quality of this product continuously declined.

I think that was the reason, I felt I never left, and continued with my education.

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#88
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 4:54 PM

Here's how I'd solve it:

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#97
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/20/2015 9:47 AM

"Instead of pushing those students that are advanced to attain maximum knowledge and skills, the system instead is designed to keep all students in the mediocre range so that the slower students do not get socially offended and/or discouraged."

Wow, I remember a story from High School that covered exactly that situation. It was titled Harrison Bergeron. Scary to think that's the future we're heading towards. I for one am not looking forward to the 'blur and distort' glasses, the sack of lead weight around the neck, and the headphones with jarring distracting sounds that I'd be forced to wear to make myself 'equal' to the 'lowest common denominator.'

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#4

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:25 PM

I also found this interesting:

http://www.sltrib.com/home/3132853-155/help-for-homework-helpers-teaching-parents

My take away from the article is that the school district offered assistance classes to parents. Maybe your daughter's school does the same?

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#5
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:43 PM

I read the article. Interesting. Then I thought about how we learned to do addition and subtraction back in the Dark Ages. We MEMORIZED by sight every addition and subtraction to 40. 0+0 to 20+20 and in reverse. Same thing with times table up to 12x12, forward and backwards. We had timed tests to discourage the 'doublers' which is kind of OK, and moreso the finger and toes crowd (counting). My kids are still amazed that I calculate the fuel mileage at fill up to one decimal point in my head. I don't need no stinkin' common core math.

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#23
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 9:58 AM

I hear ya... although I was on the leading edge of New Math when I went to school and fell victim to many of the Open School Reforms while in High School, we weren't forced to memorize past 10 (10+10 and 10x10) and didn't do subtraction or division.

And I see what the CC Math is trying to do in that it is trying to formalize the different types of mental processes we do to solve relatively easy problem that we don't have memorized... 1,238+972-24+87-1. So, I don't have that memorized but solving it mentally is easy enough and done rather quickly, likely (in this case) no more than two to four seconds... but what's going on in my mind in that time vs. your mind in that time will vary. How do you formalize the different ways to solve that problem? And should you even try?

Take fractions even... as someone that did a lot of drafting and design in the first half of my career I have all decimal equivalents through 64ths memorized as a result of constant use. As such, when working with fractions or decimals that in that range my mental approach to solving may be different than someone that doesn't have that committed to memory so the process each of us would use to solve 17/32+3/8-15/16+7/64 would vary.

For me - I'm doing that in my head and can give you the answer as either a fraction or a decimal in a few seconds. And inside my head I may take 17/32 and make it either 16 or 18 32nds (I'll account for the rogue 32nd later) so it becomes 8 or 9 16ths... since the numerator in the other term 15/16 is odd, I would automatically convert 17/32 to 18/32 so it becomes 9/16 and odd + odd is even which is going to assist in a later manipulation and simplification. But all this is done in my head based on already garnered knowledge of how to manipulate numbers to ease the solving process. But they never taught me that... They 'only' taught me factoring and common denominators. Using that method I'd have to break down each term into its factors, convert everything to 64ths and the numerator in my the solution is going to be huge and then I'd have to reduce... via the textbook way of factoring, ad nausium.

But they way I do it is based on years of applied experience.

Right or wrong, common core is trying to take those steps I do in my head, based on years of experience with these types of numbers, and teach them right out of the gate... that's the problem... trying to formalize a lesson plan to teach a mental short cut that is learned after years of applied experience and is done without thinking.

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#36
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 1:30 PM

I could see that. Some of the CC constructs are things I do as 'mental shortcuts' to in lieu of traditional long hand math. Like you said, we developed these constructs long after working with the basics. I developed those 'tricks' as way of avoid 'extra work'. In other words, I had motivation to learn/develop them. Throwing them out there in the absence of motivation is almost a guarantee they won't be learned by most.

One of the problems I had with teaching the calculator/computer generation was to get them to at least come up with a rough order of magnitude estimate of the answer before crunching the numbers in a calculator. That way if they made a gross error in entering numbers or selecting operators, they would have some clue that the digits on the calculator are not in the realm.

I like that CC is working to develop estimating techniques. That one of the few things I like.

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#57
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:30 AM

"1,238+972-24+87-1"

Do it in my head? Okay, break it down:

  1. All addition and subtraction, so look at it as summing positive and negative numbers.
  2. Start with the smaller values to keep from trying to remember static values irrelevent to the current calculation.
    1. 87 + (-1) = 86
    2. -24 + 86 = (-20 + 80) + (-4 + 6) = 60 + 2 = 62
    3. ( no more negatives, just raw addition from here on in )
    4. 972 + 62 = 900 + (70 + 60) + (2 + 2) = 900 + 130 + 4 = 1034
    5. 1238 + 1034 = (1000 + 1000) + 200 + (30 + 30) + (8 + 4) = 2000 + 200 + 60 + 12 = 2200 + 60 + 12 = 2200 + 72 = 2272

At least that's the way MY brain crunches the numbers.

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#60
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 1:13 PM

YES!!! Exactly.

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#63
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 2:34 PM

If I were to do that pen&paper style, it'd be a little different:

1,238+972-24+87-1 = 1238+972+87 + (-24) + (-1) =1238+927+87 + (-25)

87-25 = 62

Then stack into a 'sums column' (leading zeroes added so everything lines up with this forums format overriding)

1238

0927

0062

Then look at each column as a single problem, 'pull out the tens,' and dump the 'less than ten at the bottom.

Multiple methods, multiple little tricks, each works under different circumstances, but if you don't know your basics, don't know the framework that MAKES the trick work, then you won't know if you're using the right 'trick,' or that your answer is wrong because you used the wrong shortcut for the situation.

You want kids to learn multiplication:

  1. Teach them to memorize their 'times tables' 1x1 - 1x10, 2x2 - 2x10 ... out to 12 x 10.
  2. Teach them that multiplying 2x3 is the same as taking two threes and adding them together, so they understand the connection between addition and multiplication.
  3. Teach them that their 11's are the same as taking their 10's and adding it to their 1's and that their 12's are the same as the 10's added to the 2's. Now they have the framework to multiply any two-digit number.
  4. Show them three-digit multiplication, and four digit multiplication, so they realize that knowing how to multiply two digits means knowing how to multiply ANY NUMBER of digits.

Now they not only know their times tables, they understand HOW Multiplication 'works,' and how it fits in to what they already know about addition and subtraction.

"But teacher, if multiplying is like adding over and over again, is there something that's like SUBTRACTING over and over?" "Yes there is, it's called division, and we'll be starting that next time."

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#67
In reply to #57

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 2:44 PM

I start with the negatives first, to get them out of the way, but my approach was slightly different:

  1. -24 and -1 are -25
  2. 87-25 = 62
  3. 1,238+972 = 1,240+970 = 1,210+1,000 = 2,210
  4. 2,210+62 = 2,272
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#69
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 3:02 PM

See, different methods, different shortcuts, but they all work because we both know the framework, the scaffolding, the reasons WHY these shortcuts work.

Common Core is trying to teach the shortcuts without the real understanding behind them learned from doing it 'the hard way' first.

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#113
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/22/2015 11:50 PM

Can you also fortell the future?

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#58
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:42 AM

"Right or wrong, common core is trying to take those steps I do in my head, based on years of experience with these types of numbers, and teach them right out of the gate... that's the problem... trying to formalize a lesson plan to teach a mental short cut that is learned after years of applied experience and is done without thinking."

That is the wrong approach right there, Teach the basics, then teach the framework, THEN teach the shortcuts now that the students understand the framework and can see how the shortcuts work. I was another 'victim' of 'fad teaching,' my parents tried to get me to learn Chi Shon Bop to improve my math. I got the 'weighted counting on fingers' bit, but after that it was just confusing to me. When I count using my fingers, I still use the 'thumb is worth five' method, so my hands can surreptitiously hold a count of 0-99, or two independant counts of 0-9, and from that, I took the 'weighted counting' idea into binary-decimal conversion: leaving the thumbs out, I can run octal-hex-binary-decimal conversions on my fingers when people think I'm just tapping on the desk in boredom/frustration.

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#114
In reply to #58

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 11:02 AM

Yes! Exactly! Trying to teach methodology for solving problems before teaching and mastering the basic laws of any subject is a recipe for disaster.

There may be a very small number of students that are able to "get it" but most will not be able to do so.

I know the process of mastering basic laws can be (is) boring to many but not doing so pretty much guarantees confusion for most people and ultimately degradation of IQ and ability.

If people do not fully understand what they are doing they will never be competent and their quality of work and accomplishments will always be substandard.

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#115
In reply to #58

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 11:06 AM

'Fad Teaching'.... a lot of us were, unfortunately it was in Math.

But learning the fundamental is right, I had engineers that I worked with did not understand fundamentals, and were quite reliant on computer programs. And were totally lost when it came to the simplest problems.

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#116
In reply to #115

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 12:08 PM

I'll admit, when I've got a large number to crunch, I'm likely to pull out a blank excel spreadsheet and make the machine do the calculation for me there. However, I only do that when I know and understand the the problem, know the formulas to use, and, very likely, am involved in a running conversation with someone about the problem. I use the machine to save time, both with the initial number crunch and to copy-paste the formulas around to quickly answer the 'yeah, but what if' questions that come up.

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#117
In reply to #116

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 12:34 PM

I do that, when I need to double check, especially when I'm using a list of numbers.

Such as creating numbers off of BOM's.

As I'm approaching retirement. If I have a program available. I'll use it instead.

I even wrote excel programs for heat transfers for heat exchangers specifications

The problem I had with engineers for doing strengths calculations. They are totally reliant on programs.... unfortunately. And they are lost even if they have reference books. That comes down to fundamentals.

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#119
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 1:17 PM

Notice the common thread with guys like you and me using computers to do math:

"I know WHAT needs to be done, HOW it needs to be done, and WHY it needs to be done. I'll direct while the machine does the heavy (mental) lifting. I'll be double checking its work to make sure it did things right."

We use computers to Supplement our brains, or to 'offload' some tedious portion of the work work. We don't use the computers to Replace our brains, and let them do our THINKING and DECISION MAKING for us.

I really pity the people who would let a computer make all their decisions for them. (Then my Mad Scientist side starts chiming in with 'Do you realize how easy it would be to control those people? They may not listen to you, but they'll listen to the computer; if you get the computer to listen to you, you can control them THROUGH the computer. Besides, isn't it more fun to be the Jester than the King? You get to be the 'Force Behind the Throne' and make them dance to your tune with little more than a well-placed "Would you kindly..."')

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#122
In reply to #119

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 2:08 PM

There was a saying between generations I don't know if it applys now.

But the younger generation does his work by hand and checks his work with a calculator

And the older generation does his work with a calculator and check it by hand.

Now, they just use a calculator/computer,.... (and hopes someone else checks their work.)

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#135
In reply to #119

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 3:17 PM

"I'll be double checking its work to make sure it did things right."

The above statement is where knowing, remembering, and applying basic laws allows the developer/author to determine if the answer/result is logical or not.

Without this critical skill and being totally dependent on a computer is wherein the serious error(s) and cause of panic reside.

I recently got a request for support at a new, large air compressor facility to solve some HMI tag value errors and bad communications.

The system startup was stalled and had been so for three days.

As soon as I observed the displayed HMI values and the vendor's laptop view of the program table configuration values, I knew immediately the analog devices and HMI scaling math blocks were not correctly matched because the negative values being displayed indicated reported values from critical devices were out-of-range causing the CPU memory registers to "wrap".

It took about forty-five minutes to correct the errors and the system came up to correct operating state.

I could not and still cannot grasp that a factory startup technician/engineer would not know the most basic laws of PLC/computer programming and configuration.

The factory field representative is without a doubt a very intelligent person as he grasped my explanation very quickly.

So, I know his ignorance is a direct result of not ever being exposed to the correct subjects which goes back to teaching methodology and poor standards.

We spent quite some time together discussing basic principles and laws pertaining to instrumentation controls, PLC programming, and basic programming requirements so I am confident on the next project he will be much more successful.

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#159
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 1:24 PM

Most of what you say makes sense to me but then I talk as a novice in your field of expertise, and I would not be able to design or progamme a computer to do what you do.

Which partly is why I have not used 'computers' in any of our machines. Even so, there is a degree of logic in the 'pneumatics' of our ciruitry, where it is necessary to 'know' what you are doing in terms of proper use and maintenance.

Our machines hiss and puff during their operating cycle and it helps if the user knows what to expect. For this reason, as well as a service manual, I like to go over the finer points of the 'workings' with the customer.

Interestingly in one incident, the manager arranged for his technician to attend a demo. Don't get me wrong! I have the greatest respect and admiration for engineers with dirty hands and blue boiler suits, but when this chap turned up with a 36" pipe wrench over his shoulder like a rifle, I had a sinking feeling that the finesse of adjusting small devices would be lost on him.

Not that it was an issue because my design concept was to make a machine using readily available common core components that only needed basic knowledge and not to introduce complex control components in order to make a 'fashion statement' that then requires expert prior teaching.

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#160
In reply to #159

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 2:16 PM

36" pipe wrench. Indeed, the old adage "if it still won't go, get a bigger hammer" still seems to apply in a lot of applications.

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#120
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 1:19 PM

When you say 'large' I guess this includes 'long' numbers as well. I tend to use excel for these especially when repetitious, but usually a calculator to save time for one-off numbers to do the 'arithmetic to get the precision necessary.

But as you have said, you need to have a good idea the magnitude of the result to be confident in the answer.

Espcially in my line of business in air quality where the particles can be sub-micron in size/weight, yet present in mega numbers in volume/mass, where care is needed when converting from one measurement to the other.

It can be so easy to be wrong by a factor of a 1,000 without realising it. A mental picture of proportion is needed first to be on the safe side.

CC maths looks as though it might be the way.

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#123
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 2:10 PM

I would say yes, if a pattern shows itself.

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#118
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 1:05 PM

Reliance on computers these days is not only a mathematical thing, the understanding of the basics of the English language - spelling and grammar- has degraded substantially as well. That is sad as it is only one generation after mine where I see it constantly and consistently.

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#121
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 2:05 PM

That is unfortunate, and a lot of the responsibility of the English syntax issue is on ones personnel responsibility.

I being one of them. Why?, not that I cared, just never showed interest in it.

That is the reason why I'm not too overly offended when corrected.

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#124
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 2:38 PM

It is nice that you have someone to correct you. One very important reason for proper English is the preparation of quotations in order to obtain business. Poor or inadequate wording can lead to a lot of $ lost in business. While I let others double check the dollars, I spend more time with the qualification wordings.

A grammatical error can drastically change exactly what you mean, especially when using technical terms, but even in the true grammatical sense.

Back in the day when there were actually "secretaries" to type up things, I had to use someone elses' because I did not have a typewriter available to me. I had to carefully check exactly what was typed up because I was told, "that didn't make any sense to me so I changed it" and the quote got sent before I could proof it. Thankfully we didn't lose too many $$ on that one.

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#125
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 2:49 PM

I have to also state, it depends on the media.

Here at CR4, my quality lacks.

As far as biding contracts on projects that I have done, I do have others other than myself read it if for anything for understanding and give me feed back.

Prior to release, I did have a recent communication issue, where the understanding did not come close to my intent.

The problem, I had an understanding and familiarity of the project, and that is where it's best to have fresh eyes on it.

Typewriter....., I had English and writing composition in college. You were not require to use white-out. It was pretty normal for me to retype my paper a few times... but the that amount was reduced after a while.

I took night classes recently, and the college did have people to proof read your work. This was great, except, there were times these people weren't not familiar in scientifically or technical writing.

But they did correct the fringes around the core writing was very useful.

But I did go to school with a fellow that did technical writing (he wrote operators manuals for Oshkosh Defense), I connected with him on LinkedIn. only to notice the job title as 'Technical Writer' he had was misspelled.

I pointed it out to him and he hasn't talked to me since.

btw, I also notice, the longer my posts, the better chance of error.

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#126
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 3:14 PM

That reminded me of when I had a recommendation from someone on LinkedIn that had a couple typographical errors. After I pointed it out to them (thinking this was more of a reflection on them, than me, and I was doing them a favor) they withdrew the recommendation rather then correct it.

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#127
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/23/2015 3:30 PM

So true about the length. Fortunately, I did take typing class for 2 years in high school. Now it's called keyboarding. Another "basic" skill almost everyone could use these days. Has served me well during my life in business.

I wonder how that would be done in "common core" these days.☼☺♫♫

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#128
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 8:33 AM

In 8th grade I took typing for a semester as an elective (mainly because my parents suggested it would be useful doing term papers, but probably more so because of a particular blond was signing up for it).

Little did I know how much use I would get out of the simple skill of being able to type without looking at the keyboard. My kids are amazed when I sit down to the computer to type something.

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#129
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 8:44 AM

I know the feeling. Even back in the day, I could out type most of my assistants, that is the days when there were "secretaries" whose sole job was to type things up.

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#130
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 8:54 AM

"...I could out type most of my assistants..."

I was never that proficient, but could maintain a decent speed with no errors.

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#131
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 9:25 AM

Back in the day a "good" secretary could to about 40 to 50 words a minute, depending on how well the draft was written(literally) on a IBM Selectric. I did most of mine on manual typewriter, the kind that you had to throw the carriage bakc at the end of each line, after you heard the "ding" when you were 5 strokes away from the end of the line. Best 5 minute test I ever did was 120 WPM - oh, by the way, you were allowed 5 errors and that was the end of the test no matter how much more you typed.

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#132
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 10:09 AM

I used one of those manuals, but didn't know how to type at the time. I got fairly quick at 2 fingers. In school I learned to type properly but my fingers would get ahead for my eyes and errors are common...backspace is my friend today :-)

When learning, we had these tabs of correction film. You would back space till you were on the letter, put the film in and hit the letter again. I think we had one machine that had a roll of the stuff and it would use it automatically when you hit a button.

I do miss the sound and tactile feel of the old mechanical typewriter, I bet using one would slow me down a bit and I would make fewer mistakes or learn to make fewer. I wonder if I shouldn't get one for my fiction writing? I would need to be able to scan and digitize it because sometimes I cut and paste to move things around. It was fun in university being the one Engineer who actually liked writing.

Drew K

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#134
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 2:38 PM

"....I do miss the sound and tactile feel of the old mechanical typewriter..."

Drew K. Here's a link to the sound - you'll have to imagine the feel....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEp94r8qqSM

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#133
In reply to #128

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/24/2015 12:17 PM

but probably more so because of a particular blond was signing up for it

As a freshman in High School, same reason taking typing as an elective, after my 'D'. the following semester I took Home Ec as a elective 'B'. same reason.

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#137
In reply to #128

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/01/2015 12:01 PM

The funny thing about this is that, now everybody types on computers, phones and tablets, you would think that typing would be standard curriculum now. I took a typing class in the summer when i was in high school (back in the dark ages), when the only typing was on typewriters. Now that you can hit backspace and easily fix your corrections, it seems to be viewed as less important than it used to be (not by me). Do they even teach proper typing anymore?

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#138
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/01/2015 12:14 PM

Actual "typing" has probably gone the way of the dinosaurs. However, even though I haven't looked in quite awhile at any courses offered, "keyboarding" used to be offered. However, "keyboarding" does not teach grammar/spelling and the basic rules of the English language.

Somewhere along the line, proper English and its' use has become a secondary skill set, even if at all a skill set, possessed by anyone less than 40 years old (probably even older in a lot of cases). There were always some students who could not readily grasp it, but as least they were taught it in an attempt to educate. I was fortunate as my mother was a teacher. I could read and write before I started kindergarten, my mother made sure all of her kids learned, even if it didn't happen at school.

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#145
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 4:44 PM

At least you were honest about your intentions!

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#136
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/01/2015 11:56 AM

From my personal experience, there are a lot of "professionals" (engineers and others) writing their own papers and emails now that could benefit from a secretary (office assistant) or other set of eyes. Maybe spellcheck can capture some of it, but I've seen way too many things with poor grammar or that are poorly constructed since everybody is writing their own material. I know some very intelligent people who cannot construct a sentence properly.

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#139
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/01/2015 3:47 PM

I would offer an alternative to the expression "very intelligent". I think you were trying to say that there are some very well-educated people who are not very smart. But even then, the term well-educated should have included grammar, spelling and punctuation. Maybe the term I am looking for is well-schooled? I don't know. It is distressing to see the relatively large numbers of people who have a bachelor's degree or higher, and are incapable of putting together a coherent paragraph.

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#140
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/01/2015 3:51 PM

Agreed, it is like the old adage,,,,you can have someone who has 20 years of experience or,,,, you can have someone with 1 year of experience, 20 times

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#144
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 4:19 PM

Reminds me of when I was in college. Regardless of discipline, all engineering majors had to take an electrical engineering (EE) course that included a lab.

Being no genius in EE, I chose one of the smarter kids as a lab partner, figuring that would make my life a little easier.

During the first lab session, I learned that he knew all of the theory, but had no idea of how to assemble the apparatus.

Deal: I'd put together the apparatus for each lab session, he'd take the data and prepare the reports.

Worked great, and I learned that EE was not for me.

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#146
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 6:22 PM

Taking an electrical course, I found it useful, ours was electrical controls for machines, it was quite informative that I also took digital electronics as one of my electives.

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#171
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/08/2015 11:06 AM

That reminds me of one of my later semesters in getting my BSEET: I was working with my lab partner, and after we both read the lab assignment, I took one look at the schematic and started assembling the circuit on the breadboard, while my 'partner' was still trying to figure out the schematic. (It wasn't that hard, if memory serves, It was a tuned amplifier ir IF amplifier: taking a modulated RF signal and 'downshifting' it for the decoder circuit. You had a bandpass filter with RC tank circuit, the non-linear amplifier to 'superhet' the signal into 'sum and difference' sidebands, and then another bandbass filter to stop the 'sum' sideband from reaching the output.) My partner looked at me setting up the circuit without having to consult a lookup card for every resistor and said do me, "How can you be so passionate about this?" My immediate answer was a shocked "How can you NOT?" Knowing the math is good, but if you can't tell a 1K resistor from a 740uF capasitor, you shouldn't be 6-9 months from graduating with a degree in Electronics.

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#172
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/08/2015 11:24 AM

yes, take it one step at a time. In our Digital Electronics, as our final, we were given a (2) part test.

1.) we were given the parts to assemble and construct a circuit from a schematic. after it was assembled past by the instructor then comes the second part

2.) the instructor remove one item and replaced it with a defective item. we had to find the problem and correct it.

I did not have a partner, and as I looked around. All of them were trying to figure out when the circuit did before assembling the circuit.

Myself, I didn't care, I'll find out after I assembled it. But for trouble shooting on the second part, I needed to know what each IC did. I documented it, and drew the schematic.

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#173
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/08/2015 12:05 PM

"Myself, I didn't care, I'll find out after I assembled it. But for trouble shooting on the second part, I needed to know what each IC did. I documented it, and drew the schematic."

Well, I already knew what the circuit was for just by looking at it, I could see the stages clearly the way the schematic was laid out (+V on the 'top rail,' -V on the 'bottom rail,' 'signal path' ran through the schematic in the middle, the 'DC block' capacitors had only whitespace between them and the power rails), it actually looked like someone had simply taken the 'sample schematics' for each of the component stages and set them up one after the other.

Since each of the stages was looked at seperately in previous labwork, the lab project in question was "now put these pieces together and see that they work together just as the math says they should." Even if my lab partner could not 'read' schematics to determine what a circuit did, he should have at least recognized the schematic as a collection of three drawings he had seen before.

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#143
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 3:42 PM

So your analogy would be teaching a child how to run before he/she learns how to walk, since the same one foot ahead of the other principle applies?

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#142
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 3:28 PM

Ah, memorization!

I remember punishment assignments of writing the 12x table 12 times; to this day I know them backwards, forward, inside-out, any possible variation.

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#147
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/03/2015 10:34 PM

And it only takes you a fraction of second to get an answer too. In general, I hate memorization when a reference will do the same thing, but for commonly used math, it makes sense to simply commit it to memory and you are set for life. I remember freshman chemistry where the prof did not allow the use of the periodic table on exams. You had to memorize all the data for all commonly used elements, i.e. the first four or five rows. His reasoning was that all chemists should know it by heart. Unfortunately, for 90% of in his class, we were going on to other majors and this 'requirement' did little to further our education. If you use chemistry every day, you will learn them. If you don't, you will forget them.

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#158
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 10:07 AM

The periodic table is one thing, times tables are another, and there are lots of analogous formula in other disciplines of engineering as well. If you use chemistry every day, yes you will remember them, just like all other formulas, which is, of course, memorization of them, not by rote but by constant use.

In university I had a hard time remembering formulas, but once out in practice and by using them regularly, they are now part of my permanent memory.

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#153
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 6:23 AM

Teacher: "Now class; we going to see if we have learnt our tables: Horace!... Horace! pay attention! You start with 12 times table"

"Yes miss!. Er, um, er, once 12 is 12. Two 12's are da da. Three 12's are da da. Four 12 are da da. Five 12's are da da. Six 12's are da da.....

"STOP!".."Horace; what are you doing??"

"I've learnt the tune Miss! - but I can't remember all the words yet....."

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#25
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 10:36 AM

Unfortunately, my school does not offer any assistance for parents. I wish they did. They haven't given us any resources at all!

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#6

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 6:49 PM

Some examples might help, but it doesn't sound very easy to share any. I can remember the 1960's switch to the "new math"; this sounds similar. There may be good reason for such curriculum revisions, but it seems that the reasons are sometimes conveyed poorly. Maybe Wiki could give a leg up on what is being attempted.

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#8
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 7:01 PM

Some things never change.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wHDn8LDks8

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#59
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:46 AM

Beat me to it.

Everyone, open Robin's link and let's all sing "New Math" along with Tom Lehrer.

"It's so simple, so very simple, that only a child can do it!"

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#61
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 1:27 PM

I have several of his albums (in vinyl no less) and New Math is definitely one of my favorites. My social studies teacher (Dick Jensen at Hingham High in 1979) turned us on to Tom Lehrer in our Russia/China class. Thank you Mr. Jensen, Tom Lehrer was truly a gift to all us.

And a hearty thank you to all the teachers out there who gave us their all (many times without any recognition).

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#62
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 2:08 PM

I discovered him in the Specials that would air on WTTW, Chanel 11, the Chicago PBS channel. Even when I was too young to understand the satire or politics, I loved his specials, the songs were all so fun, funny, and catchy. Now I understand more about the WHY of the songs, and they all take on a new deeper meaning, which only makes me love him even more as a performer and a voice on the 'comic idiocy' so often prevalent in our government.

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#9

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 8:03 PM

I think it makes a lot of sense...it teaches you to think rather than to memorize...and critical thinking is key to success in life....

http://www.freedomworks.org/content/can-you-solve-these-common-core-math-problems

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#10
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 8:25 PM

A giant BS!

Critical thinking my a$$. This is math, not philosophy or psychology. And screw political correctness, it's either right or it's wrong.

Close enough has no place in engineering.

"Apollo-Houston. Well you're going to miss the Moon and hurtle off into deep space and die, but we got you close".

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#17
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 11:19 PM

I don't think you understand how this works, maybe if you took a little time to study it, then you might soften your position a smidge....Just looking at the problems would probably look confusing to anybody unfamiliar with the methods involved...it's the method of problem solving that is being taught....

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/03/guide-8-mathematical-practice-standards

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#18
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/17/2015 11:50 PM

I don't think you understand how foreign this is to a third or fourth grader who has never seen it before and more so to their parents who have never seen it either.

Sure, in a year or two these wonderful, politically correct concepts can be taught, wiping put the two or three years "wasted" learning the old fashioned way.

As I said, depending on the kid, some can adapt. Some will suffer.

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#24
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 10:34 AM

I agree with you completely. Maybe it makes sense from a theoretical perspective (I'm very skeptical about this), but late at night when she has an assignment due and I am trying to help her by remembering something I haven't done in over 35 years, I can tell you it's the most confusing thing I've ever seen. Thank God for Google, or I wouldn't be much help at all. Remember, there is NO text book. Usually my daughter will remember once I get her started in the right direction. If she wasn't a bright kid, I think we'd both be failing.

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#26
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 10:45 AM

A couple of other things common core likes - drawing pictures and word problems. The word problems are frequently worded so awkwardly that I don't even know what they are looking for. This is math. What is wrong with memorization and solving problems? Why does everything have to be a complex word problem, solved by drawing pictures and graphs?

Solar Eagle, I'm not sure if you have kids, or have any first-hand experience with this. It might sound good in theory, but I can tell you that in practice, it's a nightmare. Maybe if my daughter had been indoctrinated into this kind of thinking when she was in elementary school it might have been easier for her, but she didn't get switched over to common core until she was in high school.

Oh, by the way, they made her take the geometry regents AND common core finals last year in Geometry. She scored 10 points higher on the regents than she did on the common core test.

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#35
In reply to #26

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 12:56 PM

As a survivor of 4 semesters of calculus (where I had to pick up geometry on the fly) I can tell you with no doubt that there are many ways to arrive at the right answer. My daughter had a similar experience and got the right answer, but not the way the teacher said it had to be done. What the hey!

On one occasion, I actually went to talk to the teacher and proved (with the help of some algebra) that both methods were valid. I realized that the narrow view was based on ignorance, not fact. Being able to derive the connection between the two methods was easier back then than it is now. If you don't use it, it fades away.

Memorization is great for people who are highly "left brain oriented" where visualization is more of a "right brain oriented" activity. Trying to make people learn math and forcing them to cross the brain barrier is bad teaching.

These facts are published in all kinds of psychiatric literature but schools don't always take this information into account. I know a couple of gifted mathematics experts that back up my claims. Consequently, I'm not fond of the idea of forcing every square peg into a round hole.

One teacher I had was pathetic with word problems he would invent. They were nearly always ambiguous and could be interpred in different ways. For years, I thought I was the problem. Then I came to realize that about 3% of the population has the same issue. The moral of that story is don't let math teachers make up work problems unless they are exceptional linguists.

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#40
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 2:50 PM

Memorization is dehumanizing and has been replaced with computers(ie: Google)...Creative problem solving takes precedence...things are changing quickly, we therefore must endure the discomfort which is experienced going from static to dynamic societal growth....we must keep up, or be left behind, change is accelerating...in all probability your offspring will experience the singularity...would you have them spitting out memorized calculations at a machine that is much better at it than them, or engaging this new life form with a creative imagination focused on maintaining control of his and her own destiny?

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#41
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 4:17 PM

"Memorization is dehumanizing"? Seriously? There was nothing wrong with it for hundreds of years and now it's dehumanizing? This is ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just knowing that 12x13=156 without having to draw pictures, do tricks, look it up on the web, or use a calculator. Good grief, this thinking is the root of the problem in my opinion. Maybe when you and your child are tired at 10:00 pm and trying to get through this common core nonsense you'll have a different opinion.

I assume (hope) that you are just taking a contrarian opinion for the sake of conversation, and don't really believe this.

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#45
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 6:01 PM

The world is moving on. I don't know if common core is the best solution but I see what Sir Robin is saying. What I have heard of common core is like the shortcuts I came up with when I ran out of fingers to count on. I have never been very good at mental math, I have always had a talent for visualizing. Perhaps that is what they are going for.

Problem is you can't teach kids with a cookie cutter. Kids are not the same shape, good teachers learn how to teach. We have all had bad college or other school teachers but we have also had some that were excellent at getting the idea understood by the learners. I know I had professors who thought I was stupid because of confusions I had but I also know others that told me that I have a very gifted mind.

My point is, the world has changed. It is no longer separated by vast distances that take months for ideas to move. Things happen fast. Memorizing facts is something much better accomplished by google. Who would you rather have, an engineer who who uses his brainpower to calculate and memorize all the formulas or an engineer who grasps the concept and look up the formula to prove the concept? Which one do you think has more creativity?

Common Core is probably not the best solution, but I do like the fact that they are trying to keep up with the world.

Drew K

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#46
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 6:53 PM

You make some good points.

"Kids are not the same shape", but those shapes all need the basic fertilizer to blossom into the individual flowers they will all become. Too much fertilizer, too soon will kill the plant.

Things happen fast, yes. But 2+2 still equals 4.

I've had engineers (mostly mechanical) working for me in various industries for 40 years.

I've had visionaries who could dream dreams but not bring them to reality.

I've had undisciplined kids who I thought were crazy make brilliant things happen with their hands and their brain.

I once hired a virtuoso musician who had gone back to school and gotten his mechanical engineering degree. I took a chance hiring him because he was different and I thought a different mind was needed. He had his text books with him and used them when he needed to.

He was not the fastest engineer in the group, but he was worth his weight in gold. He had the qualities he needed to be great. Vision, determination and the ability to find the solution to the problem, either in his text books or by spending hours with the machine we were trying to perfect.

Engineering isn't just creativity. It's many qualities that compliment each other, not the least of which is knowing where to find the answer.

The days of slide rules and T squares are long gone and solid modeling and computer analysis are here to stay.

I get that.

I'm just not a fan of federally mandated programs that re-write the rules of the teaching game in the name of political correctness.

I've lived through the era of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind, the Every Child Achieves Act and now am living in the Common Core/ACT College and Career Readiness Standards world.

What will come next?

Knowledge by injection?

A chip implant?

At 68, I'm too old to try to learn many more mandated "new" ways to teach.

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#49
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 2:35 AM

That'll be the day--just go to WalMart and get a gluteally injected buttload of Calculus 101.

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#51
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 8:22 AM

There is definitely an entitlement generation in America right now. It is understandable that parents want their children to have a better life than they did. You see the same thing with immigrants. The Immigrants themselves are generally so pleased to be out of where they were, and excited to be where they are that they work twice as hard as non-immigrants. Their children grow up watching their parents and either adopt that work ethic or think their parents are chumps and feel entitled. I have seen this more in the third generation where the kids grow up with parents wealthy from their own effort and the grandparents hard work.

This may seem a bit off topic, but when you consider the entitled generation doesn't want to have to work for their learning the benevolent overlords must attempt to do something. It's not just America either; there are many entitled little shits in England too. (I might tell you in a PM about the mob of teenagers I dealt with).

Drew K

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#56
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 10:27 AM

I don't know about in the US, but over here, while there are many immigrants who want to work hard and better themselves, there are also plenty who are on benefits and just want to get as much out of the system as they can.

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#151
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 2:05 AM

I think your statement "This may seem a bit off topic, but when you consider the entitled generation doesn't want to have to work for their learning the benevolent overlords must attempt to do something." hits the nail on the head.

While the "geniuses" of the educational system fret about learning being work, especially STEM, the truth is that it IS work both for the educator and the student.

The "benevolent overlords" want learning to be FUN.

The act of learning is not fun; it's what you are empowered to do with what you've learned that's the fun.

We may have Google and hundreds of other search engines that permit quick access to facts, but did you ever notice that the more we learn, we find that there is more we don't know.

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#156
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 8:05 AM

There needs to be a paradigm shift. You state what so many others I know also claim, "learning is not fun" and "learning is hard work".

Well, how about video games? They are so much fun they are billion dollar industries. I remember playing Mario on my old Nintendo when I was in school over and over until I memorized the path I needed to travel and where I needed to jump.

Much much later when I chose to go back to school I remember learning polynomial long division in College Algebra. I recall working on a problem late into the night then giving up because I knew I didn't have the right answer. In the morning I gave it one more try and got it. The jubilation I felt far exceeded saving princess Peach from the final castle.

We need to teach kids to enjoy puzzles and that they are not math problems, they are math puzzles.

Drew K

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#157
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

12/04/2015 9:38 AM

Learning is hard work,... yes

learning is not fun isn't quite true... after I acquire the knowledge, it is quite satisfying.... even though at the time as I'm acquiring it it can be quite stressful.

Now how that knowledge is acquired may vary, from school or from gain experience from your job. Stress can be huge, even at time wishing you were somewhere else. But its the attitude that keeps you there.

And its the attitude that play the biggest part of learning.

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#42
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 5:22 PM

Did you come up with this on your own, or copy it from the website where I copied this,

"the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity".

My meager, primitive creativity is just fine for me, thank you very much!

It is not ready for deconstructing a simple math problem, reconstituting it into a visual odyssey, with narrative, that spells out my thought process for arriving in the neighborhood of the correct answer before reconstructing it back into something close enough to the correct answer to 10+15=25 to keep my self esteem intact.

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#44
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 5:33 PM

Well said lyn! Awesome response - you summed up the common core philosophy perfectly!

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#50
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 5:14 AM

Give him a GA then! I have

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#43
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/18/2015 5:32 PM

Memorization allows me to do simple math in my head and not have to rely upon computing devices for anything exceeding the digits on my hands and feet. Nine times eight is 72 and takes less than a split second to get the answer.

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In reply to #40

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare

11/19/2015 3:18 PM

"Memorization is dehumanizing and has been replaced with computers"

That actually scares me a lot. I'm teaching my 10 year old son to rely on GPS to get somewhere...but to learn how to use a compass and map. Also don't look stuff up on google. Use a dictionary, an encyclopedia other resources. Not to use a calculator...do the math (until the size of the numbers becomes too great).

Children need to know how things work before relying on tools to help them be more proficient.

Children's brains are not fully developed until until 18-20 years old. Their minds are great at learning facts and memorizing. A lot of CC relies on judgement. They don't have enough experience to apply judgement. They need a method to solve problems and apply the math facts to solve the problem.

In third or fourth grade, my son's class was being taught how to do multi-digit multiplication. The kids were taught what I consider the normal method (what I believe is called the traditional method). But after only a few weeks the teacher then exposed them to other methods (Partial products, area and lattice methods).

While I don't think it's a bad thing for students to understand different techniques and to more deeply understand the concepts of multiplication, I think teachers do the children at that age a disservice by introducing other methods before they have actually spent enough time (acquiring experience) multiplying with the original method. Most kids just end up being confused, not having a better understanding of multiplication.

The kids that are excelling in math at his school are those who are memorizing. But instead of memorizing multiplication tables and/or useful sums, they are now memorizing all the different methods and robotically applying them. They still don't understand what's going on.

Now instead of the majority of the class learning how to multiply using one method, a very few learn (memorize) how to use all the methods while the rest of the kids can't use any of them. Now, class, that we've spent a month on multi-digit multiplication let's move onto fractions and the multitude of ways I can screw up your ability to understand them.

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