Monday, April 7, 2014

Reading, Writing, and Arithmatic

Some of you have heard about the new government teaching tool called Common Core. This stylized teaching concept has a lot going for it. Unfortunately it has a lot going against it.

I few years ago, I remember helping some kids with their math homework. This was not Common Core. Anyway, here they sat plucking on the digits of their hands while counting out. I had to ask what they were doing. They said quite matter of fact that that was how they added and subtracted in school.

Next they jotted down numbers from a book to multiply and divide. The process they used looked like a tablet from some ancient dig. Interesting but time consuming.

What ever happened to the old way of learning math. How many of you went over the multiplication table over and over until you could just say 7 times 9 was 63? Did you have to draw a chart to get to this answer or use your fingers?

Why don't kids know that Washington D.C. is not the same as Washington state? Do kids know that London is in England? What about George Washington? Was he the first president of the U.S. (old history) or just some old white guy who owned slaves (new history)?

Have you ever read a composition written by a high school student? I'm no Hemingway or Steinbeck, but can our kids really express themselves in writing or has "texting" become the new way to write an essay or novel?

Computers are great. I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't own and use one (I've used a computer since 1985 when the USAF started using them in earnest). But, what's wrong with sitting down and reading a book...printed on paper? I guess kids need to be entertained in order for them to learn.

All is not lost. Maybe some schools teach the old way and maybe our kids are smarter than grandpa! Will the U.S. become the leader again in learning? We'll see...

The Obama/Iran Payoff Scandal