The Common Core is an educational standard that sets the goal of establishing a real-world understanding of math principles in the classroom and beyond, as opposed to the traditional standard algorithm approach. You’ll find examples of Common Core math in elementary grades around the country as teachers try to instill a deeper level of understanding in all students and improve standardized testing scores.
More than 40 states in America have adopted Common Core mathematics standards. Continue reading this guide to find basic questions and answers of Common Core math examples, as well as everything you need to know about the Common Core and its mathematical practices.
What Is Common Core Math?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, also known as Common Core math, is an educational initiative designed to reform the American education system with three main goals. These goals include providing students with skills needed to be successful in the workforce, boost student test scores, and lessen the differences between math curricula across states.
Common Core’s educational standards teach students to be flexible and creative when solving math problems, as opposed to the traditional educational approach of simply calculating and then arriving at the correct answer. The new math curriculum aims to take students beyond a basic proficiency and instill analytical skills that will be used throughout their lives.
Where Is Common Core Math Used?
The Common Core is used in elementary schools and high schools in the United States, across every grade level from kindergarten through 12th grade. According to CoreStandards.Org, 41 states have adopted common core standards.
However, Common Core’s approach to math expands beyond the classroom and can apply to different facets of our everyday life. Below are some examples of real-world settings that allow us to apply the Common Core Standards approach to mathematics.
- Accounting and finance
- Cooking and baking
- Travel and ticket-pricing
- Calculating loans and credit
- Sports statistics
- Analysis and design of aircraft control systems
- Calculation of insurance risks and price of insurance
- Racing sports, such as Formula One and NASCAR competitions
- Rocket launch trajectory analysis
Why Is Common Core Math Important?
The Common Core concepts of math are important because they are widely taught in schools and promote the goal of compelling students to have a deeper understanding of math. According to OECD iLibrary, American students are among the poorest performing countries in mathematics, especially when compared to other developed countries.
Common Core’s main purpose is to give students a better conceptual understanding of math, and prepare them for college and their future professions. There are a ton of jobs that require the use of math, and mastering Common Core’s math standards will effectively prepare young learners for their careers, not just their math homework.
7 Great Examples of Common Core Math
Here we provide a few basic Common Core math examples that you might see on a math worksheet to help you better understand this new approach. These techniques involve conceptualization and visual representation to better understand and answer math questions.
Example 1: Addition Using The Number Line Method
Suppose you want to add 7 + 8. 1st grade students might utilize the number line method to conceptualize the addition process. First, draw a horizontal numbered line starting with 0 to the left of 7. To add 8 to 7, start with 7 on the line, then add eight small ticks, or ‘units’ on the number line to the right of 7. Now count these units starting from 7 to arrive at the answer of 15, or 7 + 8 = 15.
Example 2: Addition Using The Number Bonds Method
The number bonds method refers to a technique used to break down numbers into smaller numbers that then add up to the sum. For instance, the sum of 10 can feature a wide range of numbers, including 5 + 5 = 10 or 6 + 4 = 10.
Using this method, you can add two numbers together. Suppose you want to add 5 + 10. Using the number bonds method, you can ‘break down’ 10 into (5 + 5), making the equation 5 + (5 + 5), which gives you the answer of 15.
Example 3: Adding Larger Numbers
More proficient students can also use the number bonds method to conceptualize and solve addition problems involving large numbers. Suppose you wanted to add 140 to 74. You can break down 140 into 100 and 40. You can also break down 74 into 30, 40, and 4. This would leave you with an equation looking like this:
(100 + 40) + (30 + 40 + 4)
If you then add the 40 to 40 in the equation (40 + 40), you arrive at 80.
This leaves you with a new equation of 100 + 80 + 30 + 4.
If you add 80 to 30 you’ll get 110, leaving you with a newer equation of 100 + 110 + 4. The correct answer to this equation would then be 214, or 140 + 74 = 214.
You can improve your skills with these new standards by being creative with moving numbers around. In no time, you’ll be solving such equations with your own mental math, skipping the need for writing.
Example 4: Subtraction Using a Number Line
The number line method we used in the first example also works with subtraction. Suppose you want to subtract five from nine, or 9 – 5. Using this method, begin by drawing a horizontal line and place 9 in the middle of the line.
Count and move to the left of 9 by making 5 small vertical ticks. After doing so, count those ticks/units, starting from 9, then moving to 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4. You remain with the remainder of 4, or 9 – 5 = 4.
Example 5: Subtracting Integers
Suppose you want to subtract 9 from 6, or 6 – 9. You can use the number line method to solve subtraction problems involving negative integers. Start by drawing a horizontal line and place 6 in the middle. Travel to the left of 6 by counting nine times, as shown below.
-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
The answer is -3, or 6 – 9 = -3. This utilizes Common Core Standards because instead of just memorizing the answer or using a calculator, you’re able to conceptualize the entire subtraction process with a visual model.
Example 6: Multiplication
Suppose you want to multiply 3 four times, or 3 x 4. The Common Core approach works to provide more clarity on how to tackle multiplication problems. The basic idea behind multiplication involves repetition and addition. With this in mind, here is how you could creatively rewrite and solve this problem using the new standards.
3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 12
Example 7: Multiplying Larger Numbers Using the FOIL Method
The FOIL method refers to solving math multiplication problems by multiplying the first, outer, inner, and last numbers. By using this technique, you can better understand how to multiply large numbers.
Suppose you want to solve the math problem of 29 x 36. You would first start by breaking these numbers into smaller numbers, such as those below:
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29 = (20 + 9)
36 = (30 + 6)
(20 + 9) x (30 + 6)
Next, multiply the first numbers of 20 x 30 and 20 x 6 and then add them together as follows:
(600 + 120)
Then multiply 9 x 30 and 9 x 6 to give you the following:
(270 + 54)
Finally, add both sets of equations together to arrive at the answer of 1,044.
(600 + 120) + (270 + 54) = 1,044
Pro Tips to Boost Your Common Core Math Skills
- Do a lot of practice problems. Just like most skills in life, constant practice and repetition are the keys to effectively mastering these new standards of math.
- Take extra classes. If you’re having trouble, you should consider taking extra classes. Fortunately, there are dozens of credible online classes offering Common Core math education programs. Khan Academy and Splash Learn offer a ton of mathematical content, including sample questions and in-depth analysis of mathematical concepts.
- Use workbooks. Many states have adopted these new math standards. This means that you can now access related workbooks in your public libraries. These resources will provide you with instructions on how to solve Common Core’s math problems.
What Should Be the Next Step in My Common Core Math Learning Journey?
Learning the Common Core approach to math will likely feel tricky at first, but the aim is to help learners understand the processes behind solving math problems, rather than arriving at the answer like traditional math algorithms. The goal of math classes is to help students learn mathematically thinking, not just memorize answers from a multiplication table.
The best way to master Common Core is by practicing and approaching related techniques with an open mind, flexibility, and creativity. If you’re a parent, consider helping your young elementary students learn by practicing with them and providing additional educational resources to assist them.
Common Core Math Examples FAQ
Regular or traditional math focuses on teaching straightforward concepts in order to solve equations as quickly as possible, whereas Common Core math teaches students to think, be flexible, and better conceptualize why math problems are solved the way they are.
Yes, Khan Academy features Common Core math standards with over 50,000 unique questions and answers designed for young learners in different grade levels, from kindergarten to high school.
China uses a similar approach, but Common Core is an American education standard. These new standards adopted by the United States can be traced to math curricula used in China, Japan, Finland, and Singapore.
Common Core is controversial because many parents and students feel that these new standards have a higher degree of difficulty, especially with literacy and numeracy. Traditionally simple, straightforward equations now require longer and more unique methods to solve them.
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