As You Haven’t Been Told, Dept.

traditional math

I teach math at a small Catholic school in California. I teach 7th grade math and 8th grade algebra. For those who have read my latest book, you know that I use a 1962 version of Dolciani’s “Modern Algebra” as my textbook. The students like the simplicity of its presentation, and so do the parents. I have had parents tell me they like the book, and one in particular said that it is how she learned algebra, and it allows her to help her daughter. She thanked me, and said “I can’t stand that Common Core stuff.”

The Common Core stuff that irks parents are the alternative “strategies” that replace the standard algorithms for multidigit addition/subtraction, and multiplication. As I’ve documented before, these strategies (such as ‘making tens’) are nothing new. Traditional textbooks of the past have taught them, but they were introduced after students mastered the…

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