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Letter: More time is needed to teach Common Core

More time is needed to teach Common Core

In all the talk about Common Core, I haven’t heard an important aspect of it discussed: the time it takes to teach it. I’ve tutored it and have seen that it has good ideas on how to teach, so that things learned are retained. For example, as a recent letter mentioned, Common Core has students use paper clips to learn how things are measured.

Similarly, when I taught students how to find averages using Common Core, we used different heights of stacks of Lego blocks, then changed them around so that they were all the same height. This is a good teaching tool, but it takes much more time than the way I learned it – “add up all the numbers and divide by the number of numbers” – which we have to teach them eventually, anyway.

When I worked as a programmer, we often had too little time to develop a new computer system, so we worked 60-hour weeks and got it done. But the teachers can’t keep the students in their seats till 7 at night. So why do we think Common Core can succeed?

David Irvin