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OCSD parents practice Common Core Math (VIDEO)

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Over 40 families came out to “Common Core Family Math Night” Tuesday night to hone their homework help skills.

The program, held at Madill Elementary School, offered demonstrations to parents of universal pre-kindergarten to sixth grade students on how to use techniques such as Rekenreks, number lines and five frames to help their children understand Common Core concepts.

Becky Duprey, a math consultant, facilitated the program. Mrs. Duprey, who has served in math education for over 20 years, has previously taught at Heuvelton Central School and is now serving as clinical faculty at SUNY Potsdam.

She said the new concepts are often challenging for parents because they are used to the old style of learning.

“But children really respond to this kind of learning because they can see and touch it,” she said. “These strategies are already being used by some of the top performing countries in the world for a number of years now.”

During the presentation portion of the event, Mrs. Duprey told parents the Common Core is geared toward mastering concepts through understanding. Previously, she said, many teachers emphasized memorization.

“It’s like learning a foreign language,” Mrs. Duprey said. “If you memorize and you don’t use it, you forget it. If you memorize your multiplication facts and you don’t have any understanding to anchor it, you’ll forget them, which is why we have to do so much review at the beginning of each year.”

Karen L. Matthews, a sixth grade teacher in the district, said her son Cole, 4, was very engaged as played “Hide the Number,” a game that teaches subtraction by covering numbers with visual aids.

“He’s learning things I didn’t know a 4-year-old could learn,” she said. “He liked using tokens to count. I could tell he liked that it was very tactile. If he understands the concepts now, I know he is going to do very well.”

Kevin Kendall, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, said program had a good turnout even though the event had to be rescheduled because of last week’s snowstorm.

“The feedback from parents so far has been very positive,” he said. “Many have told me how quickly the students understand the concepts.”

The school will hold another Common Core Math Parent Night in the fall in conjunction with its curriculum nights and open house.

OCSD Common Core Math Parent Night
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