Welcome back everyone! Hope you all had a safe and fun-filled holiday break.

Some exciting news for me is I am now a TA in an ESL classroom. I love going to work everyday not only because it is giving me more experience and the teacher I work with is so knowledgeable, but because I really feel like I am making a difference in the lives of these students.

When the students come to the High School I work at, they are enrolled in ESL classes, Study Halls, Gym, Lunch, and Math. Besides ESL, Math is their only academic class. For this reason, part of my job is to go to Math with the students. I was always a good math student in high school and even continued to take Calculus I and Calculus II in my undergraduate studies, but this Common Core Math is hard to wrap my head around!

It seems as though these students have to go through ten steps and show all work to get the “correct” answer instead of possibly using just two steps to get that same “correct” answer.

The teacher I work with even commented saying in some education meeting in regards to the Common Core, legislators were given a 4th grade math problem to solve. Only one person got the correct answer; however when he was asked to explain how he got his answer he only used 2 steps. To get full credit on the question for the Common Core, he would have had to go through twenty-five steps!

Now imagine a student who does not speak English trying to complete this math problem. Even with basic math skills, to have the know-how to go through all of those steps is hard to grasp.

I am learning the math right along with these students in hopes I will be able to create methods of remembering all of the steps involved in solving each problem.