What is happening in classrooms is drill and kill – and constant assessments. And yes, I do mean in first grade — and in Kindergarten and even in Pre-K, in fact.

That is how the bureaucrats interpret the Common Core – and they won’t give the teachers the power to do anything differently. That is why the Opt Out movement is so essential. Opt out of the state standardized test, and the Common Core test that will follow it. http://unitedoptout.com/

It’s the first step to giving teachers power over their classrooms again.

]]>I spend quite a bit of time thinking about instances of children’s thinking (and writing about it—see my website), and I do not see in your examples what you see in your examples. I would be curious to know more.

Teaching a 7-month old to solve a Rubik’s Cube is a fool’s errand; do you really mean this to illustrate that teaching early place value ideas to 6 year olds is similarly hopeless? I don’t see this connection at all. In fact, I would imagine that it would be quite easy to find examples of 6 year olds able to say that 20+20 is 40 because 2 tens and 2 more tens are 4 tens, while it would be impossible to find a 7 month old able to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

Your video of the two little ones is delightful. They appear to be having a fine time. I don’t see it as an example of a teacher teaching something developmentally inappropriate, though. And even if I did, I still have the same difficulty connecting this to your specific case of place value.

A key question in that specific case is, “What if 10+6 is not trivial to the students?” That is the heart of the matter, isn’t it? I think we would be both be in agreement that helping students get to the point where 10+6 is not just trivial but seen as an important fact is a priority in place value instruction.

The fact that 10+6 is not trivial to the students does not make place value developmentally inappropriate for them. It means they need lots of focused experiences with numbers and ways of deconstructing them, and that they need these experiences repeatedly and over a sustained period of time. You have identified the precise thing these students need more of, yet you seem to have labeled that thing “developmentally inappropriate”. Again, I would be curious to know more.

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