Parenting "math class" teaching locals how to help with their kids' math homework

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Helping kids with homework isn't always the easiest thing for parents especially when kids are learning new methods of math in school.

That’s why some local parents are going back to school in order to help their kids.

Tuesday night, the Altoona Elementary School PTO hosted its second "math" class for parents. While they say 2 + 2 is always going to equal 4, it's the way students come to those answers that have changed the most and makes it harder for parents to help during homework time.

“When my daughter first brought home the DreamBox program and things like that, the way I learned it, I would try to help her do the problems and stack numbers on top of each other like I learned and she’d look at me like I was speaking a different language,” said parent Jessica Lacey.

Helping your kids with homework is not as simple as plugging in numbers to algorithms these days.

“It’s absolutely changed since back in the old days when you're carrying numbers and things like that,” Lacey said.

That's why the Altoona Elementary School PTO wanted to give parents a helping hand when it comes to helping their kids with their math homework.

“It’s not new math,” said 3rd grade teacher Stacey Stangel. “It’s just changed in how we look at it. We want to look at it more for the number sense. Employers, they want critical thinkers, they want problem solvers, and they want good communicators. That's what this math is all about.”

Math class is now known as Common Core, which according to Stangel, gives kids the ability to come up with more strategies to solve problems.

“We know how to do it because we were told move this one down…put this one up here…and that didn't help us to be able to think past that,” Stangel said. “We want to be able to build up to that, to work up some strategies, to think beyond that, have some good communication with each other.”

Stangel said Common Core is a more regular practice across the state, as it holds off on teaching algorithms.

“We’ve talked to a lot of parents about not understanding exactly what a lot of strategies are,” Lacey said. “When Stacey talked at our last meeting it totally opened our eyes and it’s almost like it’s easier to do things the way she talked about than the way we learned back in school.”

Parents said it's almost like they're going back to school when their kids do, that's why the Math PTO meeting gave them a better insight as to how to help their kids with their homework versus telling them how to do it based on experience.

They’re hoping to offer more sessions like this in the future.



 
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