20 Questions Homework

Steve,

  When I first taught statistics, I used a similar method to the one you describe for exams: download, print, take, scan, upload. But for several reasons I'd like to use Canvas functionality to improve that model. I'm going to try a setup where students can skip steps 1 and 2 but just copy down the problems they need to solve by hand. They will answer most questions directly into Canvas, but at the end they will have to upload some pages with work. At least this eliminates the printing step. But, with about 30 sub-parts to the exam, I have to enter points for each item that has been created as an "Essay" type question. It would seem to work to either have default points entered at the start or to allow fudge points to actually count (i.e. not continue to show the dreaded Q in the gradebook). I definitely think there are several steps that could be implemented to speed the grading of these types of problems (including multi-part problems within question creation).

Parents are venting their outrage at the Common Core school standards over a math quiz that was posted online, showing how teachers are marking students down even for correct answers. 

The quiz, posted to Reddit, shows how a teacher marked two questions as incorrect on a third-grader's math quiz, despite the student finding the solution to the problem. 

Apparently, the reason for the deduction had to do with the petty fact of exactly how the student found the answer. 

The above two questions were marked wrong because children are taught to read multiplication questions as the first number, grouped in the amount of the second number. For example, 5x3 would be five groups of three

The first question asks the student to use repeated addition to solve the question 5x3. The student answers 5+5+5=15, but is marked incorrect. Instead, the teacher writes that the correct answer should have been 3+3+3+3+3=15. 

The second question is marked incorrect in much the same way. In the second question, students are asked draw an array to solve 4x6. The student draws six rows of four and is again marked wrong, with the teacher drawing four rows of six as the correct answer. 

These questions were marked wrong because children today are taught to read a question like 4x6 as four groups of six - not six groups of four. However, when it comes to single multiplication problems, it doesn't matter which way the problem is read. 

Since the picture was posted on Reddit, many have been using the quiz as a means to criticize the Common Core teaching standards.  

Business Insider reports that defenders of Common Core say the grading is important, since reading questions this way will help students better understand  multi-variable calculus - a class that's at least nine years away for third-graders still learning to count in their head instead of on their hands. 

However, AOL points out that the incorrect answer is not a Common Core issue. 

While Common Core sets goals for knowledge in each grade, it is up to individual states, districts and teachers to come up with their own lesson plans to meet those standards. 

Still, this isn't the first time that the Common Core has been criticized for its new-age approaches to learning.  

Even comedian Louis CK complained about the bizarre questions on his daughter's homework last year.

As schools around the U.S. implement national Common Core learning standards, parents trying to help their kids with math homework say that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing has become as complicated as calculus.

They're stumped by unfamiliar terms like 'rectangular array' and 'area model.' They wrestle with division that requires the use of squares, slashes and dots. They rage over impenetrable word problems.

Adopted by 44 states, the Common Core is a set of English and math standards that spell out what students should know and when.

Comedian Louis CK complained last year about his daughter's math homework  

The standards for elementary math emphasize that kids should not only be able to solve arithmetic problems using the tried-and-true methods their parents learned, but understand how numbers relate to each other.

Stacey Jacobson-Francis, 41, of Berkeley, California, said her daughter's homework requires her to know four different ways to add.

'That is way too much to ask of a first grader,' she said. 'She can't remember them all, and I don't know them all, so we just do the best that we can.'

'Part of what we are trying to teach children is to become problem solvers and thinkers,' said Diane Briars, president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 'We want students to understand what they're doing, not just get the right answer.'

Whether Common Core itself is responsible for the homework headaches is a contentious issue.

Some experts say Common Core promotes reform math, a teaching method that gained currency in the 1990s.

Derided as 'fuzzy' math by critics, reform math says kids should explore and understand concepts like place value before they become fluent in the standard way of doing arithmetic.

Critics say it fails to stress basic computational skills, leaving students unprepared for higher math.

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