Why We Built Our Math App To Be Aligned With Common Core Standards

Image Credit: cdn1.momsxyz.com

Image Credit: cdn1.momsxyz.com

So, your kid just came to you with a math problem from school and…you’re stumped. It happens. Let’s face it, the way we learned math was a little different. Back in the day, we were just expected to come up with an answer to a math problem without really analyzing the question or why the answer was what it was. Times have changed since then and now, kids are expected to dig a little deeper to solve their math problems. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do, or that you’re going to have to crack your head to help out with the homework.

You may have noticed that the term “Common Core Standards” is being thrown around a lot lately, but what is this all about, really? Will teaching and supporting your kids with their homework be an uphill task if you didn’t learn math using this standard? How are you supposed to cope with all of this new information? Since when did Math get so complicated?

If you find you’re asking these questions, worry not. We’re going to try our very best to break it all down for you, with some expert help of course. In today’s blog post we want to briefly go into exactly what these Common Core Standards are all about, and then how they relate to Math specifically. Then we’ll elaborate on how we at Team Zap Zap try to incorporate these standards into our app. Finally, we’ll share some resources with you so you can equip yourselves with more information on Common Core Standards, which will prove to be a great asset both for you and your kids.

What are Common Core Standards?

Common Core Standards are an initiative made popular in The United States of America, which were developed on a more in-depth basis to govern and dictate what students are required to know as part of their education syllabus. This prepares students for critical thinking and places specific importance on Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). The Standards are not limited solely to the study of Mathematics, but also applies to English Language Arts.

Okay, but how does this relate to Math?

For Math, there are eight standards that govern how math is taught, and they are as follows:-

  1. Making sense of problems and persevering in solving them
  2. Reasoning abstractly and quantitatively
  3. Constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others
  4. Modeling with mathematics
  5. Using appropriate tools strategically
  6. Attending to precision
  7. Looking for and making use of structure
  8. Looking for and expressing regularity in repeated reasoning

Just looking through these eight standards gives an idea into how in-depth learning is. It is no longer limited to the mere churning out of numbers, and nowhere does it say that there is only one way to achieve a particular outcome. The very premise of these standards points to critical thinking, which will be highly important not only in subsequent levels of education, but ultimately in the real world as well. Having these standards in place can function as a kind of insurance for parents, knowing their kids will be able to critically and creatively solve issues they may face, thanks to the lessons learned in school.

This video by Vox neatly breaks down exactly why Common Core Math can seem daunting at first. It’s new and it’s different, but it’s not rocket science! Hopefully you’ll feel a lot more assured about Common Core Math once you’ve seen this.

What was wrong with the way we learned Math, anyway?

Nothing at all! Think of it this way, Math has just matured and evolved, like a fine wine. The way we learned Math was just a little more limited. Sure, we learned equations, formulas and mathematical concepts, but we were only required to provide straightforward answers. At that point, we only scratched the surface of what Math could do, but this generation is encouraged to do more than just provide an answer. Think of Common Core Math Standards as being math with a little more substance. Understanding both the traditional methods and the Common Core Math Standards gives parents and educators a greater scope of knowledge, and can actually be helpful.

How is Zap Zap Math aligned to these standards?

If Common Core Standards are meant to get kids thinking about how math problems relate to real world situations, you may be wondering how Team Zap Zap Math incorporates this into the app. Zap Zap Math gives kids a chance to hone their critical thinking skills outside of the school environment, in a fun and enjoyable way. We are always thinking of creating games that require kids to apply what they have learned about math outside of worksheets in fun and entertaining situations, such as applying the concept of ratios in making burgers. This results in immediate visual feedback that helps reinforce the conceptual understanding of the Common Core.

Is Zap Zap Math going to evolve, based on Common Core Standards?

While the Standards itself will most probably be constant and unchanging, the app will evolve to incorporate these standards on different levels and to cater to different grades too. Zap Zap Math will continue to grow and improve as we discover better ways to flesh out certain concepts, so do go on and download a copy of the game here and stay tuned for more helpful updates!


Will there be more aids for parents and teachers on the app, related to these Standards?

It’s definitely in future plans to offer more aids for parents and teachers, as we understand that the app needs to have all-encompassing features that prove beneficial not only to the kids who will ultimately be using the app, but those who teach and monitor the math abilities of the kids. Engagement is extremely important where the Common Core Standards are concerned, and so we don’t want that to stop merely at the kid’s level, but include all the relevant participants who are very much invested in the education levels of their kids, and that definitely means prioritizing parents and educators and ensuring they get as much out of this app as the kids do. We have plans to include features that allow parents or teachers to give praise or encouragement to their children via the web dashboard that will show up in the app, a progress log that lets parents and teachers set certain rewards when their children hit certain milestones, a graphic chart that displays the overall progress of their children over the various areas of learning, among other features.

Where can I get more information on Common Core Standards?

If you need more in-depth information on the Common Core Standards, feel free to check out the links below for a plethora of information regarding the initiative, how it is incorporated in schools, along with resources and Frequently Asked Questions for parents and teachers.

As the education world evolves to include more critical thought, so must we as we adapt to these Common Core Standards that will ultimately prove to create a more perceptive and creative generation. And the next time your kid brings their homework to you, you won’t be stumped at all!

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