What is 5×3? Here’s the Common Core math problem has many people stumped

Nov 5, 2015 by

A third-grade math problem – or at least the answer provided by the student and marked wrong by the teacher– has plenty of people talking, stirring up the debate once again on what standards are being taught as part of Common Core.

The homework question was pretty simple: what is 5×3? The students were supposed to solve the question using “repeated addition,” or showing the numbers you would add together to get the answer.

The student answered the question 5+5+5=15.

The teacher marked the answer as incorrect. The correct answer, according to the corrected homework, is 3+3+3+3+3 =15.

Why, you ask? Because the teacher wanted you to read the question as “five groups of three” instead of “three groups of five.” And, as some have pointed out, the Common Core method prepares students for higher math and makes it easier for them to understand division.

Launched in 2009, Common Core is currently in place in 42 states, including Alabama. It is designed to focus on critical thinking skills and less on memorization. It’s been highly controversial, however, and questions over the 5×3 answer have led to the latest outbreak of social media outrage over the standards.

But as Andy Kiersz pointed out for Business Insider, you shouldn’t blame Common Core for the issues with this specific question and answer.

“While this worksheet does present a frustrating situation, it has nothing to do with Common Core,” Kiersz wrote. “Common Core lays out a set of objectives for what students should be learning in each grade level. It’s still up to individual states, districts, and teachers to come up with the curricula and lesson plans to achieve those objectives.”

Source: What is 5×3? Here’s the Common Core math problem has many people stumped | AL.com

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Jerry Burrell

    The student material is linked directly to standards development! Follow the money or put your head back in the sand.

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