Common Core Homework: 6 Steps to Subtract 2 Numbers

Oct 3, 2014 by

Kelsey Harris –


Photo: Erick Erickson via


For third graders learning Common Core math in Georgia, there are four ways to subtract—and only four ways allowed. The picture above is just one of the methods for subtraction under Common Core straight from RedState editor in chief Erick Erickson’s third grade daughter’s math book.


Missing from the four methods: borrowing and carrying numbers. You know, the old-fashioned-taught-the-same-way-for-decades-granny-method-not-approved-by-bureaucrats subtraction. 


According to this third grade textbook, students must take about six steps (at minimum, depending how you count) to subtract just two numbers. And if you don’t show your work, circle the right numbers and “count up” correctly, you haven’t proven that you’ve mastered the “why” of the problem.


In a previous post where I highlighted two “Homework Helper” videos a local news station broadcast because parents were struggling with their childrens’ new Common Core homework, it’s very clear memorization is out—explaining the “why” is in.


I’d love to see some more techniques for problems formerly referred to as “simple” math. Please, leave your own pictures of Common Core homework in the comments and share this absurdity with your friends.


>>> It Takes a Teacher 56 Seconds to Explain How to Add 9 Plus 6


via Common Core Homework: 6 Steps to Subtract 2 Numbers.

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