Common Core Math Homework Complaints

Common Core Sheets




Wednesday January 25th, 2017
New Feature: Create-A-Flash-Card


Hey all,
So a couple new things to talk about today.
First up, I've added another 'create-a'. This time it's "Create-A-Flash-Card".
It's basically the Create-A-Test or Create-A-Review, only for flash cards.
I also added a couple new backgrounds to the task cards in general. So... yep.
New Section: My Sheets


Next up, I've added a new section called 'My Sheets'.
Basically any time you create something in the Create-A-Test, Create-A-Review, Create-A-Flash-Card, Create-A-Sheet or Spelling Maker it'll throw it in there so you can easily find it.
Monday October 31st, 2016
Saturday October 15th, 2016
New Feature: Flash Cards


Hey all,
So a couple new changes to talk about today. First up, flash cards.
So on almost every sheet on the site you'll see a new button that says Flash Cards.
When you select this it'll generate a set of up to 20 flash cards with answers and an accompanying answer key sheet.
And you also have several backgrounds to choose from and you can modify the colors on any of them.
To see it in action you can check out an addition sheet here
New Features: Create-A-Sheet


Next up, a few changes to theCreate-A-Sheet.
First up you can now set a problem as an example.
Second up you can add images to problems.
Third you can add mid-sheet instructions.
Fourth you can now specify problems as either bonus or extra credit and they won't show up as regular problems or in the quick grade count.
Updated Spelling Worksheets Maker


Finally, I updated the Spelling Sheet Maker... again.
This time to add an option for definitions matching. With this you can either add in your own definitions or you can auto generate them.

Wednesday September 21st, 2016
End of the Year Awards


Hey all,
So I've added a new section for the end of the year.
It's a 'Award Creator'. This was actually something I used with my class. Basically the school only had 3 awards to give out so I had to make my own.
So rather than doing something traditional I went with the ridiculous route.
For example, I gave the students who had the last name 'Smith' the 'Best Last Name' award. Because my last name is also Smith.
It's funny.

Anyway, if you want to make your own you can do so here.
Or if you need some inspiration you can check out some of the ones I used here.

It IS one of those things where you have to know your audience though.
Updated Create-A-Sheet


Hey all,
I also made a couple of changes to the create-a-sheet. Both under the hood and in presentation.


  • I've updated the code so that if you have a multiple choice answer with any of the phrases:
    all of the above
    all the above
    none of the above
    all of these
    none of these
    It will automatically assume you want that as the last choice and put it there.

  • I've updated the way the multiple choice answers are displayed so it takes the cumulative length when determining how to lay them out.
    So basically it'll try to make them as space effective as possible. So you'll have fewer instances of things taking 2 lines when there is space for them to take 1.

  • Updated the multiple choice layout so that it will fill the available space instead of being a predefined amount. So it'll look better if you go over 1 page.

  • Updated the code to allow for line breaks inside of multiple choice answers. Good if you want to use lists inside of multiple choice problems.



Friday December 25th, 2015
Tuesday December 1st, 2015
Thursday October 22th, 2015
Monday October 12th, 2015
Spelling Sheet Maker Update (Crossword Puzzles)



Hey all,
So I've updated the Spelling Sheets Maker ... again.
This time I've added an option to generate a crossword puzzle page. Yep...
Not really much else to say about this...
So on to the next news.

New Section 'Grade Scale'



I've also added a new section which is basically a grading scale.

This was actually something I used daily in my class. You know the scenario that always plays out when you have students grading papers:

Teacher: "Okay, if you missed 1, you scored a 94. If you missed 2 you scored an 89. If you-"
Student A: "What was it again if I missed 1?"
Teacher: "Missing one is a 94. Continuing on. If you missed 3 you scored an 83. If-"
Student B: "What if I missed 5?"
Teacher: "..."
15 Minutes later.
Teacher: "Okay, we're (finally) done. Do I need to go over any of them for anyone?"
*Every hand shoots up.*


Anyway, this helps to eliminate all that.
It's your basic grade scale, but it'll also resize to whatever size your window is. So it should be easily seen by all students when put through a projector.

If you notice any bugs or weirdness with either though, please let me know:
Contact
Tuesday October 5th, 2015
Saturday October 3rd, 2015
Updates to Create-A-Sheet


Hey all,So I've made a couple changes to the Create-A-Sheet

  • Added an option for multiple fill in the blank answers. So what this means is that if you want to have multiple blanks in a problem you can.
  • Added an option to stylize text. So now if you want your problem to have a bold, italic, underlined, or now you can.
  • Added an option for more than one correct multiple choice answer.
  • Changed the way true/false problems are answered, so now you can just tick true or false instead of typing it.
  • Changed the way multiple spaces are handled. Before if you had multiple space in a problem          (like that) it would condense them to one. Now it won't.
  • Removed the case sensitive nature of defined multiple choice answers. So for example, before if you wanted an answer to be D you would have had to put D. (in caps) but now it'll work with d.(no caps).
  • Added an option to change the font size.
  • Added an option to include a word bank (will only pull answers from the Fill in the Blank).
  • Added an option to include instructions mid sheet.
  • And lastly, I've increased the limit from 20 problems to 30.
If you have no clue what any of that stuff I said means, no worries, you can check out all of it in action on the tutorial page.
Updates to the Spelling Sheet Maker


Not done yet. I also made a couple changes to the Spelling Sheet Maker

  • Added an option to remove the word bank for each sheet generated.
  • Added a new page 'Find the Correct Spelling'.
  • Added a new page 'Writing Four Times'.
  • Fixed a bug with traditional printing mode.
And if you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Tuesday August 18th, 2015
Friday February 13th, 2015
Wednesday February 4th, 2015
Sunday February 1st, 2015
Create-A-Test


So after 10 months, 12 completely different versions and several million lines of code, the 'Create-A-Test' is ready to go.
Now comes the fun game I like to call, 'See how many bugs we can find'. Keep in mind this is like a super super super early version and things can and will change. But in the meantime you can check it out here.Some of the features are:
Over 350 different problems / types
Sort by Subject or Standard
Save / Share your sheets


If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Options


This is actually something thats TECHNICALLY been available since the site first launched, but just disabled.
In the bottom right hand corner of all the pages is the 'quick options' menu. Which lets you add the ccss, due date or disable modified sheets on any newly generated sheet.Additionally there is a link under 'other stuff' called (appropriately) Options.
And a couple things about the options.
1. When you select 'add ccss to sheets' or 'disable modified', it WILL stay checked across pages, from one day to the next.
2. The 'add due date' will NOT stay checked if you leave the site (this is so you don't accidently come back the next day and print off a bunch of sheets with the wrong due date).
3. The 'Options' page has an option to change the colors of printed sheets. This is NOT implimented on all sheets... yet. But more are being added. If you need a specific sheet converted, let me know.
Sort By Grade


Added the option to sort by grade (right now I've just got it open for k - 4, though more are coming shortly). Additionally almost all of the sheet have the closest standard listed next to them in blue.



Newest Sheets


Added an option to view the newest sheets uploaded here.



Share Sheet

Added an option to link directly to a sheet. Next to the standard on a sheet is the share option. This will generate a direct link to the sheets as well as a couple embedding options.
Updated Spelling Worksheets Maker


Hey all,
So in celebration of Halloween there are 2 spooky new spelling worksheets added to the Spelling Worksheet Maker.
So what makes them spooky?
... actually... nothing...
In fact this entire post about Halloween won't make any sense at all any other day of the year...

Anywho! New sheets!

Filling in Missing Letters
This is your basic missing letters sheet.
So for example it might take the word, SURRENDER and turn it into:
S _ R _ _ N D _ R
and then students would have to fill in the missing letters.


Writing a Paragraph
With this sheet students select 5 words from their spelling list and use them to create a paragraph. It kinda throws some creative writing into the mix and forces students to actually think about what the words mean and how to use them in context.

Updated Spelling Worksheets Maker


Hey all,
So I've added a new sheet type to the Spelling Worksheet Sheet maker.
It's a 'using letters' sheet. Basically students determine which spelling words can be created using only certain letters of the alphabet.
So... yep...

Oh, I also fixed a few minor bugs with the crossword puzzle creator and changed the code up a bit so it should result in tighter crosswords.
Anyway, if you notice any bugs or have any suggestions please let me know.
Thanks.
Updated Create New Sheet


Hey all,
So one change to talk about today.
And that change is to the way the 'Create New Sheet' works.

Now instead of just taking you straight to the sheet it'll give you a bunch of options to change.
Most of the options are pretty self explanatory, but with the 'Number of Problems' it won't let you do more than the default, only less.

And if you're one of those folks who hates change (I feel ya). You can revert back to the old way in the Options page.



*Note: On a few sheets I've locked the font size. This is because if the size was set too big it would cause graphical errors.
New Feature: Favorites


Hey all,
So one new feature to talk about today. And that feature is 'favorites'. so on every sheet you'll see a little star next to the title of the sheets. If you click the star it'll add that sheet to your favorites.

Then if you want to easily find it again you can just click the new menu option for 'my favorites' (it's at the bottom of the math section) and it'll bring up the list of sheets you've favorited.

Also I've integrated the favorites into the create-a-review/test.
So you can now sort by 'favorites' as well.

Hopefully that'll make finding sheet a bit easier.

Create-A-Review/Test Updated


Hey all,
So I've done a complete rewrite of the Create-A-Review and the Create-A-Test and the backend code for many of the problems.
So... going over some of the changes to the interface.

Create-A-Review

No more boxes
Well... kinda. I mean technically the boxes are still there but now they're hidden and have variable sizes. And since everything no longer has to fit in to a 1 inch by 2 inch box it also allows for more problem types. Speaking of which...

More problem types
Yep, now almost every problem on the site is also on the create-a-review. There are some that wouldn't work or fit, but for the most part if you're looking for a problem it'll be there.

Sort By Grade
You can now sort by 1st through 8th grade or by subject. Kindergarten isn't on there simply because most of the kindergarten stuff on the site is interactive, not so much worksheets... I should probably do something about that.

Full Page Sheets
Now when you use the create-a-review it will automatically allow for full page sheets or even multiple pages.
Basically it'll try to choose the best size page for you based on the problem sizes.
You CAN force it to use the half page format, but depending on the the problem types you chose they may or may not fit. For example, trying to create a review of 10 bar graphs would be impossible to fit into half a page. So you may have to do some adjusting manually.

Updated Projector Mode
With all the other changes made, projector mode also had to be completely changed. Now it will attempt to create a 16:9 proportional page. So the page size will increase and increase to accommodate the problems. This will basically let it render everything readable, while also decreasing load times.

Shuffle for Best Fit
In order to help keep things as small as possible I've added the option to shuffle the problems for best fit. The normal worksheet shuffle will essentially sort by problem width, while the 'force half page' will shuffle by problem height.

Moveable problems
Now you can reorganize the problems to your liking. Just grab the little ⁞⁞⁞ and you'll be able to move the problem for better organization.



Create-A-Test

More problems
More problems. Quantity wise. Now you can add up to 50 problems. The way that'll work with the answer column though is if you go over 30 it'll create a separate answer page (with 2 student answer keys).

Answer Bank
Now you can add an answer bank to the test. The way I've set this up is that not every problem will show up in the answer bank though, but logical ones will. For example the question:
Which is more? 83 or 38
That answer won't show up in the bank because it'd be a 'gimme'. Same thing with multiple choice answers.

Space Below Problems
Yep, now you can add more or less space between the problems... not much else to say about this...

Updated layout algorithm
Without going into too many nerd details... I've changed the way the problems will lay out if they span two pages. Now instead of being a set size they'll expand to a percentage of the available size.





And as always if you notice anything not working or looking quite right, please let me know.

Oh yeah, if you absolutely hate change and want to use the old version of the c-a-r or c-a-t you can find them here:
Create-A-Review(old version)
Create-A-Test(old version)

Patreon



Hey all,
So I've been running this site for several years now, usually working on it about 14-17 hours a day (developing new material, site maintenance, etc).
Basically the site has become my social life... which is kinda pathetic when you say it out loud.
=D

But anyway, there's still so much more I want to do with it. Which is why I've signed up with patreon.


So what is patreon?
Patreon is a way to help support content you like. Essentially you can pledge a certain amount per month (as much or little as you'd like) and it helps out content creators.

So what benefit do you get?
Unfortunately since everything on the site is free for everyone I don't really have much to offer. BUT if you do pledge $3 I'll remove all the ads from the site, just for you.

So wait, you're gonna start charging now?
NO! The site is and always will be free. I designed the site to be as user friendly as possible (minimal ads, no signup, constant updates) and none of that will change.
There won't be any 'members only' content or anything like that. Any new material created will still be available for free for all.


Your pledge will allow me to make more new content, more frequently, for more subjects.
So if you want to help support the site or if you just want to say thank you for what's come out in the past four years check out the link below. Signing up takes just seconds.








*Note: If you've donated to me in the past, I went ahead and set it up for you to have the ads killed based on the amount you donated.
Just head on over to this link and put in the email you used.


New Feature 'One atta Time'



Hey all,
So I've add a new feature to the site called 'one atta time'.

Now I know what you're thinking, "That's not how you spell 'at a'."

... ANYWAY, what this does is randomly generate one problem at a time. It was designed with Smart Boards in mind, but I've also optimized it for use with tablets, phones or desktop computers.

To see it in action just click 'select a worksheet' and it's the very last option.

Or you can click here for the bar graph version, to help you get an idea of what it's all about.
In any case, this feature is available for ALMOST every worksheet (some worksheets don't really translate that well).

So let me know what you think.
Also if you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know either via the report bug button on the page or here:
Contact
Create-A-Sheet Improvements... Part 2



Hey all,
So a couple more changes to the 'create-a-sheet'.

• Changed the way multiple choice problems are displayed. Now if they are over a certain length it will run them vertically. Ie.
A. I'm a choice.
B. I'm another choice.
C. I'm a third choice.
D. I too am a choice.
Which basically means depending on the answers length it will display the multiple choice options in the most space saving (readable) way possible.

• Added an option to hide the numbers. So if you don't want the problems numbered anymore, now you don't have to.

• Added a total page count. So what that means is that if you have 3 pages at the bottom of the sheet there will be a 'page 1 of 3' displayed. This only applies to sheets longer than 1 page.

• Fixed a bug with 0 values as an answer. Before if you put 0 as an answer it wouldn't display. Now it will.

• Fixed a bug with multiple choice, defined letters under 4 choices. So if you had like 3 choices and had one choice set as a letter, it would still display all 4 choices (one would show blank). Now it only displays the choices that aren't blank.


And if you haven't checked it out already, you can find it at:
http://www.commoncoresheets.com/CreateASheet.php



If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Create-A-Sheet Improvements



Hey all,
So over the last week I've been making some changes to the 'create-a-sheet' feature. A couple of the more visible changes:

• It will no longer split a problem between pages. Before if you had a long problem the line to write the answer could appear on the following page, but now it'll shift the entire problem to the next page instead (making reading a bit easier).

• I added the option to specify a multiple choice position. So if you want D. to be 'All of the above' (like the pic above) then you just type 'D.' before the answer.
Or 'A.'
Or 'B.'
Or 'C.'
You get the idea.
=)

• I changed the true / false format so it will appear on the same line. This should save some space and prevent extra pages.

• I changed the page spacing if every question is multiple choice. Now it will automatically make the content portion wider and the answer key thinner.


And if you haven't checked it out already, you can find it at:
http://www.commoncoresheets.com/CreateASheet.php



If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Improving A Paragraph Creator



Hey all,
So I've added a new feature to the site called the 'Improving A Paragraph Creator'.
What this does is let you generate a weeks worth of prompts and paragraphs for students to fix.
Actually technically this kind of existed before, but now you're able to add your own prompts, view others prompts, favorite prompts and edit premade prompts.
So yep, lots of neat stuff.

You can check it out at:
http://www.commoncoresheets.com/ImprovingAParagraph.php

I've tried to keep the interface as simple as possible, but I'm always open to suggestions on ways to make it better.



If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Sunday December 7th, 2014
Create-A-Sheet



Hey all,
So I've added a new feature to the site called 'create-a-sheet'.
What this does is let you generate a sheet using several different question types.

You can check it out at:
http://www.commoncoresheets.com/CreateASheet.php

I've tried to keep the interface as simple as possible, while still providing a lot of usability options. But I'm always open to suggestions on ways to make it better.



If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Monday November 3rd, 2014
Spelling Maker Added


Hey all,So I've finally got the 'spelling maker' up and running:
http://www.commoncoresheets.com/SpellingMaker.php

What this does is generate a weeks worth (or less) of spelling activities .
You've got scrambled words, a word find, alphabetical order, writing sentences and fill in the blank sentences.
The first four are pretty straightforward and the computer will do all the work, but the last one (fill in the blank) does require you to write out the sentences if you want that type.
As always I'm open to suggestions and feedback or if you notice anything wonky, please let me know.

If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Wednesday September 3rd, 2014
Create-A-Review Updated


Hey all,So I finally updated the Create-a-Review. The interface and coding has been completely updated (it's now more like the 'create-a-test').So a rundown of the new features.


More Problem Types:
A lot more. While I couldn't include EVERY problem type (space issues), between the Create-A-Review and the Create-A-Test most problem types are covered. Compared to the old version this one has about 300 more problem types.

Save your templates:
Yep, no more starting from scratch, now you can save your daily review to the database and load it up at a later date.

Easier to use:
Since it's using the the 'Create-A-Test' UI, you can now duplicate problems with the click of a button.

Projector Mode:
Rather than printing off 3 pages for each student, now you click the 'projector mode' and have a pdf that's ready to be displayed via projector / smartboard. Students will use 1 sheet of paper through the entire week with all their answers on it.

Daily Fact Drills:
Also with the projector mode is the option to include daily fact drills.

Customizable Quantities:
The old version required 10 problems, but with the new version you can have anywhere from 1 to 10, so if you want fewer problems, now you have that option.

Oh, if you absolutely hate the new version, I DO still have the old version available as a link at the top of the 'create-a-review' page.

If you notice any bugs or weirdness, please let me know:
Contact
Wednesday April 2nd, 2014
Wednesday October 30th, 2013
Wednesday August 7th, 2013

Only works on 'Create New Sheet' (»).

While doing a math problem with my six-year-old recently during a classroom session for parents, I barked at her, “Just put the number in any circle.” She looked at me as if I was speaking a different language. Turns out, I was. Her teacher, who overheard the conversation, corrected me. The sum, she explained, goes in the top circle. Three circles form a pyramid and the bottom stack are for addition or subtraction while the top is for the total. I wrongly assumed order was insignificant.

For months, I had been baffled by “number bonds,” a way of expressing math in circles that my daughter had to complete for homework. I never bothered to ask the teacher how they work. Instead, I soldiered on, demoralized but thinking, ‘Surely, I can do first-grade math.’ I’m not alone in my confusion.

Related: Could you answer these Common Core test questions?

“If you don’t know how to do it, ask your child to teach you, to show you how it’s done.”

Denver teacher Lauren Fine

Parents across the country are trying to make sense of Common Core standards, a set of academic expectations that call for less focus on memorization and more focus on explaining how solutions were found and, in English, a deep probe of text.

Advocates of the program argue that the skills are still the basic ones we learned as children but in the new curricula developed around the standards, the questions are often presented differently. That often means homework, an age-old source of angst for many families, has gotten even more complicated. Parents, like myself, are trying to guide children through questions that make little sense to adults who were taught math using other methods.

Before you throw up your hands and walk away from homework – a recent study in Psychological Science found that math-anxious parents who help children on homework breed math-anxious children – experts say there are several strategies you can try that don’t require relearning arithmetic.

DON’T TRY TO BE A MATH GURU

“The most important rule as a parent is to make sure it gets done. I may not have time to do an impromptu lesson on math but I can make sure everything is completed,” said Jason Zimba, one of the three lead writers of Common Core’s math standards and founding partner of Student Achievement Partners, a group that helps teachers with the standards. “It’s about managing work load and learning accountability.”

Although the father of two gives his children, ages 6 and 8, math tutorials on Saturday mornings, he says a parent doesn’t have to be a numbers whiz when it comes to homework.

“The math instruction on the part of parents should be low. The teacher is there to explain the curriculum,” said Zimba.

Related: Think you know a lot about Common Core? A new poll finds you’re probably wrong

Phoenix mom Kari Workman learned this recently when her fifth-grader was wrestling with a multi-step math problem and whining, “Oh, this is so hard.” As soon as Workman tried to look at the problem, her daughter snapped, “You won’t understand.” Mom called a time out.

“She was so frustrated that listening to me was not going to happen so I encouraged her to walk away from the assignment,” said Workman who is also a teacher. After a quick break, the 10-year-old returned in a calmer mood and solved the problem.

TALK TO THE TEACHER

Not all children will find solutions on their own, and if they are repeatedly stuck, that’s a sign they aren’t getting something in class and it’s time to talk to the teacher, experts said.

“If they are struggling with homework, that warrants a deeper conversation,” said Denver teacher Lauren Fine. “Don’t wait for those parent-teacher conferences. Make sure you are in touch with the school.”

Another strategy, she said, is asking the child to teach you the concept.

“If you don’t know how to do it, ask your child to teach you, to show you how it’s done,” said Fine. Often, she said, the kids get it, but parents don’t.

“In the past, I might have sent home worksheets with 40 problems, now it’s a couple of problems and the student has to show multiple ways of how they solved the problem. That can be frustrating for parents because they just want them to get the answer,” said Fine.

Related: Why many students with A’s in math don’t major in it

The struggle seems to bubble in third grade, said experts, when the math becomes more sophisticated. “It’s when it looks more different. It’s not just counting beans,” said Bibb Hubbard, founder of Learning Heroes, a group for parents.

“In the past, I might have sent home worksheets with 40 problems, now it’s a couple of problems and the student has to show multiple ways of how they solved the problem. That can be frustrating for parents because they just want them to get the answer.”

Denver teacher Lauren Fine

She acknowledged that watching children work through challenges can be tough for parents.

“The one thing we can reinforce as parents is that it’s ok for children to struggle. This is hard work. It takes time and patience,” said Hubbard. She likens it to learning how to tie your shoes. “It’s really painful to see them frustrated and angry. But I’m not going to tie their shoes anymore because they are 11.”

TEACH WHAT YOU KNOW WITHOUT STEPPING ON TOES

It’s ok, Fine added, for parents to show students how to solve problems using the ways they were taught in school – such as carrying numbers – as long as they are stressing that there are other ways to solve them.

Cece Hallisey, senior director of raisethebarparents.org, a site that outlines the new standards and offers resources on how to navigate them, has overheard her husband doing this with their daughters.

“There is nothing wrong with them learning in different ways but I wouldn’t be stubborn about it. Parents can say, ‘Don’t be surprised if you learn it differently in school,’” said Hallisey.

Related: Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises

And don’t bad mouth the teacher or assignment, teachers say. Instead, when time is scarce and tension is high, find resources for homework help.

“It’s about saying ‘If I can’t do the homework with them, who can?’” said Fine. Her school district, like many, offers before-school tutoring and the library has after-school homework help. Friends, family, babysitters and neighbors are also good resources as are websites such as bealearninghero.org, which breaks down standards by grade and subject.

Some schools are holding workshops that teach parents about the math and writing standards that students are learning in class. Zimba says schools should be better at educating parents on the standards and how to best guide students through them. “I think more can be done on the parts of schools, state leaders and district leaders on communication,” he said.

In the meantime, he said, parents should take the lead.

“When parents are frustrated, it’s important that educators listen to them, but they can’t listen unless the parents talk to them,” said Zimba, adding, “Venting is one thing but if you really want to solve the problem the way to do that is to start with the child’s teacher.”

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

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