Education

State Superintendent: Ga. Won’t Require ‘Funny Math Methods’

State Superintendent Richard Woods says Georgia doesn't require any particular methods to teach Common Core math standards.
State Superintendent Richard Woods says Georgia doesn't require any particular methods to teach Common Core math standards.
Credit Jason Parker / WABE

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Georgia students could struggle to learn if teachers use “funny math methods.” That’s according to State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, who recently wrote a column about Georgia’s math instruction.

If you’ve been frustrated trying to help your young child with his math homework, you’re not alone. Superintendent Richard Woods says he hears that from parents a lot. And, he says, some teachers are using strategies that confuse a lot of adults.

“This would just be these different methodologies, whether it’s the lattice method or something which many parents are not familiar with,” he says. “It’s something we did not learn as we went through school.”

The lattice method is used to teach multiplication. Students put numbers in rows of boxes with diagonal lines drawn through them. Like this:

The state has rolled out new math standards. But, Woods says, teachers can still choose how to teach; they don’t have to use one particular method.

“I guess what some people refer to as the Common Core methodology or the lattice and some of these other methods, we do not require that at the state,” Woods says.

Woods says his department will do a better job communicating the options to teachers.