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Family finds possible solution to Common Core confusion

A Cohoes man and his wife have a good idea what their 6-year-old son will bring from school for homework. They have a book full of the assignments the teacher has been sending home page by page.

"We got it on Amazon.com," says Harold Felt. "We took it upon ourselves to do the best we can with the new system that's in place."

Felt says he's not sure how much it will help, relating the story of a Saturday afternoon at the kitchen table with his son in tears, trying to make sense of instructions. For example, one assignment asks students to "use pictures to show taking from. How can you show taking from with pictures?" It's a variation of "take away", the classic phrase children have heard for decades when first learning subtraction. New methods focus on "modeling", showing through drawings how students found the correct answer. Equations at this level are now called "number sentences".

Much of the early homework features simple, easily understood math problems. Each page includes instructions for the teacher, too.

It is estimated one thousand people will be at the forum Thursday night at the Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.