Mark, it’s great to see educators breaking down common core, leveraging the benefits and working around the deficiencies.
I struggle with the approach my 6 year old (first grade) is being dealt in math. The basics of simple addition and subtraction are presented in a “common core” fashion where physical blocks and diagrams are used to create multiples of 10 (or 5, etc) which is great so long as he has blocks or a piece of paper in front of him. Ask a 6 year old to do that gymnastics in their head and you get the deer in headlights response. And what do you expect? He’s six.
I agree with your suggested approach of slowly blending in common core elements. I wish I would have had some of these concepts introduced to me back in high school. But to expect lower elementary school students to get it, retain it, and apply it is, to me, inappropriate and unfortunate.
Thank you for your passion in teaching.