Before we tackle the math overview we need to take a look at the “big picture.” Common Core is a real-world approach to learning and teaching. Developed by education experts from 45 states, these K-12 learning standards go deeper into key concepts in math and English language arts. The standards require a practical, real-life application of knowledge that prepares Washington students for success in college, work and life. The goal of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is to help all students become college- and career-ready by the time they leave high school. It represents a change in the way teachers teach and how students show what they have learned. Teachers in all subject areas use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
These standards are meant to align instruction across the country and even internationally. They raise expectations for students, rely on strong content knowledge from teachers, and will require a shift in how and when some content is taught. Transition to these new standards will no doubt require hard work. Hopefully, use of this toolkit of resources will help you and your team meet the challenges presented by the new standards, and—in the process—elevate learning for today’s young learners.
- Consistent learning expectations for all students. Clear standards that focus on understanding over memorization. Emphasis on the critical topics students need to succeed after high school.
- This is going to be great for students moving from state to state from one school year to another or even mid year. For example, if someone moves from Arizona to Georgia, their previous school year’s curriculum and class credits will transfer seamlessly with the unification of grade specific standards.
Math Standards: Key Features
The math Standards are broken down into two separate practices. Where these two different styles of standards intersect is in the goal to improve the overall achievement in math instruction.
- Those dedicated to creating students that are avid and participatory practitioners of math.
- Those content standards used to guide the teacher in developing student fluency in procedural and content understanding.
Key Shifts Taking Place in Math Instruction
The standards focus on key topics at each grade level so that teachers and students can delve deeper into the content. There is an emphasis on consistency at each level: forcing students and teachers to make connections across content, again to promote deeper meaning. When looking at mastery for each standard, the Common Core calls for fluency on performing calculations and solving problems, thus creating a math applications habit that fosters critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving and engagement.
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