|How is Math different than when I went to school?
1) Greater focus on fewer topics
The Common Core calls for greater focus in mathematics. Rather than racing to cover many topics in a mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum, the standards ask math teachers to significantly narrow and deepen the time and energy that are spent in the classroom.
- In grades K-2: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction.
- In grades 3-5: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions
- In grade 6: Ratios and proportional relationships, and early algebraic expressions and equations.
- In grade 7: Ratios and proportional relationships, and arithmetic of rational numbers
- In grade 8: Linear algebra and linear functions
This focus helps students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside of the classroom.
2) Coherence: Linking topics and thinking across grades
Mathematics is not a list of disconnected topics, tricks, or mnemonics; it is a coherent body of knowledge made up of interconnected concepts. For example, in 4th grade, students must "apply and extend previous understanding of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number" (Standard 4.NF.4). This extends to 5th grade, when students are expected to build on that skill to "apply and extend previous understanding of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction" (Standard 5.N.F.4). Each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning.
Pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity
Rigor refers to deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts, not making math harder or introducing topics at earlier grades. To help students meet the standard, educators will need to pursue conceptual understanding (see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures), Procedural skill and fluency (speed and accuracy in calculation), and application (use math situations that require math knowledge)
4) Use math in the real world
|How can I support my Child in Math?
Expectations for Students and Ideas for Parents
Family Grade Specific Math Roadmap
The Council of the Great City Schools has developed content and grade-specific parent roadmaps that provide detailed information for parents about the expectations of the Common Core Mathematics. These roadmaps include examples of grade-level focus.