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Understanding Common Core Math

Understanding Common Core Math

Author: Gino Sangiuliano

In this lesson you will learn the basics of the CCSS Math Standards

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Hey, everyone and welcome. My name is Gino Sangiuliano, and today's lesson is going to be on understanding Common Core math. We got a lot to get to, so let's get started.

I often think back 20 years to my first year of teaching. It was a fourth grade class at a suburban school. I remember there not being any math standards to work off of. In fact, the district was in between math programs and we were developing the curriculum on the fly. I was fresh out of college and full of energy and enthusiasm, and I needed every bit of it.

With the help of veteran teachers and an old copy of a fourth grade math textbook I muddled through the year teaching multiplication, division, fractions, and whatever else I thought a fourth grader should know. I think those kids are now in their early 30s. They turned out OK, however, I do get a pit in my stomach knowing that the standards based practices employed today are so much more effective.

The development of the Common Core State Standards began in the year 2009, and it was led by governors and commissioners of education from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia. They came together through the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, also known as the NGA Center, and the Chief State School Officers, the CCSSO, and focus on the skills students will need to be college and career ready. The standards were divided into two categories, college and career readiness standards, that's what students are expected to know and understand by the time they graduate from high school; and K-12 standards, what students should know and be able to do from elementary all the way through high school. If you go to there's a three minute video that explains this quite well.

The Common Core brought with it some key shifts in the area of mathematics, most notably a greater focus on fewer topics as well as a focus on the following at each grade level. In grades K through two, concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction. In grades three through five, concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions. In grade six, ratios and proportional relationships and early algebraic expressions and equations. In grade seven, ratios and proportional relationships and arithmetic of rational numbers. For grade eight, linear algebra and linear functions. All this leading to strong foundations, a solid understanding of concepts, procedural skills and fluency, and the ability to apply math to solve problems inside and outside the classroom.

Another characteristic of the Standards is that coherence is embedded. Major topics are reinforced and linked across grade levels. The Standards are designed around coherent progressions from grade to grade. For example, in one grade it might say apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction by a whole number. And in the following grade, apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or a whole number by a fraction.

Rigor means, "to pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skills and fluency, and application with equal intensity." That definition was taken from the Let's take a moment to break down what each of those key words that are highlighted in this definition mean. Conceptual understanding is an understanding of key concepts from varied perspectives and knowing the why of math. Procedural skills and fluency refer to the speed and accuracy in calculations. Application refers to applying mathematical concepts and practices across a variety of settings, situations, and real world problems.

In conclusion, here are some things to consider when thinking about any of the Common Core State Standards. These are not national standards and states have the option to adopt or not adopt them. States have three options for assessments currently-- PARCC, Smarter Balanced, or state developed assessments. With different assessments being used, it is still difficult to make state to state or national comparisons. And finally, tests like the SAT, AP, or ACT are beginning to incorporate Common Core State Standards.

It's time to go ahead and summarize what we covered in today's lesson. We began by taking an overview look of Common Core. We took a closer look at Common Core math. We discussed some of the key points found in Common Core math. And we also looked at some other considerations when implementing Common Core math.

And now for today's food for thought. Which assessment does your state use? Do a little research on it and pull some released items for your grade level or content area.

Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The additional resources section will be super helpful. The section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description so you can easily target the resources you want.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Understanding Common Core Math

(00:00-00:15) Intro

(00:16-01:00) Year One Teaching Math

(01:01-01:51) Common Core Overview

(01:52-02:50) Math by Grade Level

(02:51-04:11) Characteristics of Common Core Math

(04:12-04:53) Consideration

(04:54-05:14) Summary

(05:15-05:43) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Index of Flipbooks

A terrific tool to implement the mathematical standards from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Kansas. Click on the grade that you teach from the list of flipbooks. The flipbook provides teachers with instruction on how to apply the standards at their grade level, offering examples and embedded professional learning within the document.



LearnZillion is a terrific portal of online lessons aligned to the ELA and Math CCSS by grade level. Teachers can create playlists and track data within this free resource. The resource also includes handouts and communication components for parents.