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Explanation of Common Core State Standards for Math (CCSS-M)

Content Standards

The Content Standards at each grade level focus on the actual material the students will be learning, such as “add and subtract within 20” or “convert like measurements within a given measurement system.” As highlighted in the video, the authors of the core have made a concerted effort to ensure that the content standards are focused, coherent, and rigorous. They build on each other from grade to grade to help scaffold students' understanding as they move through the complexities of each topic.

A main intention of the CCSS-M is for children to dig deeply and build solid understanding of mathematical concepts. Students are expected to reason about numbers at a very young age. As they grow, students build upon their schema of understanding and articulate strategies that they are manipulating as they are problem solving. Fluency in skills is still critical for success and learned with equal emphasis on conceptual ideas and application of those skills.

Access the CCSS-M Content Standards and navigate to the grade you would like to view using the right hand navigation.

Practice Standards

Successful mathematicians learn to approach problems in a variety of different ways, make conjectures and generalize, construct convincing arguments, defend their ideas orally and in writing, use precise language, determine the reasonableness of answers, and critique the arguments of others.

These Habits of Mind, which span grade levels and ages, are part of the Common Core Math Practice Standards. They are acknowledgement of what mathematicians and math educators have long recognized: “that it is not possible to be knowledgeable about mathematics if all a person knows is mathematical content.  The essential partner to mathematical content is a set of mathematical ways of thinking and reasoning that can equip a person to navigate through hard or known mathematical territory.” (Smarter Than We ThinkMore Messages about Math, Teaching, and Learning in the 21st Century, Cathy Seeley, 2014)  They are derived from the National Research Council’s Adding It Up (2001) document which describes the five strands of mathematical proficiency (conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition), as well as NCTM’s Process Standards (problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, representation) from the 1989 Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics and 2000 Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.