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The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics varies slightly from the organization and writing of the Common Core State Standards for English, Language Arts and Literacy. The organization is fairly similar and it is mostly a spiraled curriculum building from grade to grade level as well. The difference is that the Common Core State Standards for mathematics are much more grade specific and less topic specific. Let's go ahead and dive into the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics by going to corestandards.org. Here I'm going to access the standards by clicking on the Standards tab in the upper navigation.
Once again, I can chose to download a PDF version of them, but first let's go ahead and take a look at how we access them online. I'm going to click on the Mathematics Standards button. This page looks slightly different from the page that we saw for English Language Arts and Literacy. On the left hand side we had strands for English Language Arts and Literacy and then underneath each strand there was grades. Here we jump straight to the grade level. For example, if I wanted to look at sixth grade mathematics I could click on Sixth Grade and then underneath that I now have something called Domains. Domains are like the top level organization of what sixth graders should know.
For example, sixth graders should have some information about ratios and proportion relationships, and the number system, and expressions and equations, geometry, statistics, and probability. These domains also allow for some spiraling curriculum. For example, if I come back and click on fifth grade you'll notice that I have some overlap in the domains such as Geometry. I can also come and click on fourth grade and you'll notice that I still have some overlap in domains between fourth and fifth and there's some different domains between fifth and sixth. So the domains allow us to take our mathematical skills and build them up from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.
Furthermore, underneath an individual domain, I then have what's known as clusters. A cluster is a set of standards that our students need to know. So for example, here under Operations and Algebraic Thinking, I have use the four operations with whole numbers to solve problems. Now that is my cluster. In that cluster I have three different standards. Each standard then tells me exactly what students need to do. For example, standard one under this cluster says they need to interpret a multiplication equation as a comparison. Example is to interpret 35 as five times seven or as a statement that 35 is five times as many as seven and seven times as many as five.
And they to represent both verbal statements and multiplicative comparisons as multiplication equations and that's seems like a lot to unpack and it is. But remember, these standards are designed to be the core of what your students should know. This could be easily broken apart into four, five or even six different objectives for lessons. In addition to the standards of what our students should know, there's also standards for Mathematical practice which can be accessed at the top of the left hand navigation. Here the standards for mathematical practice will break down exactly what our students should be able to do in a performance sense.
Such as make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Or reason abstractly and quantitatively. They should also be able to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. So you can move through a variety of standards of what your students should be able to do on a performance based assessment. And you can also access the standards of what your students should know at the end of each grade level. When it comes to reading the PDF document of these, there's a few organizational changes that you need to be aware of. When it comes to accessing these standards on the PDF document that you can download from corestandards.org, there's a few organizational and visual changes you'll need to know about in order to properly use that document.
Here I have the grade seven overview open. You'll notice right away that some of the mathematical practices have been pulled out and brought to the front so I can quickly look at the grade seven overview and know exactly what my students need to be able to do. Furthermore, there's a quick summary of all the domains in grade seven. As I move down through this document I'll eventually come to the standards themselves. Here, the upper bar which is in gray with the red text, represents the domain. Underneath the domain I have the cluster. So this is the analyze proportional relationships, and use them to solve real world and mathematical problems cluster.
And then inside the cluster I have the actual standards. And some standards also have components that go with them. For example, standard one is by itself. When I look at standard two I can see that there's four components underneath this standard. Now, if you're brand new to the common core, likelihood is, is that you won't actually come into these particular standards often. Your district or state should use the common core to write their own state standards. However, some states have chosen to pair their standards along with the Common Core State Standards. If you are going to be using the Common Core State Standards in your actual lessons on a day to day basis, I recommend printing your individual grade section and becoming familiar with the layout of it.
Furthermore, if you're developing lesson plans that you plan to share online for other teachers and educators, then I would also recommend becoming familiar with your section of the Common Core State Standards. That way you can link the activities in your lesson plans back to the Common Core State Standards for your individual content area. So at this point we've looked at how to access the math standards online, how to drill into an individual math standard. And also how to download and access them on the PDF document that's available on the Core Standards website.
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