Common Core Standards for Mathematics

Mathematics and English Language Arts each has its very own set of Common Core Standards. The Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice are composed of the following three key components:

  • Standards for mathematical practice: These standards outline ways of thinking about math and approaching problems that help to develop students’ thinking skills. The practice standards stress understanding over procedures; for example, students are expected not only to solve the equation 2 + 2 = 4 but also to recognize situations calling for addition and to apply that understanding to real life.

    The practice standards apply to all math concepts and skills at all grade levels.

  • Content standards: Using the lens of the mathematical practices, the content standards focus on more specific math concepts and skills that students are expected to know and encounter in each area of math at each grade level. Content standards are organized in the following two ways:

    • By grade level: For Grades K-8, content standards are organized by grade level. For high school, content standards are organized by subject, such as algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability.

    • By domain: Domains are groups of concepts and skills, such as operations and algebraic thinking, that can be found within all grade levels. These categories help you see how a particular concept progresses in difficulty from grade to grade.

  • Mathematics appendix: Titled “Designing High School Mathematics Courses Based on the Common Core State Standards,” the resources in this appendix provide school administrators and math teachers with options for developing courses to help students achieve Common Core math principles and standards in high school.

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