I mentioned in a recent post that the worksheets on this website are based largely on the standards published by the State of Virginia, augmented by materials from Texas and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This, in large part, is because those are the two states in which I most recently lived.
Another approach is the approach endorsed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS), which has been adopted by 45 states in the United States. As I glance at the map on the CCSS website one thing jumps out (to me, at least) – both Texas and Virginia are among the two states yet to adopt the initiative. Which, I suppose, is why I’m not particularly familiar with it in practice. In the future I’ll be the math worksheet exercises on this website to the CCSS standards.
In the meantime I think that the eight CCSS mathematical practices – common from kindergarten to eighth grade – are a useful set of principles to consider and reinforce when teaching math concepts:
1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Like all learned skills – from math to music to sports – it is not enough simply to practice. To move ahead student have to practice with a purpose. These are rules that I strive to reinforce with my kids.
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