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View Blog Archive WebSchoolPro Blog > Big Shifts Ahead for Math Instruction

Category - Mathematics,Instruction,Common Core,Standards
Posted - 04/30/2012 11:13am
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Big Shifts Ahead for Math Instruction
Some topics will be introduced earlier, some omitted, and students will have to show their understanding
By Erik W. Robelen
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Nena F. Hupp pauses from reading her kindergartners the picture book Let's Count to help them better understand the math assignments they are about to tackle in small groups.

"Remember, when you get to 10 dots, a better way is to represent those 10 dots with just a stick," said Ms. Hupp, who teaches at Worthington Elementary School in this community near Baltimore. "It takes us forever to have to count all those dots. Mathematicians were smart when they came up with that idea, because it makes it so much easier."

Prior to this school year, kindergartners in the 50,000-student Howard County district—and in public schools across Maryland—were not expected to learn about representing tens and ones, a building block for understanding place value, explains Kay B. Sammons, the district's elementary-math coordinator.

"Prior to the common core," she said, "it was a 1st grade objective."

That's now changing, along with a whole lot more.

Across the nation, big shifts are afoot as 45 states and thousands of school districts gear up to implement the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. The standards will change the grade levels at which some content is introduced, push aside other topics altogether to achieve greater depth, and ask students to engage in eight "mathematical practices" to show their understanding, from making sense of problems to reasoning abstractly and constructing viable arguments.

Some districts are already working hard to make the transition.

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