Understanding the Common Core Standards for Math

By Huntington Learning Center

Putting the Common Core State Standards to Work

The Common Core State Standards for math established a singular set of standards for kindergarten to 12th grade mathematical education in the United States. Teachers and other educational professionals across the country are working diligently to integrate these standards into their assessments, curriculum, and instruction. The ultimate goal of the standards is to ensure that when students graduate from high school they are prepared to begin a two or four year college program or enter the workforce with sound mathematical skills.

The staffs at Huntington Learning Centers across the United States have also been hard at work ensuring that the Common Core State Standards for math are integrated into students' personalized tutoring plans. We understand the importance of linking mathematical tutoring to what is occurring in a student's classroom and adhering to established instructional standards. You can be assured that each tutoring plan is aligned with these educational standards and designed to meet your child's specific needs. 

There are eight standards for mathematical practice that students are expected to understand during their educational career:

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
Students are expected to explain the meaning of a mathematical problem and then search for ways it can be solved. The standards encourage students to critically analyze the problem, determine the form and meaning to the solution, and then devise a plan to solve the problem.

2. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
Students should use theorems, definitions, and established outcomes when constructing mathematical arguments. Their conclusions should be justified by using logical claims and citing examples.

3. Reason abstractly and quantitatively
Students must make sense of quantities and how they relate to one another when solving mathematical problems. Creating coherent arguments, using appropriate mathematical symbols, and utilizing operational properties are all essential reasoning skills students should possess. 

4. Model with mathematics
Students should understand math's relevance to life outside the classroom. As students get older, and mathematical skills become more complex, this standard evolves. Students need the ability to connect their in-class learning to everyday encounters and situations. 

5. Attend to precision
Students are expected to communicate what they have learned effectively and concisely. Mathematical definitions and units of measure should be used to accurately and clearly explain their reasoning and problem solving.

6. Use appropriate tools strategically
There a variety of mathematical tools available to students including math software, a protractor, a calculator, and paper and pencil. Students must be able to identify which tool will be the most helpful and then use it appropriately.

7. Look for and make use of structure
Students should be able to identify patterns and mathematical structures depending on ability and grade level standards. These mathematical structures include the commutative property of addition (3+4 is the same as 4+3) and the steps necessary to expand an algebraic equation.

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
As students progress through mathematical courses and acquire more knowledge and skills, they should be able to identify repeated calculations and when shortcuts can be utilized. They should always be evaluating their reasoning to determine whether they are on the right track or if an error has occurred. 

The professional tutors at Huntington Learning Center are adept at using these Common Core State Standards for math to create personalized and relevant instruction. As students undertake the learning presented in their math tutoring sessions they will be expected to meet the standards outlined above. These standards were designed to help students achieve at a higher level and to deeply understand mathematical practice. You can be confident that your child will be challenged to not only answer a question correctly but also to understand the reasoning behind the solution and the evidence that proves its accuracy.


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