The Common Core State Standards for Math actually include two types of standards: the content standards and the standards for mathematical practice. The content standards define the specific skills that are to be mastered at each grade level. For example, multiplication, division, and fractions are all content standards for 3^{rd} grade. The standards for mathematical practice, however, outline *how* students go about doing the math. They are skills, based on the NCTM process standards, which students should utilize on a daily basis, regardless of the content being taught. In other words, they should be embedded into daily math instruction, rather than taught in isolation. Too often, however, teachers focus their attention and energy on the content standards and neglect the mathematical practices, resulting in students with only a surface level understanding of the math they are doing.

So what are the standards for mathematical practices, and how can teachers go about incorporating them into their lessons? Let’s start by taking a look at the standards:

**—understand the meaning of the problem, determine entry point, analyze information, plan a solution pathway, apply problem solving strategies, check for reasonableness**

*Make Sense Of Problems And Persevere In Solving Them***—make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations, use different properties of operation and objects with flexibility, create a coherent representation of the problem at hand**

*Reason Abstractly And Quantitatively***—justify conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others**

*Construct Viable Arguments And Critique The Reasoning Of Others***—apply known mathematics to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace**

*Model With Mathematics***—consider the available tools when solving a mathematical problem**

*Use Appropriate Tools Strategically***—communicate precisely to others using clear definitions, meaning of symbols, and computational accuracy**

*Attend To Precision***—discern a pattern or structure**

*Look For And Make Use Of Structure***—look for general methods and shortcuts, maintain oversight of a process while attending to details**

*Look For And Express Regularity In Repeated Reasoning*__here__to grab a bookmark listing the mathematical practices and keep it with you while planning.

If you’re looking for visual aids on the Mathematical Practices for your classroom, check out my

__primary__and

__intermediate__poster sets.

TheElementary MathManiac says

Hi Donna,

Love the bookmark and love your suggestion of talking less. I will be sharing this post and the bookmark with the teachers I work with. It is a simple but very effective suggestion. Thanks for sharing!

Tara

The Math Maniac

Donna Boucher says

My pleasure, Tara! I think the bookmark is a great tool to have at planning. 🙂

The Craft of Teaching says

Love your bookmark and your ideas! Just returned from an NCTM interactive institute and you are echoing exactly what they are saying and teaching about the practices. 😉 I love the graphic at the top of your post as well…thanks for a great post!

Nichole

Craft of Teaching

Donna Boucher says

Ooh, I really wanted to go to that institute, Nichole, but I was already committed to a different conference. I’ll be it was great!

Kelly Koonce says

Thank you for this post and the bookmark! As a language arts teacher returning to math this year, this will be very helpful for me!

Kelly

Koonce’s Korner

Donna Boucher says

Glad you came back from the Dark Side! Ha ha. 🙂

Ashley says

What a great find! You really know what are talking about and have some fantastic resources! Thanks for doing what you do. I’m a new follower 🙂

Ashley

http://teachingpawsitively.blogspot.com

Donna Boucher says

Thanks, Ashley! Glad you find my blog useful 🙂

Amy B says

This is SO true! I use the turn and talk all the time!!! Thanks Donna!

Amy

Donna Boucher says

My pleasure, Amy! 🙂

Tchur8 says

Love this…thank you so much for sharing! I so agree with you on that the student participation level is an important factor. I teach my students ‘whole brain teaching’ at the beginning of the year and they really buy into it. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out!

Donna Boucher says

Whole brain teaching is AWESOME!! 🙂

Anonymous says

Love these! My whole school will be using them this year!

Donna Boucher says

Yea! Glad to hear it’s something useful. 🙂

Anonymous says

I am new to the bogging world…but I thought the information on your page is great. I especially was interested with the information you have on CCSS. We are making the switch to CCSS and I want to be informed about every aspect of them. I also love the bookmark and posters on Mathematical Practices. I will use and share this site with my colleagues. Thank You.

Adela

Donna Boucher says

Welcome to the blogosphere, Adela! So much good information to be found. 🙂

Sonia Arias says

This information was very helpful and relevant to my teaching. I also agree that if we do not embed mathematical practices with CCSS our students will attain “surface level” learning. Thank you for sharing the bookmark and posters on mathematical practices.

Donna Boucher says

We’ve been doing “surface level” for too long, I’m afraid, Sonia! I hope this language, and discussing the mathematical practices as “habits”, will help us take math instruction to a whole new level!

stephf54 says

This visual really helps clear things up! I’ve been going to and doing all the ELA CC training and presenting for my school. Trying to get all of that info to stay clear in my head plus present it to the other teachers left little room for what is going on in math! I really tuned out often when our math teacher/presenter started his math talk. I’ve heard all those terms but never really took them in. Just the color coded Venn and bookmark helped more than a whole faculty meeting worth of talking!

Donna Boucher says

Thanks so much!! I’m glad I was able to present a fuzzy concept in a way that’s more clear. 🙂

Practice Math says

Thanks for doing what you do. I’m a new follower .I so agree with you on that the student participation level is an important factor. I teach my students ‘whole brain teaching’ at the beginning of the year and they really buy into it. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out!