Beyond Right Answers: Math and the Core

Throughout this series of Let’s Chat Core, we’ve focused a lot on literacy because it impacts every teacher in every discipline. But this time, we want to take a closer look at the math standards in order to wrap our minds around the way they’re challenging teachers and students to think about math in deep, conceptual ways.

Common Core in Math ClassroomsUsing the mathematical practices — those dispositions of mathematical thinking – as our guide, we’re able to generate an understanding about the ways in which we want our students to think.

Those practices, coupled with some research and “ah-ha”s of my own help us to conceptualize the shifts towards a math frame of mind.

A few things to keep top of mind as you watch Beyond Right Answers: Math Classrooms and the CCSS:

  • When you hear “coherence” you’ll understand it’s about articulation of content
  • When you hear “focus” you’ll know it’s about going deeper
  • When you hear “rigor” you’ll realize it’s about transference
  • When you learn about “fluency,” “deep understanding,” and “application,” you’ll find they all really mean rigor too

Of course, all of our own conceptual understanding will be enhanced when we venture into describing what math classrooms look like when all of this is in place. Whether you’re a math teacher or not, I think there’s something for us all to learn about thinking from these standards.

And, if you’re new to our Let’s Chat Core series, here are all the previous blogs and videos.

Learning to Read the Core (video)

Implementing the Core: Where to Begin?

Core Changes and Their Impact

Unpacking the Standards (video)

A Go to Toolbox for Teachers

Simplifying Text Complexity (video)

 5 Questions to Ask about Core Resources

Let’s Chat Core is an ongoing Teaching Channel series designed to help educators understand and implement the Common Core State Standards. Sarah Brown Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa. She is the 2010 National Teacher of the Year and is the Teacher Laureate for Teaching Channel. Connect with Sarah on Twitter – @SarahWessling.


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