As teachers, we know that our student’s success depends on mastering the math standards. But what exactly is “math standards practice” and why is it so important? Let’s break it down to find out.
What is Math Standards Practice?
Math standards practice is a set of activities designed to help students master the concepts in each math standard. It usually consists of instructional practices, assessments, and assignments that are directly related to the math standard being taught.
These practices can range from engaging lessons and class discussions to problem-solving activities and peer tutoring. In short, math standards practice combines instruction, assessment, and activities into one comprehensive package that helps students develop their skills in a particular area of mathematics.
For example, rounding numbers is a place value standard. In order to help your students master the skill of rounding decimals you would curate a variety of lessons, activities, and assessments. This math standards practice would help your students to become proficient in the standard.
The importance of using GRADE level math standards practice
Did you know that rounding is a skill that is taught in multiple grade levels? If you’ve been around a bit you probably do. The idea of building on skills learned in previous grade levels is nothing new. But why does that matter?
Each grade level standard takes into consideration what students are developmentally ready to learn and what they have previously been exposed to. For example, with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) students round to the nearest 10 and 100 in 3rd grade, the nearest whole number in 4th grade, and in 5th grade, they start rounding decimals. Each year builds off the previous year.
But what happens if in 4th grade students don’t practice rounding numbers beyond the 10s and 100s place? Mastering the 5th grade rounding standard would become more difficult, which could cause students to fall behind.
It is definitely important to build upon the previous year’s standards, but we MUST ensure that we are teaching the current grade-level standards. If you have a good curriculum this may be easy for you. But what if you don’t have a good curriculum? Or if you like adding fun supplemental activities to your classroom? Let’s take a look at what you can do!
Using Grade-Level Math Standards Practice
So how do we make sure we teach our students the current grade-level math standards? Let’s do this in a few easy steps.
- Make sure you understand your grade-level standards. Easy enough. But sometimes when we teach a curriculum we aren’t totally clear on what the actual standards are. So make sure you take some time to look at what the actual standard is. (Maybe even look at the grade level below and above to understand what students should know and where they are going.)
- Use reputable websites, blogs, and resources to help you find grade-level math standards practice. Here is a website that provides a variety of online activities and tools to help support your instruction of grade-level standards.
- Look for supplemental activities that can engage students in grade-level math standards practice. Are you looking for something fun and festive? Or something that connects to the real world? There are a variety of activities available that align with your specific grade level standards and are engaging to supplement your curriculum.
Math City is my favorite way to provide grade-level aligned math standards practice. These projects offer a real-world application of learned math skills and are engaging for students. Each project aligns with a specific grade level standard or set of standards.
For example, this City Budget project covers multiplying whole numbers using the standard algorithm and dividing whole numbers up to 4-digit dividends and 2-digit divisors. It does not include a variety of other grade-level standards. It was created specifically with 5th grade skills in mind. This project provides meaningful and engaging standards-based practice that will help your students work towards mastery of these 5th grade skills.
And the best part of this project is that it is part of a bigger connecting project called Math City. Each project in Math City covers a set of 5th grade standards and all the projects together create a city.
Each time students complete one of the math city projects they earn a building that they can add to their math city. This unique project allows the connection of all the 5th grade standards covered throughout the entire year. (Currently only available in 5th grade standards. 4th and 3rd will be available soon. Follow me here to be notified when new projects are posted.)
Grade-level math standards practice is essential if you want your students to master the mathematics standards. By understanding the math standards, finding resources to help students practice those math concepts, and supplementing with projects that engage your students in math standards practice you can ensure that your students are mastering their grade-level math skills.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! And don’t forget to add Math City to your math classroom resources.