Standards for Mathematical Practice

Andrea Myers

My Take-Aways

I have long been familiar with the Standards for Mathematical Practice called for by CCGPS, but my understanding of them was very superficial. The rigor analysis form and checklist discussed in this webinar and offered as a resource deepened my understanding of these standards and gave me tools with which I will be able to evaluate my progress in implementing them.

The presenters also emphasized the need for balance between conceptual understanding and skills proficiency, as well as between direct teaching and exploratory teaching. I find that this balance is something that often gets lost in the effort to "cover the standards" and prepare students for the assessments they will face. This reminded me of the importance of keeping this balance at the forefront of my instruction.

I was also struck by their definition of rigor. In all the professional development I have attended and all the work I have done in my classroom I don't know that I have ever actually seen a good definition of mathematical rigor. This definition as an interaction of content and instruction that focuses on the depth and breadth of mathematical understanding and student reasoning has changed how I interpret rigor and will impact how I plan my instruction in the coming school year.

Reflection of the Webinar Experience

Overall I enjoyed the webinar experience. I appreciate the fact that it was something I could participate in at my convenience and at home instead of sitting in an auditorium several hours away from home. I also liked that it was a reasonable amount of information presented in a fairly short time frame. I am much like my students in that there is only so long I can sit and listen to a speaker, so this compact format suits me well. I also feel that I was able to process the information presented instead of coming away with information overload, unable to process enough of it to put anything into practice.

Additional Resources

Inside Mathematics - Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice: Inside Mathematics provides video excerpts of lessons that implement the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP). For each of the 8 SMP there are several videos with examples ranging from lower elementary to upper high school that demonstrate how they can be used to enhance the rigor of the mathematics classroom. Resources like this offer teachers who are struggling with how to implement the SMP the opportunity to observe them in practice and take away ideas for beginning this work in their own classrooms.

Scholastic - A Guide to the 8 Mathematical Practice Standards: Blogger Meghan Everette lists and summarizes the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and for each one she links to resources available to teachers that provide ideas and help for implementation. The original statement of the SMP is very formal, long, and cumbersome; in order for them to be effectively implemented teachers must be able to translate this education speak into classroom-friendly language. Everette's presentation of the SMP encourages this, which I find to be incredibly helpful.

The Importance of Mathematical Practices: The Standards for Mathematical Practice are important because they are how we prepare students for the math they will encounter in the world outside of the classroom. Modeling is one of the skills necessary for success in real-world mathematics application, which is why it is one of the SMP that must be incorporated into our classrooms.
The Importance of Mathematical Practices
Standards for Mathematical Practice: Classroom Use

As teachers we work to implement the the Standards for Mathematical Practice, but rarely do we include students in the discussion of how this is done. Having students analyze how their work fits into the SMP encourages self-reflection and analysis of their own processes, which can only lead to better mathematical understanding and engaged students.

Standards for Mathematical Practice: Classroom Use