Making Sense of Common Core Math

As I mentioned in this post over on TBA,  I recently attended a great Common Core professional development session. It was a three day venture during which we rotated through how to apply CCSS to Science, Social Studies, Math and Language Arts. They all had great things to offer, but I was particularly excited by math.

Going into the training, I thought I already knew a bit about Common Core. I'd go so far as saying I knew more than most other people at the training. Some honestly shared that they knew nothing at all and most of the rest were somewhat familiar, but without a complete understanding. By the end of the three days, everyone in attendance had really learned a lot!

One thing that I learned during the math portion actually made me feel like I knew a lot less than I thought I did! The trainers were referring to the "practices" and the "standards". I was thinking that the terms were interchangeable, but nope. This was my first lesson. So, allow me to share the difference in case this is something that you're not 100% sure of either.

The main difference is that the practices are the same K-12 and the standards are grade specific. It can be a bit confusing, because on the CCSS website, the practices are actually called Standards for Mathematical Practice. 

So, how can the  Standards of Practice actually make a ton of sense when applied to K-12? I had the same question. Believe it or not, they do. Here they are:

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

4. Model with mathematics.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

6. Attend to precision.

7. Look for and make use of structure.

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

This link explains each in more detail, but basically no matter what content is covered in your grade level standards, every single student K-12 should be working on them through these math practices.

I really haven't heard too much about the practices as opposed to the standards, so I thought this might be helpful to share with you all. I believe that the goal of CCSS is to really build thinkers, not just remember-ers.  I'm still finding my way around everything Common Core, but it seems more I dig, the more I find to dig though! I'm doing my very best to stay on top of it and in front of it so that I don't get sucked under it once school starts in August!

I do have some more great hands-on math projects to share from that part of the training, but I really wanted to touch on this first, especially since it was something I was so surprised to find I knew so little about. 

On the subject of Common Core, I have finally finished all four sets of my Weekly Math Magic for first grade! 

Each set consists of 9 weeks of 2 page printables that will help you address the standards with your firsties. Each skill is represented each week, with increasing difficulty as the year progresses. Some skills will be new to your kids, so it's a great way to introduce them to new skills, maintain skills you already taught and refresh skills you may have taught previously. You can try a free sample here.
Here are links for: Set One, Set Two, Set Three and Set Four 

My original set of Math Magic was made to align with second grade standards. I may need to go back and re-title those to avoid confusion.  I never intended on making individual grade level sets until I got so many requests -which I was happy to oblige. Speaking next set in the works if for third grade You can try a free second grade sample here.
Here are links for: Set One, Set Two, Set Three and Set Four here.

Hope that helps a little! Have a great Monday, my friends.



  1. I love these & know they will be a great review for my first graders!! I am putting them on my wishlist!! Thank you! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  3. These will be a huge help! Do you have these made for 3rd grade?

    One Class, One Sound

    1. Hi Patti :)
      They are next on my to-do list!

  4. I love these! Thank you for sharing all of your hard work!
    Where Seconds Count 2nd grade blog

  5. I cannot wait for the 3rd grade edition!!! I'm going to use the same morning work plan that Ashleigh posted on her blog this morning. She uses your Weekly Word Wizard. Would you consider bundling that, as well as the math sets you're creating?

    1. Mrs. K,

      Could you send me the name of the blog you mentioned with regards to morning work? I'm looking for ELA ideas.

      One Class, One Sound

    2. Patti,

      I sent you an email through your blog:)

      Mrs. K

  6. I love this! I just added the 2nd grade ones to my TpT shopping cart! They will be perfect for me as a first year teacher -- I definitely won't be looking to always reinvent the wheel!

  7. Do you know of anything similar for 2nd grade?

  8. I too am looking for something similar for 2nd grade.


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