Frequently Asked Questions about Elementary Math

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Academic Services
Curriculum and Professional Learning
Frequently Asked Questions about Elementary Math
As schools implement the Common Core State Standards in the 2014-15 school year, ABC Unified School
District wants to keep parents informed regarding the education of their child. Here are some frequently asked
questions regarding the implementation of the new standards.
How were the state standards selected?
In January 2010, Senate Bill X5 1 established the Academic Content Standards Commission (ACSC) to
develop standards for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The ACSC members were appointed by
the Governor and the Legislature, the majority were current public school elementary or secondary classroom
teachers. The ACSC was authorized to make recommendations to the California State Board of Education
(SBE) to approve or disapprove the CCSS. The SBE voted unanimously to adopt the Common Core
Standards for ELA and mathematics on August 2, 2010.
How were the Common Core Standards developed?
The development of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) was a
voluntary state-led effort coordinated by the Council of Chief State School
Officers and the National Governors Association. In 2009, governors and
state commissioners of education from 48 states (including California), two
territories, and the District of Columbia, committed to developing a set of
standards that would help prepare students to succeed in college and careers
after high school. The review process included educators from kindergarten through grade twelve,
postsecondary faculty, curriculum and assessment experts, researchers, national organizations, and
community groups.
What does a Math Common Core classroom look like?
An elementary math common core classroom allows students to learn grade level math standards in a much
more collaborative environment. Teachers facilitate intentional classroom discussions that involve students
having to solve real-world problems in various ways. Mathematical practices are embedded into the lessons,
which help students focus on a deeper conceptual understanding of math versus strict memorization. This
new focus on deepening understanding of core concepts naturally leads to more writing in math as well.
Although teacher directed lessons are still very much a part of a Common Core math classroom, a combination
of collaboration and individual learning work together to contribute to student success.
How will my student be graded under these new standards?
The elementary report card is still a standards-based report card. The math section of the report card has
been updated to reflect the new Common Core State Standards, which includes mathematical practices.
Students will be graded using the district’s 4 point scale based on the standards taught in each trimester.
Parents are encouraged to ask questions about grading during parent conferences at the end of the first
reporting period.
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What textbook do elementary students use?
Pearson enVision Math was adopted by the ABCUSD Board of Education in July
2014. enVisionMATH is designed for students in Kindergarten through grade six to
develop an understanding of math concepts through problem-based instruction,
small-group interaction, and visual learning. There is also a focus on reasoning and
modeling. Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade use a consumable book.
Students in grades 3-6 receive a hardback textbook. All teachers have access to a
digital library of resources and can share many of those resources with students and
parents.
How are Common Core Math standards different from previous standards?
Common Core standards for Mathematics include two types of standards; grade level content area standards
(specific to each grade level) and eight Mathematical Practices standards (the same at each grade level). The
Mathematical Practices are the basis for mathematics instruction and learning. Together these standards
address what students need to know and what they should be able to do. In 2014, ABCUSD began
implementing the Common Core Mathematics standards that were adopted by the California State Board of
Education. For more information on these two standards, please visit
http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/ccssmathstandardaug2013.pdf
What resources are available for students and parents?
Pearson enVision has a digital component available to parents at www.pearsonrealize.com. The digital
resources include the eText student addition; a video of each lesson; practice, reteaching, and enrichment
worksheets for each lesson; a glossary; and a suite of digital math tools for students and parents to use. Your
child’s teacher will provide you with the student login information. An eText is available on DVD and can be
checked-out by parent request from each school.
Where can I find more information on Common Core State Standards?
ABC Unified School District Resource on Edline:
http://www.abcusd.k12.ca.us/pages/ABC_Unified_School_District/Parents/Common_Core_Standards
California PTA Parent Resource Web Page: www.capta.org/sections/programs/e-standards.cfm
Parents’ Guide to Student Success: www.pta.org/content.cfm?ItemNumber=2909
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