Nicole's Note: Nov 1st

Last week the teacher’s participated in a professional development session where we explored the Common Core State Standard (CCSS) Math Practices & Claims. We learned the importance of implementing these practices into our lessons on a daily basis. So what exactly are the math practices and claims?

Before the CCSS in mathematics, we had the California Content Standards. As its name suggested, the content standards identified what all students should know and be able to do per grade level. But now there’s been a shift, and the California Common Core State Standards are now comprised of two types of standards: The content standards and the practice standards. Like the old state content standards, the Common Core still identifies what concepts and procedures students need to know and be able to do, but now, the standards include math practice (MP) standards which describe the behaviors or habits of mind that the students should exhibit when working with mathematics. The Standards for Mathematical Content are a balanced combination of procedure and understanding.

The Math Practice standards can be organized in the following way:

MP1 & MP6 should extend throughout every Common Core math lesson. These two MPs represent overarching habits of mind exhibited by successful mathematicians. In every lesson, students should be expected to problem solve and persevere (MP1). And, in any lesson students should be precise with their vocabulary and calculations (MP6).)

So not only are there some significant changes to the standards, but our standardized test has also gone through some major changes. Previously with the CST students, students received scores focused on CONTENT. Now with the Smarter Balanced assessment, students will receive four scores: The first is an overall math score for both content and practice. And the next three scores report student performance on 4 different claims.

  • Concepts and Procedures
  • Problem Solving
  • Modeling and Data Analysis
  • Communicating Reasoning
A Claim can be defined as a summary statement about the knowledge and skill students will be expected to demonstrate on the assessment related to a particular aspect of the CCSS for mathematics.

What we learned in our professional development session is that teaching our students the practice standards is equally important as teaching them the content standards. Just like we learned early on with the shift to Common Core, the emphasis is no longer just on the product, but is also on the process.

This is important to keep in mind as you work at home with your child(ren). “The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe ways in which developing student practitioners of the discipline of mathematics increasingly ought to engage with the subject matter as they grow in mathematical maturity and expertise throughout the elementary, middle and high school years.”

For more information on the practice standards, you can visit

Thank you for your support in helping us to create proficient little mathematicians!