Here we are going to take a quick overview of the 2012 Elementary Mathematics Standards in the Seventh-day Adventist Schools. If you do not already have this document you can purchase it from AdventSource or download a printable PDF file.

One of the most notable things about the standards folder is on the inside front cover. This page contains the 8 Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice. These 8 items represent the real strength of this new approach to mathematics and should be intertwined throughout all of the math domains. They include:

- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

It is precisely these 8 standards that will help to “train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts.” (ED 17.2) They will help our students delve deeply into understanding the processes of math, rather than simply finding the answer.

The standards are divided into 5 Mathematical domains. Each domain name is labeled in bold type above the corresponding standards. These are:

- Numbers and Operations
- Operations and Algebraic Thinking
- Measurement
- Geometry
- Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability

Another eye-catching feature of the document is the color coded sections. These colors represent grade divisions to help you quickly find the grade that you are looking for. Shades of orange are for grades K-2, blue contains grades 3-5, purple presents grades 6-8.

Also in each domain, above each colored section is a white strip containing the Essential Question and Big Idea for the three grades.

For example, the essential questions for grades 3-5 in the Numbers and Operations domain is: “What does numerical reasoning involve and what does it demonstrate about God’s world?” The associated big idea to be taught is that “Numerical reasoning with whole numbers and fractions demonstrates dependability and order in God’s world.” If you examine the columns within the chart, you will find that the first column indicates the grade level, the second gives a brief title to the content for that grade level, the middle column lists the code and the skill (standard), this is followed by the corresponding common core code (if this exists) and the last column tells what lessons teach the standard.

Let’s take a moment to examine one of these standards closely. Look at the Measurement strand. Find the 5th grade row, and look for the standard about volume, 5.M.2.

You will see that the standard states that the student will be able to…” Understand concepts of volume measurement in cubic measure (cm3, in3 and ft3) and apply to multiplication and addition.” (5.MD.3.4.5) We will examine the codes more closely in just a moment, but first let’s see what lessons would help us to meet this standard.

Look at the last column. In this column there are several lessons in GoMath! that reinforce this standard. They include lessons 11.5, 11.6, 11.7, 11.8, 11.9, 11.10, 11.11,

and 11.12.

Let’s look back at that coding for just a moment. The code in front of each standard is the SDA code. While it has been omitted from this chart, each of these codes should begin with an M to indicate the content area – Math.

Next, there is a number telling which grade level the standard is for. In our example, the 5 stands for 5th grade. This is followed by a letter code indicating which domain it is addressing, in our sample the letter M refers to the Measurement domain.

Finally, there is another number in the code refers to a particular skill, in this case skill 2.

This code eases lesson planning by allowing teachers to simply write the code M.5.M.2 when they are writing their standard or objective for the lesson.

The code following the standard in the chart is the corresponding Common Core code, in case it is needed for reference at any time.

One more very helpful thing in this chart is the row at the bottom of each colored section. The title of this row is Assessment. Here, you will find some ideas of great ways to assess the standards in the colored section above.

One last thing that is important to notice. If we look up some standards such as the Operations and Algebraic Thinking Standard for 5th grade about Factors, and we look for what GoMath! lessons correspond to this, we will find that none are listed. This means that teachers will have to find their own materials and resources to teach this standard.

Please remember – the standards are what we are teaching – not the text. This means that it is important to help our students master the items in this list – no matter what materials we choose to do so.

Using this standards document helps teachers to stay focused on what students need to learn at each grade level and helps them direct their teaching toward that goal.