Student Friendly Language: CCSS Math Practices

A while back I made the CCSS Math Practices in student-friendly language and blogged about it here. Recently, someone asked me for them and I also saw a question under #MTBoS on twitter asking for something similar. It inspired me to share them again, because I think they can be really helpful when shared with your students.

It is really important to share with students why we are doing the things we do in our classrooms.

Feel free to use and share!


(Student-Friendly Language by: Annie Forest)

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

We will figure out what the problem is asking us to do!

We will ask ourselves “does this answer make sense?”

We will keep trying and do our best!

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

We will be able to think about what is happening in a problem (without having to use the actual numbers).

We will also be able to use the numbers, making sure that we know the meaning of them (not just how to “get the answer”).

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

We will be able to show and explain our thinking to others.

We will be able to read what others have done, decide if it makes sense, and ask questions.

4. Model with Mathematics

We will apply what we know to solve problems in everyday life.

We will make assumptions and approximations and revise them if necessary.

We will reflect to see if our answer makes sense.

5.  Use appropriate tools strategically.

We will know what tool to use and when!

Examples of tools:
-pencil and paper
-manipulatives (like cubes)

6.  Attend to precision.

We will be precise!

How to be precise:
-communicate using correct vocabulary
-use math symbols correctly
-include units
-show thinking
-be accurate with calculations

7. Look for and make use of structure.

We will be able to see a pattern or structure.

We will see complicated things as being made up of several parts.

8.  Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

We will notice what happens when calculations are repeated.

We will look for a method that always works or even a shortcut.


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