# Tools

### 57 Responses to Tools

1. Rose Dickinson says:

We need more guidance and information to implement the core curriculum in grades 7 and 8.

• We are working on it as fast as we can!

• Gina says:

I am interested in these as well. I teach 7th Grade math in NYC. Rose, If you come up with anything, or across anything helpful, can you share? I will as well. Thank you! =)

• copyjared says:

I and bunch of other colleagues have Common Core 360, and it has a lot to do with implementing core curriculum. They give video examples from several grade levels, and I think I’ve even seen some 7th and 8th grade materials. Here’s some info: http://www.common-core-tools.com/common-core-tools/

2. Carolyn Marchetti says:

Bill,
Thank you so much for this blog!, I have found it a very useful tool to help our 18 county districts with the transition to the CCSS.

3. Cindy Loeffert says:

Any suggestions on where teachers can find “good, research-based” activities/lessons to help supplement what we already have to meet the common core standards? Thank you.
Cindy

• sheila shaffer says:

NCTM appears to be leading the movement on this and already has some activities (mostly HS) posted. Also, you can register on the PARCC site to receive/pilot/provide feedback for the performance tasks/assessments being developed by them.

• In addition to the NCTM effort, the Illustrative Mathematics Project (illustrativemathematics.org) is developing sample problems and tasks to illustrate the Common Core.

• debbiejc says:

I just read the first few illustrations. They are excellent, but have many typing errors. Can we please get these corrected?

• Debbie, if you send the errors to request@illustrativemathematics.org, we will correct them.

• P. Dallon says:

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP2) is NSF funded and is a wonderful source of mathematics tasks. I have used this for years and am relieved I don’t need to buy new books to meet the standards! The 8 mathematical practices are built in as well.

4. Dawn Keiser says:

We are trying to update our end of the trimester Common Assessments for use next school year. Do you have a mapping/pacing document or a suggested order of CCSS for each grade level yet? Do you have any suggestions for accomplishing this before the start of next school year?

• No, we are not planning to produce such a document. Are you trying to do this for every grade level at once, or are you focusing on particular grade levels to begin with? I’ll see if I can find out what other states are working on the same grade levels. (Also, it would be worth sending a message to the NCSM listserv about this if you haven’t done so already.)

• Dawn Keiser says:

Thank you for responding! Due to School Improvement requirements we need to update our Common Assessments for each Trimester, for grades K-8. We started today, but it is going slow. I am doing third grade, since I teach that grade. We used the MI GLCE/CCSS Crosswalks created by Ruth Anne Hodges to delete things being removed from our grade and add new questions for new CCSS. Next, we are updating our pacing /mapping charts. Then, we will align our teaching materials to the CCSS. The Progressions are very helpful! These will be used for each domain as we list the CCSS and match those to our teaching materials. We want to have this accomplished to give our teachers before school starts next year.

• Indiana school board has put a very nice one out. Google Indiana curriculum maps common core.

5. Doug Van Wassenhove says:

Bill,
Is there anyone or any group involved with the development of the CCSS that is attempting to clarify the meaning or the intent of the standards? Take, for instance, high school standard S.MD.6(+): Use probabilities to make fair decisions (e.g., drawing by lots, using a random number generator). All this standard appears to be saying is that a decision is “fair” if all outcomes are equally likely. Is that really the meaning/intent of the standard? If so, why is it a “plus” (advanced) standard?
I’m concerned that some of the standards are vaguely worded and that it will be up to the assessment consortia (SBAC and PARCC) to clarify their meaning. Of course, we won’t know about the clarifications until after students start taking the assessments in a couple of years!
Thanks for any light you can shed on this matter.
Doug

• The progressions project will eventually publish a progression on the high school statistics and probability standards. As for the standard you mention, I have two comments. First, the plus sign on a standard does not necessarily mean it is advanced, just that it is beyond the college and career ready threshold; that could be because it is advanced, but could also simply because it describes mathematics that was not judged essential for college and career readiness. Second, it is part of a sequence of standards in the S-MD domain (Using Probability to Make Decisions) and makes more sense when read as part of that sequence. There are in fact some advanced standards in the sequence, but this particular one is just filling in an obvious implication of the domain heading, namely that one way to use probability to make fair decisions is to use some randomizing device to choose (e.g., choosing passengers for screening at random rather by profiling).

• Jim Noord says:

Hi, Are you the same Doug Van Wassenhove that taught math in the 1980’s?

6. Pamela Rawson says:

Bill,
I attended the NCTM conference in Orlando this past July where you said that the Common Core Standards should not be distilled into a checklist. While I agree with this in theory, at some point my students will be assessed by a test developed by an outside agency. No doubt, they will use that checklist to develop the assessment. What advice do you have for those of us who value teaching rich mathematics and mathematical thinking, but who have to face the reality of the checklist?
Pam

7. Tim Schell says:

Are there any solid resources available for target/reporting indicators that can be used for CCSS aligned report cards?

• I don’t know of any. I imagine people might be waiting to see what happens with the common assessments.

8. Jodi says:

I am a first grade teacher using the Everyday Mathematics series with supplements. I am directed to use letter grades to report student progress this year in all subject areas–A,B,C, and I (Incomplete). Are other districts using letter grades in the elementary grades?

• barbara polo says:

I am also a first grade teacher using Everyday Math. We are still using 1, 2, 3, 4 as grades for ALL subject areas.

9. Tony Riehl says:

Bill,

I am a high school math teacher that has taught math for 31 years. I attended a two day presentation from Sue Gendron. She suggested that I email you with my comment/question.
With all the priorities we have made on what students need to know, why do we require students know the volume formulas for spheres and cones (8.G.9 and 6.GMD.3). I am a firm believer of knowing area and volume formulas for common models. I am also a firm believer that students need to be able to find a rarely needed formula and use it to find an unknown.
I categorize formulas for spheres and cones to be very rarely needed formulas. I would guess that less than 0.1 % of the adult (non-math teachers) population ever use the volume formula for a sphere or cone in their entire adult life. And, those people could quickly find the formula and apply it.

Tony

• I’m sorry you don’t find the beauty of these formulas sufficient reason for their inclusion. I have to say that they were not even on the list of possible exclusions. We were working for the states, writing state standards, and our job was to come up with standards that most states could adopt. If you can find a single set of state standards that excludes these formulas I’d be interested to know. Of course, if we had the luxury of defining a separate course of study for every child, some parents might indeed choose to spare their children these formulas. But I just don’t think it would fly omitting them from a document purporting to provide common standards.

• Ann Casebier says:

Bill,

We have found the resources on the Common Core Tools website to be very helpful to interpreting the new math standards.

We are trying to be very patient, but do you know the timeline for releasing the geometry progressions document? We have so many questions about the depth to which to take students in geometry at each grade level and hope this document will answer those questions for us.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this endeavor!

Ann

• Thanks for your patience! We are working on the geometry progressions document right now, hope to get it to you soon!

• Ginger B says:

Until now, NYS did not require memorization of formulas for volume or surface area. Students at grade 7 were given a formula sheet or the formula was provided in the item. This is also true for measurement conversions. Memorization of the relationships was not required, only application. I have to agree with Tony. I teach middle school math and I have no idea what the formulas are for finding volume of a sphere or cone, nor can I think of one time in my adult life where I have needed to use them. I could find them quickly if I needed them though. I know they are in my textbook or I can find them on the internet.

10. Sallie Kaan says:

Where can I find the math tasks that you refer to in the Task Contest announcement. Specifically, “8.F High School Graduation” and is available on the Illustrative Mathematics website.

• Charity says:

Sallie,

Then I clicked on “Show only illustrated standard/”.

Now scroll down to 8f and click on “see illustrations”.

11. Mark Helton says:

In reading the draft of the 4th and 5th grade progressions for fractions, the documents on this site refer several times to using different denominators to add/subtract and solve word problems in the 4th grade. However, the CCSS identifies work with only like denominators for addition/subtraction in 4th grade. Am I missing something?

• You are right that the Progression was confusing on this point … see my comment in that thread.

12. Bill,
My wife and I are currently assisting the Amphitheater School District with the training of their teachers from grade K to 6 on the Common Core Standards. We would love to have links in our PowerPoint presentations and PDF files (both of which we give to the teachers attending our classes) that went directly to a portion of the text or an illustration that we would like to provide as part of our lesson.

For example, teachers have a hard time understanding the division of a fraction by a fraction. The 6.NS Traffic Jam illustration provides an excellent means of giving teachers some intuition about the division of fractions.

The problem is that I see no way to link to this illustration directly, or any text with the illustrations. Are there any plans to provide links. I don’t think I can get elementary school teachers to go to the home page and navigate down. In case the answer is no, am I free to copy and paste illustrations such as the one referenced in my presentation?

Robert Springer

• Robert, Illustrative Mathematics now provides the ability to link directly to tasks (a feature long-awaited!). (You are also free to copy and paste.)

13. Ken Anderson says:

I’m interested in knowing if there is a definitive source to help me get up to speed on the promise and limitations of geometric transformations at the high school level in regards to their heavy emphasis in the CC (proofs that are possible with either just them or a combination of them and traditional Euclidian proofs, whether or not they will subtlely crowd out Euclid eventually, etc.). I really want to be as conversant with the possibilities of this approach as it is possible to be. Any suggestions?

14. Ken, there will eventually be a progression on geometry which should help. It should be out by the end of the summer. In the meantime, there’s a detailed treatment at Hung-Hsi Wu’s website.

• Ken Anderson says:

Thanks much. As it happens, after the post that I left here, I discovered that article by Hung-Hsi Wu and printed it out for further study. At the end of it he indicates what is coming down the pike (as you point out). very interesting reading so far!

15. Doug Van Wassenhove says:

Bill, I’m interested in knowing whether there is a mistake in high school standard F.TF.3, which concludes with “use the unit circle to express the values of sine, cosines [sic], and tangent for x, π + x, and 2π – x in terms of their values for x, where x is any real number.” This part of the standard appears to be talking about angles in Quadrants II, III, and IV that have the same reference angle x in Quadrant I (although x is unrestricted in the standard). If this part of the standard really is about reference angles, then shouldn’t the first occurrence of “x” be “π – x” instead for a Q. II angle? And should the very last part of the standard say “where x is a real number between 0 and π/2” to make it clear that x is a Q. I angle? Or is this standard talking about something else that I’m simply not understanding?

16. Doug, good catch, but I think you have old PDF of the standards, these typos have been fixed in the version at corestandards.org. Also, although it’s true that this will often be applied with $x$ in the first quadrant, that’s not necessary mathematically, and we want students to know these functional relationships hold for all $x$.

17. Bill —
How does a commercial (for profit) organization get permission to reprint and distribute your tools (such as the CCSS progression) to participants in a face to face course? I could not find a specific email address to contact for permissions. Thanks.

• Marshall, I should figure out a blanket policy for this, but at the moment it would be best for you to get in touch with me privately at william.mccallum@gmail.com, and we will sort something out.

18. tara raymond says:

Georgia DPI has done a great job of putting together resources for the CCSS. Google Georgia CCSS Math Student Models.

19. Bill Nielsen says:

Bill,
A colleague shared information about some fraction progressions videos from a project you are involved in. They are part of a course which also includes links to tasks and quizzes. How can I find out additional information about these? Thanks.

20. Bill McCallum says:

We are hoping to make these public soon. We are still working on setting up the e-learning platform for them.

21. Joyce Tuckwood says:

Are there Math assessments that support Common Core Standards available for 7th grade? I am a gifted teacher working with a 7th grade student who is bored to tears in his reg. ed. math class. His reg. ed. math teacher and I are looking for assessments to determine if he should be moved up to 8th grade math. Assessments seem to be non-existent. Do you have suggestions for me, please? Thank you!

22. Bill McCallum says:

I think most of the assessment work is going into the PARCC and Smarter Balanced assessment consortia, which might be why you are not seeing anything else.

23. amberlyeefox says:

Hi Bill,

I’m an Aussie like you! I’m writing Maths assessments linked to the CCSS for grades 9-12. Can you recommend a scope and sequence that I can use to write my assessments? I have found some for grades 9-11, but none for 12. Can you assist?

Many thanks!

• G’Day! I think most people are writing these 9–11 because the common assessments will have college and career ready tests to be given in Grade 11. This doesn’t make much sense to me, but there it is. I think it would be better to fit the standards into 3.5 years with options for rounding out the final year with + standards and other extensions.

24. bobcarla says:

Bill,
The new index to the illustrations provides a very valuable tool. I am helping to write a scope and sequence for grade 6 and can now easily look up illustrative problems which I can include as links in each section of the standard.

25. Athena A. Ayers says:

Good Morning Everyone!

I am the math and gifted curriculum coordinator at a public PreK-12 school in Hartford, CT. We have been having conversations surrounding “power standards” in order to better plan for our students. I am of the impression that identifying power standards is an obsolete process because they seem to be built into the CCSS via the clusters. Can you shed some light on this idea please! Is there a way to identify the power standards in the CCSS? If so, where should we begin?

• Bill McCallum says:

I’ll post an answer to this over in the forum on general questions on the standards. That’s the place to ask questions like this.

26. Turtle says:

Hi Morgan,
Thanks for sharing your work. I noticed that the lesson plan, Plane Figure Court, assumes the exclusive definition of trapezoid. Worth noting for those who have decided to use the inclusive definition.