A Closer Look at the Common Core’s Heart and Soul

Steve Leinwand, Sue O'Connell, Pamela Weber Harris and other math leaders examine the Standards for Mathematical Practice.

"A deeper understanding of these eight practices enables us to envision what it means for our students to be mathematically proficient, and to select teaching practices that shift our teaching from a focus on content to a focus on application and understanding. The Standards for Mathematical Practice are actually the heart and soul of the Common Core State Standards."
—Sue O'Connell and John SanGiovanni from Putting the Practices Into Action

Mathematics are about so much more than memorizing facts and formulas. The Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMP) were developed as part of the Common Core with this in mind—reminding us all not just to “cover the content” at the expense of deep understanding. Yet it’s easy to skip the Standards for Mathematical Practice as we wade through all of the 7.EE.1s and 4.NBT.3s. If we do that, we miss the point. The Practices are the basis on which all our students can think about and execute real mathematics.

Join us over the next eight weeks as master educators and leaders in the field dive into each of the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Each week, one educator will unpack, examine, and reflect on one of the Practices and the potential it has to help students grow into confident, proficient mathematicians. We trust these blogs will be a valuable resource as you use the Standards for Mathematical Practice in your own instruction.

SMP #1Sue O’Connell: Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them

SMP #2Pamela Weber Harris: Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively

SMP #3Steve Leinwand: Construct Viable Arguments and Critique the Reasoning of Others

SMP #4Nancy Butler Wolf: Model With Mathematics

SMP #5John SanGiovanni: Use Appropriate Tools Strategically

SMP #6June Mark, Paul Goldenberg, and Jane Kang: Attend to Precision

SMP #7Paul Goldenberg, June Mark, and Jane Kang: Look For and Make Use of Structure

SMP #8Max Ray: Look For and Express Regularity in Repeated Reasoning

Discover more math resources at Heinemann.com/Math

9 thoughts on “A Closer Look at the Common Core’s Heart and Soul

  1. Heinemann

    Hi Diane and Nancy – glad you're interested in this series! To subscribe, just enter your first name, last name, and email address in the form above (it's at the very end of this blog, before the comments section) and click the "Subscribe" button. You'll receive an email alert when each new blog in the series is poster.

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  2. Maha El Ayobi


    Thanks for all your efforts t enhance teaching math at our school, or where can I find this information?

    I would like to know when and where the 23 rd session will be conducted


    MAha El Ayobi


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