By Sue O’Connell (@SueOConnellMath), author of *Putting the Practices Into Action*.

It seems ironic that the first Standard for Mathematical Practice focuses on problem solving. When I was a student, math problem solving seemed to be an afterthought. Problems were at the bottom of the textbook page or at the end of a lesson. My perception was that math was about computation. Most of my time was spent memorizing facts and algorithms and solving for the right answer. Thank goodness, then, that we have revised our goals for today’s students. While I do hope they can find the answers to math computations, I know they can accomplish so much more. With guidance from the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice, we focus on ways to help our students develop the skills needed to be proficient mathematicians who solve problems.