Shifting to the Core, part 2

Martha Ruttle

Greater Coherence

The CCSSM emphasize coherence within and across grade levels. This means that students’ experiences with a mathematical topic should be clearly tied to what they have already learned in earlier grade levels and what they will learn in the future. It also means that instruction should be carefully sequenced and that teachers should help students make connections between topics.

greater coherence

We recommend taking these steps to consider the coherence of instruction within and across grade levels:

  1. In the standards , read the overview for each grade level K–6, paying particular attention to your own grade level and those that precede and follow it.
  2. Make note of how the domains evolve from one grade level to the next.
  3. On your own or with other teachers, read the standards for your grade level in their entirety, notice how standards are grouped in clusters, and identify standards in different domains and clusters that relate to each other.

What kinds of connections are you noticing across grade levels and among different topics? Does your instruction feel more coherent now that you’re teaching to the CCSSM?

This post is part of a series that addresses the characteristics of the CCSSM likely to have the biggest impact on the way you teach math: tighter focus, greater coherence, increased rigor, and an emphasis on Mathematical Practices.

Martha Ruttle is managing editor for MLC.