Table of Contents

Unit 1: Teaching and Learning the Standards for Mathematical Practice

1.2.1 Bringing Structure

If you think about it long enough you can associate just about any practice standard with any content standard, but this sort of matrix thinking can lead to a dilution of the force of the practice stands — if you try to do everything all the time you end up doing nothing.”

Bill McCallum, March 10, 2011


Time to Read

Many of the processes and proficiencies in the individual practice standards overlap, and several may be used together in solving a problem or engaging in a task. Additionally, most of the practices can be applied to most of the content standards. In order to avoid "doing nothing" when integrating the practice and content standards, Bill McCallum, one of the lead writers of the CCSS for Mathematics, grouped the standards to bring a higher order of structure.

The eight practice standards have been usefully grouped into four pairs which provides structure to the mathematical practices just as the clusters and domains bring structure to the content standards. This structure serves as a way to think about and plan for implementation of the SMP as well as to select tasks and look for evidence of students' demonstration of engagement. This grouping makes logical connections across the standards and takes advantage of the overlap of practice standards to provide needed focus. The structure is shown in the diagram below and has also been used to organize the units within this module.