The standards build on knowledge and skills from prior grade levels as they deal with increasingly complex topics such as fractions and negative numbers. They stress conceptual understanding to ensure that students truly absorb what they are learning, instead of merely memorizing for a test, then forgetting much of what they learn.
Besides content-area knowledge, the Common Core math standards include a list of eight skills—called the Standards for Mathematical Practice—that math teachers should integrate across the curriculum. These skills are:
- Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- Model with mathematics.
- Use appropriate tools strategically.
- Attend to precision.
- Look for and make use of structure.
- Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.