Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Implementing CCSS Practice Standard 6


Common Core’s Mathematical Practice Standard 6, Attend to Precision, calls for students to be clear in their reasoning, calculation, and communication through the precise use of words, symbols, units of measure, mathematical expressions, and processes. They recognize various levels of precision and apply them appropriately; they calculate accurately and efficiently and label axes of graphs appropriately.

These resources have been selected to help teachers and math specialists implement MP 6 in the classroom. They include tools and references to be used by students themselves, mathematical tasks and problems that provide opportunities for children to attend to precision in a variety of ways, and lessons and techniques for teachers to use with students to foster these habits of mind.

A companion Professional Development collection includes resources to help teachers and math specialists understand the intent and scope of MP 6 and plan for successful implementation.
Replies: 1
Created:04-09-2014 by cmead
Last Post12-15-2016by ShirleyFWilliams
ResourceTitle/DescriptionGrade Level

This animated, interactive Flash-based dictionary for students explains over 600 common mathematical terms in simple language. In addition to definitions, it provides interactive examples and practice to help users gain a full understanding of mathematical terminology and symbols.

In this 5.5 minute video Dr James Grime (Cambridge University, UK) explains why mathematicians don't classify the number 1 as a prime. He includes historical background and an explanation of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic.

In this 7-minute video astronomer Dr Meghan Gray explains the relationship of the Earth's rotation and its revolution around the Sun, resulting in the need to add an extra day to our calendar every four years. She describes additional adjustments required to keep our calendar aligned with the Earth's movements. Dr Gray explains the Julian date and its usefulness.

This brief article for young learners describes how ancient cultures developed units of measurement like the cubit and foot, and how estimation and precision play a role in measuring today. A printable page is available.

This activity generates discussion about the times of day and the passing of time. Students try to place the daily events shown in pictures in chronological order. They are encouraged to use terms such as afternoon, earlier, and the time units. The Teachers' Notes page includes suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, and printable sheets.

This problem with multiple solutions offers an opportunity for students to practice simple addition and subtraction, work with number sentences (equations), and develop systematic work habits. Given cards containing the addition, subtraction and equal signs along with the digits 2, 4, 6, and 8. solvers are challenged to find as many ways as possible to arrange some or all seven cards to create true statements. The Teachers' Notes page offers suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, printable cards (pdf) and a link to an interactive Flash applet.

This problem is designed to help young learners use the symbols plus, minus, multiplied by, divided by and equals to, meaningfully, in ten number statements. Students must drag two operational symbols to empty boxes to make a true statement. This problem also helps learners understand inverse operations and to look for alternate solutions. The Teachers' Notes page offers rationale, suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, printable worksheet.
3, 4, 5

This activity helps students develop a sense of the relative size of quantities in the categories of temperature, speed, time duration and loudness. Learners rank their estimates of given measures in order from least to greatest and justify their decisions. Students are encouraged to do research and carry out experiments when possible. The Teachers' Notes page includes suggestions for implementation, discussion questions, ideas for extension and support, and links to related activities.

With this interactive applet students can develop their understanding of place value and the relative position and magnitude of numbers in the base-10 number system. Users drag given numbers to their position on a number line, zooming in and out to increase precision. They can select from six levels of difficulty (Tens, Hundreds, Thousands, Millions, Billions, Decimals) and from 1 to 3 dots. There are three modes: Explore, Practice, Test.

This activity gives students the opportunity to describe motions along paths involving turns of 45 and 90 degrees. Ideas for implementation, extension and support are included along with a printable sheet of the maps.

With this hands-on activity, students apply measurement and communication skills to describe the location of the ends of a tunnel they plan to construct. The goal is for a student to describe a location precisely enough so that a second student planning to construct from the other side of a piece of cardboard can determine the location of the tunnel end. The resource includes background information, teacher suggestions, and a Tunnel Challenge, which introduces the tools needed for tunneling in various natural environments.

In this 5-minute video Laura Domalik defines number sense and provides instructional strategies for counting and vocabulary, including counting on, counting back, one more than (+1), one less than (-1), basic fact concepts of +1 and -1, and missing addends. She demonstrates a game called Garbage, which can be played alone or with a partner.

In this 2-minute video, mathematics specialist Dr. Lois Williams describes how to develop mathematics vocabulary and concepts using the Frayer Model, a graphical organizer.

These 3 activities, part of the Mathematics Developmental Continuum of the State of Victoria, Australia, are intended to introduce young learners to the measurable attribute of length as distinguished from others. Students compare lengths of two or more objects directly or indirectly. Teaching suggestions and progress indicators are included.

This webpage from the state of Victoria, Australia, discusses the importance of students understanding the meaning of the equals sign in number sentences. It illustrates common misconceptions and their causes and proposes strategies and activities that help teach and reinforce equality concepts. Downloadable game cards (pdf) and a student worksheet (doc) are available. The page includes a list of references and a link to a page defining stages and indicators in the progression of developing these concepts.
2, 3, 4, 5

This page has suggestions for ways to make effective use of word walls, including making it interactive and setting expectations with students. Several activities are described. Links to supporting workbooks and vocabulary cards are provided.
3, 4, 5, 6+

Students use this interactive tool to explore the connections between data sets and their representations in charts and graphs. Enter data in a table (1 to 6 columns, unlimited rows), and preview or print bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, and pictographs. Students can select which set(s) of data to display in each graph, and compare the effects of different representations of the same data. Instructions and exploration questions are provided using the expandable "+" signs above the tool.

This is a dictionary of over 650 math terms, most of which are illustrated, some animated, and some interactive. Browse through menus of each initial letter, or use the search function at the top of each page. Links to further reading are often provided.