Frequently Asked Questions Math

  •  Frequently Asked Questions

    When will the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards (MDCCRS) be fully implemented?

    All grades/courses K-8, algebra I, geometry, and algebra II are now completely aligned to Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards. 

    How will transitioning to the MDCCRS affect the HSA graduation requirement?

    Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, students enrolled in Algebra 1 will be required to pass the algebra 1 PARCC assessment aligned to MDCCRS as part of their graduation requirement.  This assessment replaces the former HSA requirement for graduation.  Students not meeting the testing requirement will be eligible to retest and complete BRIDGE validation projects aligned to the MDCCRS Algebra 1 curriculum.  Students who will have completed algebra 1 PRIOR to the 2016-17 school year will be exempt from having to pass this assessment.

    How are MDCCRS different than our former State Curriculum?

    MDCCRS (based on the Common Core) is a mastery curriculum.  Unlike our former curriculum where topics were spiraled from grade to grade, these new standards develop a full understanding of a concept within and across grade-bands.  Although there are fewer standards to teach in each grade, teachers must dive deeper into each standard to develop a full understanding.  MDCCRS places a focus on student thinking and reasoning thorough students’ application of the eight Common Core Standards of Mathematical Practice (see below).  MDCCRS are rigorous and require students to make mathematical connections through application to demonstrate a full understanding of the skill.  MDCCRS not only develop procedural (skill-based) fluency but also a conceptual understanding for students.

    Click the link below to view a video showing Drs. William McCallum and Jason Zimba (lead writers of the Common Core) describing the creation and overview of the Common Core Standards of Mathematics.

    How does the "new" Algebra 1 that is based on MDCCRS compare to the former version of the course?

     Much of the former Algebra I curriculum has been redistributed into middle school math courses (specifically 7th and 8th grade).  Algebra I based on MDCCRS is a rigorous course that contains some standards that were formally taught in Algebra II and high school statistics.  MDCCRS taught in grades K-8 are designed to prepare students for this "new" Algebra I course.  Specifically, student understandings developed in grades 7 and 8 are critical in preparing students for this "new" Algebra I course.

     Peter Cincotta, Curriculum Mathematics Specialist for Frederick County Public Schools, has created a video illustration (link included below) that shows how Algebra I (as we currently know it) is changing with our new standards.

     What are the eight Standards of Mathematical Practice?

     These practices are identified as those which mathematically proficient students exhibit.

     Practice 1:  Students make sense of problems and persevere when solving them.

     Practice 2:  Students reason abstractly and quantitatively.

     Practice 3:  Students construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

     Practice 4:  Students models with mathematics.

     Practice 5:  Students use appropriate tools strategically.

     Practice 6:  Students attend to precision.

     Practice 7:  Students look for and make use of structure.

     Practice 8:  Students look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

     These student behaviors are not taught exclusively/independently but instead are embedded within each math lesson.  Click the link below to view a video showing Drs. William McCallum and Jason Zimba (lead writers of the Common Core) describing the importance of the Standards of Mathematical Practice.

    Will math instruction change (look different) with the implementation of MDCCRS?

    For students to apply the practices listed above, opportunities for students to think, reason, and make connections need to be present during instruction.  This requires a shift from a more traditional lecture-based presentation to a more interactive, question-driven approach.  Students should expect contextual applications, models, and brainstorming sessions to frame the math concepts being learned.  Problems may include scenarios that have multiple answers and allow for a variety of strategies.  The teacher’s responsibility is to push student thinking and to facilitate the discussion (through questioning) so that the necessary connections can be made by the students.  Students should expect to answer “WHY” and provide justification for their reasoning throughout lessons.  MDCCRS requires students to become active learners and thinkers rather than passive listeners.

    The link below connects to classroom clips showing each of the eight practices being used in classrooms.  Each practice listed above has its own clip and can be selected at the bottom of the page.

    Will traditional algorithms (steps to solve problems) be taught?

    Yes.  As the types of discussions described above are facilitated, the process (steps) used to solve the problem is also being taught.  This may occur through student discovery or a more formal statement of an algorithm by the teacher with the students applying the algorithm to solve a problem.  As such, algorithms may be used but not taught in isolation.


    As Wicomico County completes the MDCCRS transition, are Honors and AP courses going away?

    No.  There will continue to be a wide variety of opportunities for students to take advanced or accelerated courses in mathematics.  Feel free to take a look at possible pathways to upper-level mathematics.  Click Here.

    How will standards be assessed?

    Entire practice tests that have been released by PARCC can be accessed by following this link:  PARCC Practice Tests