What does it mean to use the Math Core Curriculum?

What does it mean to use the Math Core Curriculum?

  • Plan instruction using the SFUSD Scope and Sequence—for the year, and within units—so that students experience the scope of mathematics for their grade by the end of the year.
  • Address the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M).
  • Design classroom experiences so students have opportunities for discourse, to interact meaningfully with their peers, and to engage in the Mathematical Practices.
  • There is a balance of conceptual, procedural, and application within units.
  • Conceptual understanding precedes procedures and algorithms.
  • Provide language scaffolds that don’t reduce the cognitive demand of the task.
  • Provide manipulatives and math visual aids that help students access the math.
  • Validate student use of home language.
  • Use reengagement strategies.
  • Reinforce growth mindset by providing experiences for students to learn from their mistakes and revise their thinking.
  • Adjust instruction based on your wisdom of practice and students' needs.

What does it mean to innovate while using the Core Curriculum?

  • Changes to lessons, tasks, or lesson series are done with intention and maintain the integrity of the Core Curriculum, the CCSS-M, and the core math within the unit.
  • Technology is incorporated in ways that support and build student voice and cognitive demand.

Clarifications About Use of the SFUSD Math Core Curriculum

Teachers are not expected to implement every component of every lesson exactly as written. For example:

  • A teacher might design a different math talk to match the needs of students and the mathematical outcomes for the day. 
  • A teacher might use different participation structures than suggested in the lesson plan.

​Teachers are not expected to blindly follow a day-by-day pacing guide based on the SFUSD Math Core Curriculum without regard to student need.

Unproductive practices discouraged by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

  • Reteaching––spending entire lessons on a prior year's content.
  • Teaching procedures and algorithms before building conceptual understanding.
  • Students only doing independent work, including work on individual worksheets without peer-to-peer discourse.
  • Teaching from a textbook that predates the Common Core and therefore does not support the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
  • Timed tests; introducing speed into mathematics undermines growth mindset and student agency.

 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2014). Principles to actions: Ensuring mathematical success for all. Reston, VA: Author.

This page was last updated on June 15, 2023