So, what are these Common Core Standards?

Each of the fifty states has been developing its own standards for many years now. There are no national standards. You may have encountered this if you moved from one state to another, and your child had difficulty adjusting to his or her new school. States have varied widely in what they taught. Some students arrived better prepared, while others had a lot of catching up to do.

What are standards?

Let me take a step backward. Standards are documents that specify what students are to learn at each grade level. Typically, states have standards for English/Language Arts, Mathematics, History/Social Science, and Science. The standards tell students what they are to learn, and teachers what they are to teach. Of course, parents look at standards too, so they can help their children. And textbook publishers, naturally, look at standards to prepare materials for teachers to use.

The Common Core Standards are a state-led initiative, which is now coming to fruition. Forty-five of the fifty states have adopted the Common Core Standards and are moving towards implementing them. Some states implemented them this school year, in 2012-2013. Many states will begin implementing them soon, in the 2013-2014 school year.

You can find more information at the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, including a link to your state’s page on implementation of the Common Core Standards on their In the States page.

You can see the standards there, for both Mathematics and English/Language Arts, as well as other resources.

I particularly like the first sentence from their Mission Statement: “The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them.” I appreciate that both parents and teachers are mentioned. As a teacher, I know how important parental support and encouragement can be.

My purpose in writing *How to Help Your Child with Fifth Grade Mathematics* is to support and encourage those parents who are helping their children. I know all parents help their children, and not just in their educations. I can’t help with all those other things, but I can assist parents who want to help their children in the area of mathematics.

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