Mathematics Resources for Parents and GuardiansInformation and resources for parents and guardians that explain mathematics instruction used today and provide suggestions for supporting their childs academic success.
Parents and guardians may notice that the homework and instruction their child receives in mathematics is different from what they remember when they were students. This is because math instruction has evolved over the years to adapt to advancements in technology and science, to incorporate results of research on student achievement in math, and to address high remediation rates in college. Adults may notice that the sequence of math topics is different, that more time is being spent on topics, and that students are being challenged to learn new skills and content. The reason for this is to help students develop numeracy—a conceptual understanding of how numbers work. Numerate students have developed a strong foundation that will help them excel when they study algebra, geometry, and other higher mathematics.*
But how are parents and guardians supposed to support their child’s learning if they’re unfamiliar with the new ways of learning math?
Parents and guardians can still support their child’s learning in math. In California, local school districts determine the instructional program being used in the classroom. For this reason, parents and guardians should first meet with their child’s teacher to learn more about the instructional program for math being used and for advice for supporting their child’s learning.
There are also a number of freely available online resources for parents and guardians to learn more about the math of today and ways to support their child’s academic success:
- Parents Supporting Mathematics Learning Video
In this video, teachers and administrators give advice to parents and guardians supporting their child's learning in math. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Hunt Institute have produced a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics that students need to succeed in college, life, and careers. Please view all of the videos on the NCTM Teaching and Learning Mathematics with the Common Core Web page.
- Common Core Math Explained in 3 Minutes
This article and video, produced by Vox.com, helps address many parent and community member concerns with Common Core math approaches. Unfortunately, the term "new math” is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades.
- Great Kids Milestones Math Videos
Milestones is a free online collection of videos aimed at helping parents and guardians understand grade-level expectations in kindergarten through grade five. On this page, find videos featuring students demonstrating what success looks like in math, grade by grade. View all of the videos on the Great Kids Milestones Web page.
- California Math Council For Families
Here you will find California Math Council (CMC)’s Math at Home booklets which provide brief, helpful information to parents and guardians including information about the Common Core and helping with math homework.
- California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), Publication Version with February 2014 Corrections (PDF; 3MB; Modified Jan-2013)
These are the state-adopted standards for what students should know and be able to do, understand, and apply by each grade level and higher math course. In this document you will also find introductory information about the standards.
- Parent/Guardian Overview Brochures (Jan-2016)
These brochures explain the CCSS to parents/guardians, providing insights into what students will learn and highlighting progression through the grade levels.
- CCSSM Parent Handbook Resources
The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee has developed the following resources as informational tools to inform parents about the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM):
- Parent Handbook (K–8)
This handbook, created in consultation with the California PTA, gives parents and guardians an introduction to California's CCSS and a summary of what students are expected to learn as they advance from kindergarten through grade eight (K–8). You can find document translated into 17 languages on the CCSESA CCSS Communications Web page, under the General Overview Materials section.
- Middle School Parent Handbook—Grades 6-8 (PDF)
- High School Parent Handbook—Traditional Pathway (PDF)
- High School Parent Handbook—Integrated Pathway (PDF)
- Webcast—Introduction to the CCSSM (MOV)
- Power Point—Introduction to the CCSSM (PPT)
- FAQs for the CCSSM (PDF)
- Parent Handbook (K–8) (DOC)
- California PTA Parent Resources
The California State PTA has made available many resources for parents to learn more about the CCSS and support their child's achievement of the standards. Resources include informational fliers, frequently asked questions, grade level parents' guides, links to additional resources, and articles of interest. The fliers and parents' guides are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
- Mathematics Framework Chapters
Frameworks provide guidelines to schools and districts for implementing the state-adopted standards. The Mathematics Framework was adopted by the California State Board of Education on November 6, 2013, and is currently in the process of being edited for publication. However, at this time the chapters are available as PDFs in prepublication versions. Although the audience for the framework is teachers and administrators, parents and guardians may still find the grade-level chapters useful for learning more about what CCSS-aligned instruction should look like.
- Old Standards v. Common Core: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Math Expectations
"Understanding how the new standards will improve students’ math skills..."
View a comparison of math problems based on previous sets of standards to math problems based on the CCSSM to understand the greater focus by teachers and deeper knowledge by students called for in the new standards.
- Council of Great City Schools Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards – Mathematics
The Council of the Great City Schools' parent roadmaps in mathematics provide guidance to parents and guardians about what their children will be learning and how they can support that learning from kindergarten through high school. These parent roadmaps for each grade level also provide three-year snapshots showing how selected standards progress from year to year so that students will be college and career ready upon their graduation from high school.
- Khan Academy Common Core Math
Here you will find interactive math problems aligned to every CCSSM. Students can work at their own pace through grade-level “missions” and track their progress through personalized dashboards. All problems are accompanied by step-by-step solutions specific to each problem. Successful completion of missions is charted on a progress report on the student’s dashboard while “coaches”—whether teachers, tutors, or parents/guardians—can see a student’s progress with access through a class code or coach ID. Learn more about these resources from Khan Academy founder, Sal Kahn, in this EdSurge article .
- Homework Help Desk
Be A Learning Hero has partnered with other organizations to create the Homework Help Desk. With the CCSS, children are learning new concepts and strategies in the classroom. That means parents are learning them, too. The goal of the Homework Help Desk is to equip parents with the knowledge and support they need to help their children with homework assignments.