Everyday Mathematics The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
About Everyday Mathematics

Assessment FAQs

Do the Grade-Level Goals summarize all concepts and skills that are covered each year?

No; although the Grade-Level Goals reflect the core of the curriculum at each grade level, they are not comprehensive. They do not capture all the content that is addressed each year. Nor are they a list of activities that are completed each year. Some grade-level content supports future Grade-Level Goals that are not articulated at the given grade level.

With all these Grade-Level Goals, how will I know when I’m simply exposing students to a concept or skill?

The Everyday Mathematics curriculum aims for student proficiency with concepts and skills through repeated exposures over several years. The Teacher’s Lesson Guide alerts teachers to content that is being introduced for the first time through Links to the Future notes. These notes provide specific references to future Grade-Level Goals and help teachers understand introductory activities at their grade level in the context of the entire Pre-K–6 curriculum.

All the content in Everyday Mathematics is important, whether it’s being experienced for the first or the fifth time. The Everyday Mathematics curriculum is similar to an intricately woven rug, with many threads that appear and reappear to form complex patterns. Different students will progress at different rates, so multiple exposures to important content are critical for accommodating individual differences. The program was created so it is consistent with how students learn mathematics. It builds understanding over a period of time, first through informal exposure and later through more formal and directed instruction. For students to succeed, they need the opportunity to experience all that the curriculum has to offer in every grade.

For more information about how Grade-Level Goals are addressed throughout the units, see the unit-specific “Looking at Grade-Level Goals” sections in the Differentiation Handbook.

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There are a lot of lessons in my grade-level materials. Do I have to finish all of them? For example, I teach second grade. Describing and using strategies to measure the perimeter of polygons is not a Grade-Level Goal until third grade. Can I skip the second-grade lessons that cover the perimeter of polygons?

Everyday Mathematics was created to be consistent with how students actually learn mathematics, building understanding over time, first through informal exposure and later through more formal instruction. Because the Grade-Level Goals are cumulative, it is essential for students to experience the complete curriculum at each grade level. Students in Second Grade Everyday Mathematics, for example, participate in many hands-on activities designed to develop an understanding of perimeter. This makes it possible for students to achieve the perimeter goal in third grade.

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Suppose a student makes adequate progress on the majority of Recognizing Student Achievement tasks and Progress Check questions for a given Grade-Level Goal throughout the year. At the end of the year, how likely is it that the student will have achieved the Grade-Level Goal?

The Recognizing Student Achievement and Progress Check tasks supply a great deal of data on which teachers can base inferences about students’ achievement of the Grade-Level Goals. In the case of a consistent pattern of adequate progress on assessment tasks for a given Grade-Level Goal, one can reasonably conclude that the student has, in fact, achieved the given goal. As with any assessment, however, inferences based on positive performance are more straightforward than those based on negative performance. That is, if a student performs well, the most straightforward conclusion is that the student has probably mastered the material; whereas if a student performs poorly, there are many possible explanations, only one of which is a lack of mastery.

Teachers should also recognize that inferences about what students know should always be considered provisional, both because the inferences are fallible, based as they are on incomplete information, and also because students are constantly growing and changing.

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Related Links



Authors of Everyday Mathematics answer FAQs about the CCSS and EM.

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Everyday Mathematics and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice

Andy Isaacs, director of EM revisions, discusses the CCSSM edition of Everyday Mathematics. Learn more

Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community

Join the Virtual Learning Community to access EM lesson videos from real classrooms, share resources, discuss EM topics with other educators, and more.

Grade-Level Information

Access grade-specific resources for teachers, such as pacing guides, literature lists, and games.

Professional Development

The UChicago STEM Education offers strategic planning services for schools that want to strengthen their Pre-K–6 mathematics programs.

On the Publisher's Site

McGraw-Hill Education's website features supplemental materials, games, assessment and planning tools, technical support, and more.