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new Illinois Learning Standards - Math/ELA

Model Mathematics Curriculum


Realizing Illinois

mathThe Illinois State Board of Education has been charged by the Illinois 97th General Assembly to implement Public Act 97-704.  The State Board of Education is to coordinate the acquisition, adaptation, and development of middle and high school Mathematics Curriculum Models to aid school districts and teachers in implementing Common Core Mathematics State Standards for all students. Public Act 97-704 required representation from statewide educational organizations and stakeholders. A committee consisting of a middle school mathematics team and a high school mathematics team was created to address this charge.

The charge was to develop model middle and high school course designs that demonstrated effective student pathways to mathematics-standards attainment by graduation.  The curriculum units were created so districts may choose to adopt or adapt the models in lieu of developing their own mathematics curriculum. Unit outlines were developed in accordance with the information from the November 2012 PARCC Model Content Frameworks.

Each middle school grade level and high school course contains a sequence of units designed to address all standards for that level in a cohesive manner. The Illinois State Board of Education was charged with coordinating the acquisition, adaptation and development of middle and high school Mathematics Curriculum Models to aid in implementing the CCSSM. The initial phase had a deadline of March 1, 2013. The curricular units were designed in accordance with the November 2012 PARCC Model Content Frameworks and all PARCC and CCSSM materials available at the time.

After completing the expectations specified in Public Act 97-704, ISBE has expanded the Model Curriculum Development Project  to include scope-and-sequences and units for grades K-5, and assessments, model lessons, and lesson documents for grades K-8 and Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3 high school courses.

Each grade level and high school course contains a sequence of units designed to address all standards for that level in a cohesive manner. The curricular units were designed in accordance with the November 2012 PARCC Model Content Frameworks, the PARCC Evidence tables for the Performance-Based-Assessment/Mid-Year-Assessment (PBA/MYA) and the End of Year Assessment (EOY), and any other PARCC or CCSSM materials available at this time.



Below is a list showing the number of units developed for each grade level.

For each grade level and Math 1, Math 2, and Math 3 there is a scope and sequence.  The scope and sequence list the unit, core standards, supporting standards and the approximate time frame.

Listed below are the contents of each unit plan:

  • Each unit has an approximate time frame as a guideline for planning the unit.  Time frames were based upon the priority expectations outlined in the PARCC model content frameworks. 
  • “Connections to Previous Learning” describes any conceptual understandings, procedural skill and fluency expectations, or applications students have encountered either in prior grade levels or in prior units within this grade level.  All the ideas mentioned here are described as foundational for this particular unit of study.  math image
  • “Focus on the Unit” denotes the conceptual understandings, procedural skill and fluency expectations, or applications students should be studying within this particular unit of study.
  • “Connections to Subsequent Learning” describes how the ideas of this unit will be extended in future units for this grade/course level, or in future grade/course levels.
  • “Understandings” are statements about the big ideas of this unit.  They are key concepts students must grasp prior to addressing procedural skill and fluency expectations and applied tasks.  Students may exhibit these understandings using a variety of modes of representation, as appropriate to the chosen standards.  For example, they may use a combination of tactile or virtual manipulatives or tools, visuals, tables and/or charts, written symbols, oral and/or written language, or real world situations to demonstrate their understanding of chosen concepts.
  • “Essential Questions” (that relate to the essential understandings) have been provided.  Teachers may use these as guiding questions for the development of the unit, as tools for assessment of student understanding, or as instructional reference points.
  • “Mathematical Practices” In the unit plan examples of the mathematical practice standards are clarified in the context of this particular unit.  Teachers may use this section as a guideline for observing students’ proficiency with the 8 practices, and administrators may use these statements to guide them when conducting classroom observations for instruction in mathematics.  Although it is possible to observe any of these practices within a unit of study, certain practices were selected as particularly appropriate for instruction within this unit.  
  • “Prerequisite Skills/ Concepts” Specific prerequisite skills or concepts addressed in previous units of this grade/course or prior levels, which lead to the skills and concepts addressed in this unit, are listed here.  Teachers may use this portion of the unit plan to design pre-assessments for this unit of study.
  • “Advanced Skills/Concepts” delineates ideas for differentiating when students have mastered content for this unit.  It may include extension ideas for these concepts that are within the grade level expectations or beyond the grade level expectations.  It is expected that teachers will use this portion for only some students. Although the goal is to focus on grade level expectations so that the focus and coherence inherent in the design of these standards is honored, when appropriate, students who excel should be encouraged to think beyond the standards.
  • “Knowledge” targets are based upon factual knowledge.  The expectations are a Level 1 according to Norm Webb’s Depth of Knowledge framework and Bloom’s Taxonomy.  This includes recall of information, such as facts, definitions, and terms. 
  • “Skill” targets include procedures students can follow or strategies they can use.  These can include single-step or multi-step processes, depending upon the expectations of the standards in the unit.  Skills are verbs that show what students can do in mathematics. They may be observed through performance or by examining student work samples.
  • “Critical Terms” are terms students are expected to master within this grade level throughout the year.  Not only should students be able to comprehend or define these terms, but they should use them when constructing arguments and critiquing others in both oral and written formats.
  • “Supplemental Terms” can include terms that students may have learned in previous grade levels or units of study, or terms that they will be exposed to in this unit, but expected to master in future units or grade levels. 

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These documents are a guide to assist districts in making the 3 shifts necessary for Common Core implementation:   (From AchievetheCore.org)


Focus strongly where the standards focus.

The standards call for a greater focus in mathematics. Rather than racing to cover topics in today’s mile—wide, inch—deep curriculum, teachers use the power of the eraser and significantly narrow and deepen the way time and energy is spent in the math classroom.  They focus deeply on the major work of each grade so that students can gain strong foundations:  solid conceptual understanding, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside the math classroom.

Coherence - think across grades, and link to major topics within grades

Thinking across grades: The Standards are designed around coherent progressions from grade to grade. Principals and teachers carefully connect the learning across grades so that students can build new understanding onto foundations built in previous years. Teachers can begin to count on deep conceptual understanding of core content and build on it. Each standard is not a new event, but an extension of previous learning. Instead of allowing additional or supporting topics to detract from the focus of the grade, these topics can serve the grade level focus. For example, instead of data displays as an end in themselves, they support grade--‐level word problems.

Rigor: in major topics pursue conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application with equal intensity.

Conceptual understanding: The Standards call for conceptual understanding of key concepts, such as place value and ratios. Teachers support students’ ability to access concepts from a number of perspectives so that students are able to see math as more than a set of mnemonics or discrete procedures.

Procedural skill and fluency: The Standards call for speed and accuracy in calculation. Teachers structure class time and/or homework time for students to practice core functions such as single--‐digit multiplication so that students have access to more complex concepts and procedures.

Application: The Standards call for students to use math flexibly for applications. Teachers provide opportunities for students to apply math in context. Teachers in content areas outside of math, particularly science, ensure that students are using math to make meaning of and access content.


Common Core Math Model Units - By Grade Level

Common Core PARCC Resources

ISBE PARCC Assessment Page

PARCC Home Page