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What Families Should Know

The Montana Common Core Standards are higher and clearer than our previous standards and provide a grade-by-grade pathway that gives all students an opportunity for a high quality education. The grade level expectations allow parents to know how their child is doing in school and trust the information. The new standards focus on developing critical thinking skills and applying what students are learning to the real world. Additionally, the Montana Common Core Standards set an expectation that students graduating from high school will be capable of successfully completing first-year college courses.

The new, higher English standards ask students to read more non-fiction, to talk and write using evidence to support their arguments and seek to expand students’ vocabulary. The Montana Common Core Standards make it the responsibility of teachers in every subject area to assist in improving students’ literacy skills.

The new, higher math standards ask students to develop a deep understanding of math concepts that goes beyond memorization. Students will be given the time to master each math concept before moving on to another concept. Students will also be asked to apply math to real-world situations.

Montana-Based Parent Resources:
Why Does My Child's Math Homework Look Different? New!
FAQs about the Montana Common Core Standards
Frequently Asked Questions about the Smarter Balanced Assessment
Parent's Backpack Guide to Montana's New English and Math Standards (Grades K-5)
Parent's Backpack Guide to Montana's New English and Math Standards (Grades 6-12)
Webinar: Montana’s New English and Math Standards (14 min)
Parent Fact Sheet

Additional Resources:
PTA Grade by Grade Parents’ Guide to Student Success
The PTA has developed easy to understand guides for families about what students are learning at each grade level in English and math. The guides also include tips for helping with homework and talking to your child’s teacher about the new learning standards.

Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards
English Language Arts
Mathematics
The Council of the Great City Schools has developed content and grade-specific parent roadmaps that provide detailed information for parents about the expectations of the Common Core in English Language Arts and Mathematics. These roadmaps include examples of grade-level focus in the content area using parent-friendly language, sample progressions of learning across three grade levels in the Common Core, and tips to parents on communicating with teachers about their child’s work and how to support student learning at home.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides tips for helping students succeed in math.

Smarter Balanced Assessment
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) is a multi-state organization working together to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college and career readiness. Montana will use the Smarter Balanced assessment for state and federal accountability purposes beginning in the 2014-2015 school year. The Smarter Balanced website has information for parents and students about the new online test. Parents can also take a look at the kinds of questions students will be asked by taking the Smarter Balanced practice test.

NBC Education Nation Parent Toolkit
This toolkit is available as a website and mobile app to help families understand the Common Core and participate in their child’s academic success.

Teaching Channel
Are you curious about what new teaching strategies your child’s teacher might be using with the Montana Common Core Standards? The Teaching Channel is a video showcase of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools. The Teaching Channel offers a free library of high-quality videos featuring real teachers demonstrating their best educational practices with videos aligned to the Common Core State Standards.