Standards-in-Action: Mathematics Foundational Units to Fulfill the Instructional Shifts

These foundational-level Standards-in-Action (SIA) resources and professional development provide educators with practical knowledge about the key shifts in instruction required to align with college and career readiness (CCR) standards in mathematics.

StandardsWork, Inc.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
StandardsWork, Inc.
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
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The College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards Math Foundational Units 1 – 4 were produced by StandardsWork Inc. as part of the Implementing CCR Standards in Adult Education project, under contract to the U.S. Department of Education (Contract # ED-VAE-13-C-0066). The activities that make up Units 1 – 4 will help participants explore what it means to implement CCR standards for mathematics in adult education. Participants will receive a practical and transferable understanding of the fundamental shifts in instruction embedded in CCR standards—including in your state standards—crucial to preparing adult students to meet the real-world demands of college and careers. At the heart of the instructional shifts is a careful examination of the critical content and processes that fuel mastery in mathematics, including the coherent progression from level to level and pursuing conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application with equal intensity. 

  • Foundational Unit 1 Focusing on the Major Work of the Levels addresses the most critical concepts and skills that students must master to be prepared for college and careers. 
  • Foundational Unit 2, Thinking Across Levels to Connect Learning, concentrates on the concept of coherence and its central role in the CCR standards. 
  • Foundational Unit 3 Engaging the Three Components of Rigor investigates what it means to create a rigorous mathematics curriculum. 
  • Foundational Unit 4, Connecting Standards for Mathematical Practice to Content, provides techniques to enrich instruction by integrating the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice with content-specific standards. 

Each ready-to-use unit includes a facilitator’s guide, an annotated PowerPoint presentation, and participant materials. While training is not required before using this resource, fundamental awareness of the CCR standards for mathematics is recommended. Experienced SIA trainers are available to provide this training to states and programs. For more information, please email the LINCS Technical Assistance Center at

Benefits and Uses

This resource supports state and program efforts to implement adult education content standards aligned with college and career readiness to support rigorous, high-quality instruction. Usage of the Math Foundational Units 1 – 4 will strengthen the capacity of adult educators to implement CCR standards to better prepare adult students for success in college and careers. These activities provide the field with opportunities to dig into the CCR standards and explore what it means to adopt CCR-aligned standards in classrooms and how to do so sustainably. Understanding how CCR standards differ from previous sets of standards—and the necessary shifts or advances they call for—is essential to implementing CCR standards well.

Engagement in these four units of activities will enable adult educators to identify the most significant elements of CCR standards for mathematics and to determine how best to integrate them into instruction and curriculum. The goal of Units 1 - 4 is for participants to leave with specific ideas, resources, and actions they can implement immediately. Designed primarily for group use, these units also support independent study.

The four units should be worked through sequentially. The units can be facilitated during a single daylong training or multiple trainings over several weeks or months. Each ready-to-use unit contains all the materials required to facilitate these training activities, including a facilitator’s guide, an annotated PowerPoint Presentation, and a packet of participant materials.

The participant materials include directions, charts, worksheets, answer keys, and other resource materials that guide the use of each unit. The PowerPoint presentations are a digital aid for presenters/facilitators who lead the mathematics training activities. Notes are provided within the PowerPoint presentations to help you prepare for each session. This information accompanies the information offered in the facilitator guides—including the research base, rationale, advice, and other guidelines—to provide the support and guidance you may require. 

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