New Jersey Department of Education

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Algebra 1 Suite of Tools

Guide to Coherence

Mathematics is a coherent body of knowledge comprised of interconnected concepts. While it may be frequently perceived that mathematics as a list of isolated topics, tricks, or mnemonics, mathematics standards are designed around coherent progressions of math ideas from grade to grade. Standards relate to one another both within a grade and across grades. The Guide to Coherence is a reference for teachers to help them more quickly identify the specific standards upon which each Algebra 1 standard builds and to help enable identification of gaps in knowledge by tracing a standard back through its logical pre-requisites.

Guide to Focus

Not all content in a given grade is emphasized equally in the Standards. Some clusters of standards require greater emphasis than others based on the depth of the ideas, the time that they take to master, and/or their importance to future mathematics or the demands of college and career readiness. More time in these areas is also necessary for students to meet the Standards for Mathematical Practice. Students should spend the large majority of their time on the major work of the grade. Supporting work and, where appropriate, additional work can engage students in the major work of the grade. The Guide to Focus shows, among other things, where students and teachers should spend the majority of their time in order to meet the expectations of the Standards.

Guide to Rigor

In the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, each standard is aligned to one or more components of rigor. Thus, each standard aims to promote student growth in conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and/or application. Key words and phrases in the standards indicate which component(s) of rigor the standard is targeting: standards targeting conceptual understanding often use terms like understand, recognize, or interpret; standards targeting procedural skill and fluency tend to use words like fluently, solve (equations), or graph; and standards targeting application tend to use words like word problems, real-world problems, or ‘in context’; The Guide to Rigor is a reference guide for teachers to help them more quickly identify the components of rigor in each Algebra 1 New Jersey Student Learning Standard as they design lessons/units evidencing the relevant components of rigor.

Instructional Support Tools

The instructional support tools are designed to assist educators in interpreting and implementing the NJSLS-M. They contain explanations or examples of each Algebra 1 course standard to answer questions about the standard’s meaning and how it applies to student knowledge and performance. To ensure that descriptions are helpful and meaningful to teachers, the documents also identify grades 6 to 8 prerequisite standards upon which each Algebra 1 standard builds and include the following: sample items aligned to each identified prerequisite; identification of course level connections; instructional considerations and common misconceptions; sample academic vocabulary and associated standards for mathematical practice. Please note that examples are samples only and should not be considered an exhaustive list.

Page Last Updated: 01/11/2022

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