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Rigor requires conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application with intensity.

Conceptual understanding

Teachers teach more than “how to get the answer” and 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. Students demonstrate deep conceptual understanding of core math concepts by solving short conceptual problems, applying math in new situations, and speaking about their understanding.

Procedural skill and fluency

Students are expected to have speed and accuracy in calculation. Teachers structure class time and/or homework time for students to practice core functions such as multiplication facts so that students are able to understand and manipulate more complex concepts.


Students are expected to use math and choose the appropriate concept for application even when they are not prompted to do so. Teachers provide opportunities at all grade levels for students to apply math concepts in “real world” situations. Teachers in content areas outside of math, particularly science, ensure that students are using math – at all grade levels – to make meaning of and access content.

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