Grade 2 Standards For Mathematical Practice

The K-12 Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students. This page gives examples of what the practice standards look like at Grade 2.

Information taken from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.


Explanations and Examples

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 examine problems (tasks), can make sense of the meaning of the task and find an entry point or a way to start the task. Grade 2 students also develop a foundation for problem solving strategies and become independently proficient on using those strategies to solve new tasks. In Grade 2, students’ work still relies on concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations as students solve tasks unless the CCSS refers to the word fluently, which denotes mental mathematics. Grade 2 students also are expected to persevere while solving tasks; that is, if students reach a point in which they are stuck, they can reexamine the task in a different way and continue to solve the task. Lastly, mathematically proficient students complete a task by asking themselves the question, "Does my answer make sense?"

2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 make sense of quantities and the relationships while solving tasks. This involves two processes- decontexualizing and contextualizing. In Grade 2, students represent situations by decontextualizing tasks into numbers and symbols. For example, in the task, "There are 25 children in the cafeteria and they are joined by 17 more children. Then, if 19 of those children then leave, how many are still there?" Grade 2 students are expected to translate that situation into the equation: 25 + 17 – 19 = __ and then solve the task. Students also contextualize situations during the problem solving process. For example, while solving the task above, students can refer to the context of the task to determine that they need to subtract 19 since 19 children leave. The processes of reasoning also apply to Grade 2 as students begin to measure with standard measurement units by determining the length of quantities based on particular units of measure.

3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 accurately use definitions and previously established solutions to construct viable arguments about mathematics. In Grade 2 during discussions about problem solving strategies, students constructively critique the strategies and reasoning of their classmates. For example, while solving 74 + 18 – 37, students may use a variety of strategies, and after working on the task, can discuss and critique each others’ reasoning and strategies, citing similarities and differences between strategies.

4. Model with mathematics.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 model real-life mathematical situations with a number sentence or an equation, and check to make sure that their equation accurately matches the problem context. Grade 2 students still will rely on concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations while solving problems, but the expectation is that they will also write an equation to model problem situations. Likewise, Grade 2 students are expected to create an appropriate problem situation from an equation. For example, students are expected to create a story problem for the equation 24 + 17 – 13 = ___.

5. Use appropriate tools strategically.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 have access to and use tools appropriately. These tools may include place value (base ten) blocks, hundreds number boards, number lines, and concrete geometric shapes (e.g., pattern blocks, 3-d solids). Students should also have experiences with educational technologies, such as calculators and virtual manipulatives that support conceptual understanding and higher-order thinking skills. During classroom instruction, students should have access to various mathematical tools as well as paper, and determine which tools are the most appropriate to use. For example, while solving 28+17, students can explain why place value blocks are more appropriate than counters.

6. Attend to precision.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 are precise in their communication, calculations, and measurements. In all mathematical tasks, students in Grade 2 communicate clearly, using grade-level appropriate vocabulary accurately as well as giving precise explanations and reasoning regarding their process of finding solutions. For example, while measuring objects iteratively (repetitively), students check to make sure that there are no gaps or overlaps. During tasks involving number sense, students check their work to ensure the accuracy and reasonableness of solutions.

7. Look for and make use of structure.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 carefully look for patterns and structures in the number system and other areas of mathematics. While solving addition and subtraction problems students can apply the patterns of the number system to skip count by 10s off the decade. For example, Grade 2 students are expected to mentally reason that 33 + 21 is 33 plus 2 tens, which equals 53 and then an addition one which equals 54. While working in the Numbers in Base Ten domain, students work with the idea that 10 ones equals a ten, and 10 tens equals 1 hundred. Further, Grade 2 students also make use of structure when they work with subtraction as missing addend problems, such as 50- 33 = __ can be written as 33+ __ = 50 and can be thought of as how much more do I need to add to 33 to get to 50?

8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Mathematically proficient students in Grade 2 begin to look for regularity in problem structures when solving mathematical tasks. For example, after solving two digit addition problems by decomposing numbers by place (33+ 25 = 30 + 20 + 3 +5), students may begin to generalize and frequently apply that strategy independently on future tasks. Further, students begin to look for strategies to be more efficient in computations, including doubles strategies and making a ten. Lastly, while solving all tasks, Grade 2 students accurately check for the reasonableness of their solutions during, and after completing the task.

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