4 chapter 1
Sense, Number and Operations, Patterns and Seriation, Geometry, Spatial
Relations, and Measurement (Florida Dept. of Education 2007). Notice
Florida has divided the NCTM Number and Operations standard into two
separate standards; similarly, the NCTM Geometry standard has been
split into Geometry and Spatial Sense. Florida’s Patterns and Seriation
would correspond to the Algebra standard in NCTM, and Data Analysis
and Probability has been omitted as a category but may be encompassed
under Number and Operations. By looking closely at the definitions
in table 1, teachers will be able to align their own state standards to the
appropriate national standards in most cases.
Which standards are most important?
Early childhood mathematics experts differ somewhat with regard to their
recommendations for early childhood educators. For example, the National
Mathematics Advisory Panel recommends that all early mathematics
instruction lead toward the development of algebra concepts (National
Mathematics Advisory Panel 2008). On the other hand, the National
Research Council (NRS) and NCTM Curriculum Focal Points focus on
number, geometry, and measurement during the early years (NRS 2009;
NCTM 2006). While the findings may appear at odds, closer examina-
Table 1: NCTM Content Standards in Mathematics
Content Standard and
Highlighted Chapter(s) Description
number and operations
chapters 2 and 3
this broad standard focuses on the development of a deep under-
standing of number, including the relationships among numbers
and arithmetic operations.
the algebra standard encompasses an understanding of patterns
and relationships and includes the analyzing, representation,
and modeling of mathematical situations.
geometry involves an understanding of spatial relationships
as well as the properties of two- and three-dimensional objects.
the measurement standard encompasses the measurable attributes
of objects, appropriate units of measure, and the application of
number to measurement.
data analysis and Probability
this standard includes organizing and interpreting data and
deter mining the likelihood that certain events or relationships will occur.