Do you know what your child should be learning in math? Take our math standards quiz and see what you know.

Quiz

Do you know what your child should be learning in math? Take our math standards quiz and see what you know.

1. Should your elementary child be using a calculator when learning to solve computational problems?

Yes.

Correct. These days, even young children should understand "when and how to use calculators as well as other mental arithmetic and estimation procedures," says the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition to being proficient with paper and pencil computation, students should understand the role of calculators in solving complex problems.

No.

Incorrect. These days, even young children should understand "when and how to use calculators as well as other mental arithmetic and estimation procedures," says the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In addition to being proficient with paper and pencil computation, students should understand the role of calculators in solving complex problems.

2. When you talk to your second grader about being close to bedtime or making a little less noise, or being about twenty minutes late, you're reinforcing the vocabulary of what essential math skill?

Patterns

Incorrect. Terms such as "little less," "close to," and "about" describe estimation -- an important math skill that ties into number sense. Learning to estimate numbers, measurements and quantities helps kids develop their ability to sense when an answer or result is reasonable. That's a particularly important skill when they start using a calculator.

Estimation

Correct. Terms such as "little less," "close to," and "about" describe estimation -- an important math skill that ties into number sense. Learning to estimate numbers, measurements and quantities helps kids develop their ability to sense when an answer or result is reasonable. That's a particularly important skill when they start using a calculator.

Fractions

Incorrect. Terms such as "little less," "close to," and "about" describe estimation -- an important math skill that ties into number sense. Learning to estimate numbers, measurements and quantities helps kids develop their ability to sense when an answer or result is reasonable. That's a particularly important skill when they start using a calculator.

3. One elementary math standard calls for students to "develop reasonable proficiency with basic facts and algorithms." What's an algorithm?

A theory

Incorrect. An algorithm is a step-by-step problem-solving procedure. In a good math classroom, kids are mastering basic facts and algorithms with the help of models, manipulatives, and other hands-on materials.

A step-by-step problem-solving procedure

Correct. In a good math classroom, kids are mastering basic facts and algorithms with the help of models, manipulatives, and other hands-on materials.

A recurrent series of numbers

Incorrect. An algorithm is a step-by-step problem-solving procedure. In a good math classroom, kids are mastering basic facts and algorithms with the help of models, manipulatives, and other hands-on materials.

4. The teacher draws a rectangle on the chalkboard, fills in a portion of it, and asks students, "About how much is the shaded part?" What is being explored here?

Fractions

Correct. This activity helps kids visualize the quantity represented by a fraction. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, "children need to use physical materials to explore equivalent fractions and compare fractions. For example, with folded paper strips, children can easily see that 1/2 is the same amount as 3/6 and that 2/3 is smaller than 3/4."

Computation

Nope. Computation involves manipulating numbers, while this activity helps kids visualize the quantity represented by a fraction. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, "children need to use physical materials to explore equivalent fractions and compare fractions. For example, with folded paper strips, children can easily see that 1/2 is the same amount as 3/6 and that 2/3 is smaller than 3/4."

Patterns

Nope. Recognizing patterns involves repetitive sequences. This activity helps kids visualize the quantity represented by a fraction. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, "children need to use physical materials to explore equivalent fractions and compare fractions. For example, with folded paper strips, children can easily see that 1/2 is the same amount as 3/6 and that 2/3 is smaller than 3/4."

5. In the early grades, building number skills is an important priority. When should students first be exposed to geometry?

Elementary school

Right. Kids' spatial capabilities are often stronger than their numerical skills, so it's important to take advantage of them early on. "Children are naturally interested in geometry and find it intriguing and motivating," reports the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. "Tapping these strengths can foster an interest in mathematics and improve number understandings and skills."

Middle school

Incorrect. Geometry should be an integral part of the K-4 mathematics curriculum. Kids' spatial capabilities are often stronger than their numerical skills, so it's important to take advantage of them early on. "Children are naturally interested in geometry and find it intriguing and motivating," reports the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. "Tapping these strengths can foster an interest in mathematics and improve number understandings and skills."

High school

Incorrect. Geometry should be an integral part of the K-4 mathematics curriculum. Kids' spatial capabilities are often stronger than their numerical skills, so it's important to take advantage of them early on. "Children are naturally interested in geometry and find it intriguing and motivating," reports the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. "Tapping these strengths can foster an interest in mathematics and improve number understandings and skills."

6. One of our national goals is to be "first in the world in mathematics." How have U.S. fourth graders stacked up against the rest of the world?

Up there with the best

Right. According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), U.S. fourth graders performed above the international average of the 26 TIMSS countries. Unfortunately, that trend doesn't continue. Math test scores are much lower when U. S. students are tested later on in 8th and 12th grades.

Below average

Incorrect. According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), U.S. fourth graders performed above the international average of the 26 TIMSS countries. Unfortunately, that trend doesn't continue. Math test scores are much lower when U. S. students are tested later on in 8th and 12th grades.

Right around the middle

Incorrect. According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), U.S. fourth graders performed above the international average of the 26 TIMSS countries. Unfortunately, that trend doesn't continue. Math test scores are much lower when U. S. students are tested later on in 8th and 12th grades.

Your Results:

1. Should your elementary child be using a calculator when learning to solve computational problems? Yes.

2. When you talk to your second grader about being close to bedtime or making a little less noise, or being about twenty minutes late, you're reinforcing the vocabulary of what essential math skill? Estimation

3. One elementary math standard calls for students to "develop reasonable proficiency with basic facts and algorithms." What's an algorithm? A step-by-step problem-solving procedure

4. The teacher draws a rectangle on the chalkboard, fills in a portion of it, and asks students, "About how much is the shaded part?" What is being explored here? Fractions

5. In the early grades, building number skills is an important priority. When should students first be exposed to geometry? Elementary school

6. One of our national goals is to be "first in the world in mathematics." How have U.S. fourth graders stacked up against the rest of the world? Up there with the best