Indiana Academic Standards Support


NEW! Expanded to include all Grades K-8

We asked our team of literacy and math education coaches for help understanding select Indiana Academic Standards in Grades K-8, including how student knowledge is expected to grow vertically across grade levels. Each standard below includes a brief overview video introducing the standard as well as grade-specific videos demonstrating what can be taught to effectively address each goal.

English/Language Arts Standards

Reading Foundations: Fluency

RF.5, the fluency standard, is interesting in that it’s expressed the same way from Grade 1 to Grade 5. For kindergarten there is a slight difference in wording. The challenge for teachers is to differentiate the standard so children accumulate fluency skills across the years while also accommodating the increasing complexity of their books. It’s important for teachers to do two things simultaneously:

  1. Teach all children the range of skills and strategies that comprise fluent reading, no matter their reading levels.
  2. Match fluency instruction to the increasing sophistication and complexity of texts children read as they advance through the grades.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Reading Literature: Key Ideas

RL 2.3, Key Ideas and Textual Support in reading literature, helps students build comprehension and appreciation of literature by identifying, describing and making inferences about literary elements and themes. With increasing complexity across grade levels, students will describe how characters, settings, events, and details impact plot.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Reading Literature: Structure and Organization

There are two key parts to this standard, which is meant to support readers in understanding and enjoying what they read. Point of view refers to who is telling or narrating a story. First-person and third-person are two common points of view. Point of view is not the same as perspective, which refers to a character's world view. For example, a story could be written in first-person point-of-view, but the story itself could reveal multiple perspectives related to the various characters in the story.

Structure refers to the parts of a piece of literature and how those parts are organized. This standard explores common structures found in stories, poems, and plays. Knowing about these structures and considering an author’s intention in using them, supports deeper understanding of the texts students read and makes it more likely that students will fall in love with reading.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Reading Nonfiction: Features and Structures

Text features include title, author, table of contents, captions, index, illustrations, maps, tables, graphs, subheadings, and more. In this standard we're looking at a child's ability to use what they know about what a text feature is and how it works. Across the grades, knowledge of text features is layered to give students the understandings they need to use the features to comprehend the text itself. With increasing complexity, students can name text features, explain what the text features do, use those features to gain information from the text or solve a problem independently.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Reading Nonfiction: Connection of Ideas

The Indiana standards emphasize the importance of nonfiction reading skills with the expected learning outcome that all students develop reading proficiency on a continuum of growing skill and independence. As readers develop, they are expected to navigate increasingly complex text, apply several comprehension strategies in tandem, and read independently for longer periods. While reading nonfiction texts, readers should be able to understand and connect information and use nonfiction text structures and features to locate and comprehend information. Critical literacy demands that young readers develop the ability to identify and evaluate information for accuracy, credibility, and bias, as well as compare and evaluate information from multiple sources, including online and print text. Proficient nonfiction readers understand the relationships between facts and supporting information, and recognize the differences between facts and opinions in a text. In Grades K-2, readers are expected to notice how an author provides information about a topic and why it’s important to do so. In Grades 3-5, readers must also distinguish between facts and opinions in a text and identify an author’s specific claims and supporting information.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Mathematics Standards

Adding and Subtracting Fluently

Computation and Algebraic Thinking featuring Ryan and Courtney Flessner

Often, fluency in arithmetic is understood to mean that This video is about Indiana Math Academic Standards for Adding and Subtracting Fluently, Computation and Algebraic Thinking, in Grades K-7. Math education consultant Ryan Flessner helps educators envision the teaching and assessment of this standard vertically across grade levels. Often, fluency in arithmetic is understood to mean that students can use the standard American algorithms to achieve correct answers quickly. Unfortunately, simply mastering the steps of the standard American algorithms does not ensure that students have a deep understanding of the concepts of multi-digit addition and subtraction. The standards in this strand allow students to build conceptual understandings in a variety of ways prior to learning and mastering the standard American algorithms. While the expectation for learning this algorithm remains, the standards in this progression allow students to understand why the algorithms work by first constructing concrete understandings, moving to strategies that connect to understandings of place value and the properties of operations, and then to mastering the standard American algorithms.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the grade-level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Multiplying and Dividing Fluently

Number Sense and Computation featuring Courtney and Ryan Flessner

There are often misconceptions that fluency means one must memorize basic facts and standard U.S. algorithms in order to do math quickly. Such is not the case. Students are fluent when they can efficiently solve a problem using strategies they understand. Further, students are fluent when they build off their number sense and explain how they computed. As students achieve correct answers, they must do so while explaining their methods. The standards in this strand allow students to transition from skip counting to learning and mastering basic multiplication and division facts. After that, they expand their fact knowledge into fluently multiplying and dividing within 100 before they master the standard U.S. algorithm for multiplication in Grade 5 and for division in Grade 6. The expectation is that students will understand why the standard U.S. algorithms for multiplication and division work by building off prior knowledge from Grades 2-4. Additionally, students begin multiplying and dividing fractions in Grade 5. Initially, they engage in concrete experiences that foster conceptual understandings as they move toward the standard U.S. algorithms in Grade 6. In seventh grade students expand upon prior knowledge from Grades K-6 to fluently multiply and divide rational numbers.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Real-World Addition and Subtraction Problems

Computation and Algebraic Thinking and Algebraic Thinking featuring Ryan and Courtney Flessner

The Indiana Academic Standards place a high priority on contextualizing the mathematics students study. This series of videos examines how educators can assist students in seeing addition and subtraction in the world around them. Rather than reviewing specific strategies or tools students use in solving these problems, these videos address ways educators can construct problems for students to solve. In addition, a variety of contexts for Grades K-8 is discussed so the problems students complete are real-world but also realistic and relevant to their lives.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Real-World Multiplication and Division Problems

Computation and Algebraic Thinking featuring Ryan and Courtney Flessner

Educators in all grade levels must provide students with real-world problems to solve. Rather than discussing strategies students might use to multiply and divide in Grades K-8, we use this series of videos to:

  1. Describe different ways teachers can construct problems while ensuring students deeply understand multiplication and division concepts and
  2. Examine real-world contexts in which students apply their knowledge of multiplication and division.

As we discuss the construction of contextualized problems, we also explore ways to make these problems real-world, realistic, and relevant to the lives of students. The K-2 standards in this series do not pertain to real-world problems. However, they are excellent precursors to preparing students to engage in this work in Grades 3-8.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the individual grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

Making Sense of Fractions

Geometry and Number Sense featuring Courtney Flessner

In Indiana state standards have placed high priority on fraction concepts across the elementary grade levels. Whole number concepts such as the relationships between tens and ones, rounding numbers, utilizing estimation skills, and decomposing large numbers are frequent topics covered in classrooms. Yet, number sense doesn’t stop with whole numbers. Fractions, decimals, and percents are numbers, too! It may seem odd to pair geometry standards in kindergarten through second grade with number sense standards in Grades 3-6; however, the kindergarten, first, and second grade standards of partitioning shapes is a precursor for work with fractions in Grades 3-6. In those grades, students build on this knowledge to conceptualize fractions as part of a whole or part of a set, understand the concept of equivalence, and extend this knowledge into mixed numbers, decimals, and percents.

Learn more in the overview video (above) and downloadable PDF. Then watch the grade level videos (see playlist above) for detailed support.

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