The intent of the Common Core State Standards is mastery of grade-level content by the end of the school year by building a solid foundation. Standards paced in each trimester serve as the focus of instruction through which a deeper understanding of the content is built. It is important to note that the order in which the Standards appear within each trimester does not necessarily indicate the order in which they must be taught.
The Standards should not be taught in isolation. Due to connections between and among standards, teachers are encouraged to integrate, where applicable, related Standards within their instruction. For example, a comprehensive mathematics lesson might include learning targets from the Operations and Algebraic Thinking and Measurement and Data Domains. The learning targets provided in the Unwrapped Standards provide additional direction for lesson planning by allowing teachers to identify specific learning targets within a single Standard that can be combined differently with other targets across multiple lessons and units to support student mastery of the Standards by the end of the school year. Organizing curriculum in this manner fosters a spiraled curriculum; one in which the student repeats the study of a subject multiple times, each time at a higher level of difficulty and in greater depth (Jerome Bruner, 1960).
The intent of the pacing icon (e.g., ) is to provide a visual representation indicating the trimester of instructional focus and end-of-year progress toward mastery of the Standards. The purpose of the shaded sections is to indicate the trimester of instructional focus. The dots in the remaining trimesters indicate that instruction of the Standard is ongoing (i.e. daily review, long-term review, and re-teaching) throughout the school year. Icons with all three sections shaded indicate Standards that require continual instructional focus.