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What are the Montana Common Core Standards?

The Montana Common Core Standards, Montana’s English Language Arts and Mathematics standards, ensure that our students graduate prepared for college and the workforce. The standards reflect the knowledge and skills that students need to be successful in the 21st century economy such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, research and use of technology.

The standards are higher and clearer than our previous standards and provide a grade-by-grade pathway that gives all students an opportunity for a high quality education. The new standards set an expectation that students graduating from high school will be capable of successfully completing first-year college courses.

Additionally, the clear, grade-by-grade standards allow parents to know how their child is doing in school today and trust the information. Parents will know if their child is keeping up and staying on track for their grade level.

Working together, we will meet the goal of graduating every Montana student from high school prepared for college, work and life.

families teachers school leaders
higher ed business legislature


Check out what educators and community leaders in Montana are saying about why they support the Montana Common Core Standards, what teachers are seeing in their classrooms as a result of the new standards, and why the standards will have a positive impact on Montana students and our state's future.



English Language Arts & Literacy

NOTE: To find MCCS sequential planning resources, please visit Getting Started




Montana Common Core Standards: English Language Arts

These appendices are from the work that developed the Common Core State Standards. Teachers may find these documents useful for the implementation of literacy across content areas. See Appendices A and B for support with text complexity. The appendices were not adopted by the Montana Board of Public Education and so are not required to be used in any manner. The Office of Public Instruction has no position relative to any endorsement of these documents.



For sequential planning resources for Parents, Teachers, School Districts, Business, Higher Education, and Legislators, please visit Getting Started.


Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice & Content...

Montana Common Core Standards: Mathematics

Grade-Level K-12

Grade-Band K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Grade Specific:

Grade Level Standards by Domain and Cluster

Montana Common Core Standards: toward greater focus and coherence. William Schmidt and Richard Houang (2002) have said that content standards and curricula are coherent if they are: articulated over time as a sequence of topics and performances that are logical and reflect, where appropriate, the sequential or hierarchical nature of the disciplinary content from which the subject matter derives. That is, what and how students are taught should reflect not only the topics that fall within a certain academic discipline, but also the key ideas that determine how knowledge is organized and generated within that discipline. This implies that “to be coherent,” a set of content standards must evolve from particulars (e.g., the meaning and operations of whole numbers, including simple math facts and routine computational procedures associated with whole numbers and fractions) to deeper structures inherent in the discipline. These deeper structures then serve as a means for connecting the particulars (such as an understanding of the rational number system and its properties).

These Standards endeavor to follow such a design, not only by stressing conceptual understanding of key ideas, but also by continually returning to organizing principles such as place value or the laws of arithmetic to structure those ideas.

In addition, the “sequence of topics and performances” that is outlined in a body of mathematics standards must also respect what is known about how students learn. As Confrey (2007) points out, developing “sequenced obstacles and challenges for students…absent the insights about meaning that derive from careful study of learning, would be unfortunate and unwise.” In recognition of this, the development of these Standards began with research-based learning progressions detailing what is known today about how students' mathematical knowledge, skill, and understanding develop over time. (MCCS Grade Level K-12 page 2-3)


Mathematical Practices...

Montana Common Core Standards: Mathematics

Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice

Mathematical Practices Professional Development

Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice At-A-Glance

MCCS Math Practice Grouping Chart

Math Practices Grade Band Descriptions

Grade 6 Math Practices Posters

The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students. These practices rest on important “processes and proficiencies” with long-standing importance in mathematics education. The first of these are the NCTM process standards of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, representation, and connections. The second are the strands of mathematical proficiency specified in the National Research Council's report Adding It Up: adaptive reasoning, strategic competence, conceptual understanding (comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations and relations), procedural fluency (skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately), and productive disposition (habitual inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful, and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence and one's own efficacy). (MCCS Grade Level K-12 page 5)


H.S. Pathways...

Montana Common Core Standards: Mathematics

Model High School Course Pathways based on the Common State Standards

Appendix A: Designing High School Mathematics Courses Based on the Common Core State Standards

Arranging the High School Standards

  1. This document does not include the Montana Common Core Standards with Indian Education for All standards.
  2. The pathways and courses are models, not mandates. They illustrate possible approaches to organizing the content of the CCSS into coherent and rigorous courses that lead to college and career readiness
  3. All college and career ready standards (those without a +) are found in each pathway. A few (+) standards are included to increase coherence but are not necessarily expected to be addressed on high stakes assessments.
  4. The course descriptions delineate the mathematics standards to be covered in a course; they are not prescriptions for curriculum or pedagogy. Additional work will be needed to create coherent instructional programs that help students achieve these standards.
  5. Units within each course are intended to suggest a possible grouping of the standards into coherent blocks; in this way, units may also be considered “critical areas” or “big ideas”, and these terms are used interchangeably throughout the document. The ordering of the clusters within a unit follows the order of the standards document in most cases, not the order in which they might be taught. Attention to ordering content within a unit will be needed as instructional programs are developed.
  6. While courses are given names for organizational purposes, districts are encouraged to carefully consider the content in each course and use names that they feel are most appropriate. Similarly, unit titles may be adjusted by states and districts.



Montana Common Core Standards: Mathematics

The Montana Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice and Content are not intended to be new names for old ways of doing business. They are a call to take the next step. It is time for everyone to collaborate and build collective capacity. These resources support collaboration for the transition and implementation of these standards.


Indian Education for All Connections with the Montana Common Core Standards

This resource is intended to provide guidance for instruction that incorporates the Indian Education for All (IEFA) resources aligned with the Montana Common Core Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. Educators can be assured that by utilizing the units in their instruction, they are addressing the Standards. Indian Education connections provide the content that makes the standards come alive. Both the grade-specific Montana Common Core Standards (MCCS) and the OPI Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians (EU) connections with the OPI IEFA curriculum resources are identified throughout the Companion Guide, along with activities to meet standards.

IEFA units feature text dependent questions - those which specifically ask questions that can only be answered by referring explicitly back to the text being read – promoting close analytic reading. In support of the greater emphasis on proficient reading of complex informational text, each unit specifies the use of related informational texts (regardless of whether the unit focus is fiction or non-fiction), within the lessons and/or extension activities.

Please note that although the Montana Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects Standards that have been identified as facilitating information about American Indians are highlighted here, IEFA curriculum resources are aligned also with and incorporate the necessary complements of the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards, as well as the grade specific ones. While the Indian Education for All recommended resources and units listed in this Companion Guide provide strong connections to the identified grade specific standards (standards approved by the Board of Public Education, Nov. 2011, that specifically reference Montana's commitment to Indian Education for All), the resources listed in this document are not meant to exclude other useful resources or activities.

Indian Education for All Connections with the Montana Common Core Standards Companion Guides

English Language Arts By Grade:

K | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7 | 8


All Grades

Teachers are free to provide students with whatever tools and knowledge their professional judgment and experience identity as most helpful for meeting the goals set out in the Standards, Montana teachers can use American Indian topics, resources, and literature to meet standards, even where Indian Education for All is not specifically mentioned. (English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects by Grade-Level; MT OPI. November 2011, pp. 4).

Please see the OPI website to access the depth and breadth of key and support information available regarding the Montana Common Core Standards: English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects.

Also see the OPI IEFA Curriculum Resources page for a complete listing of IEFA curriculum units.