Jason Zimba’s “wiring diagram”

In the article by Jason Zimba that I posted here, there were glimpses of a diagram showing connections between standards. A lot of people have asked me where the complete diagram is, so I prevailed upon Jason to make it available here, along with an introduction explaining what it is and is not intended to achieve. I would stress one point, since everybody so much wants to be reading the standards as curriculum, that it is not in any sense a diagram of curriculum, although it could be useful to curriculum designers.

UPDATE 10/29/2015 by Jason Zimba – The wiring diagram now exists as a more fully fledged digital tool called the “Coherence Map,” found at www.achievethecore.org/coherence-map. When you click the link, you will be able to navigate the content standards via their connections, and you will also see resources keyed to individual standards, such as relevant excerpts from the Progressions documents, tasks from Illustrative Mathematics, and other open resources (this feature is meant to grow over time).

13 thoughts on “Jason Zimba’s “wiring diagram”

  1. This is interesting! Could I interpret the “6A”, “6B”, “6C” divisions to roughly correspond to material covered each trimester?

    • The A, B, C groupings are explained in the preface to the graph, which is important to read in general for the way it puts the graph in context. (See the first few pages of the PDF file.)

      As to this specific question, I’m not sure if those groupings correspond to fixed periods of time such as trimesters. For example, it seems to me that group A is generally, in some sense, “less time” than group C. But I would leave such judgments to others…and stress that different curriculum authors might choose to sequence things differently.

  2. Awesome – Thanks for sharing. I had started to do this, got as far as connections between OA & NBT in 1st grade, and then was horrified at the “mess” that evolved. 🙂

  3. We are spending time looking at and interpreting Jason’s graph. Does anyone know the difference between the green and black lines? Everything else is explained in the document. Thanks.

    • No. There are probably some patterns, but no fixed rule of that sort underlies the groupings.

      For example, one can see that the standards belonging to major clusters often exhibit long or complex chains of arrows in the diagram, and this would tend to push the beginnings of those chains all the way back into Group A. And the endpoints of those chains are also going to belong to major clusters, so major work will often stretch into Group C as well. Meanwhile, additional work often lacks those long or complex chains of arrows, so it might not end up in Group A very often, or maybe even Group B. So these circumstances might lead to some patterns, but as I say, there wasn’t any mechanistic rule determining these things in the diagram.

  4. Jason, Sorry for the duplicate questions – I sent these via email through your blog as well. But I see you are actively answering questions here, so here goes:

    Most versions of your diagram I have seen end at 8th grade. But I am recalling seeing one version that “ended” at 8th grade, but had the beginning of the “next page” and I thought I could see what appeared to be a high school section of the chart. I am very interested in your take on the 9-12 standards and how you see them connecting to the K-8 standards. Is this something you would be willing to share as well?

    Additionally, a few standards have a note above them. Could you share your rationale as to why it was important enough to include some small detail at times? Why those standards in particular?

    And finally, the K and 8th grade standards have a stand-alone standard not connected to anything, while the 3rd grade standards have a “Not shown: 3.MD:1” footnote rather than including it similar to K and 8th. Is there any significant reason for the difference?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Fred – some thoughts:

      1) At the time, I did actually make a high school section of the diagram. It was based on an old guess that I’d made about how high school courses might look based on CCSSM (n.b., only for the traditional sequence). That guess went beyond an analysis of “which standards go into which course”; it took the form of some coherent chunks of material derived from the expectations in the standards. As a result, the entities in the high school portion of the diagram had novel codes, like “A1.2.4.1.” That made interpreting the high school portion of the diagram pretty hard, so for that and other reasons I only gave K-8. If you’re interested in the high school portion, you might want to contact Markus Iseli at UCLA, who has a copy of the high school portion of the diagram as well as a correspondence table between the codes in the diagram and the standards in CCSSM. I agree it would be interesting to see what the diagram shows as the “roots” of the high school standards in K-8, if somebody wants to chase that down and put it in a digestible form.

      2) I guess don’t have much that I can add as to why some standards have those notes and others don’t. It’s just that in some cases, I perceived important “way-stations” that students might typically land on between the beginning of the grade and meeting the standard as written. Perhaps if these cases were extracted and put in their own list, generalities might emerge. For example, in standards that set expectations for fluency, it seemed prudent and natural to create way-stations along the way to fluency. Likewise for word problems, I made a way-station in Group A for easier types. So I suppose it is partly a progression of difficulty, and partly a signal that these are not the kinds of standards that are taught all at once, or met all at once. They are about sustained work. In other cases, it is just a matter of splitting out the key parts of “composite standards” (e.g., 3.MD.2) and putting first the parts first that seem logically or conceptually prior.

      3) No significant reason for the difference. As you can imagine, making this diagram took some time…. As I moved across the grades from left to right, my visual and design conventions tended to evolve somewhat, and there wasn’t always time to refresh the entire diagram. So there are some inconsistencies of representation here and there.

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