Math Success Indicators

Math Success Indicators

This rubric contains key indicators to predict a student’s success in a more rigorous math class. Higher numbers correlate to a stronger potential for success. Students recommended for 8th Grade Algebra Honors will have all 3’s, or almost all 3’s, especially in the “High Importance” categories.

Depth of Understanding (High Importance)

  1. The student seeks a “prescriptive” level of understanding and relies on step-by-step methods.

  1. The student is interested in a deeper level of understanding, but the student still seeks a step-by-step method to rely on for some concepts.

  1. The student utilizes a deep understanding of the concepts and does not need to rely on step-by-step methods. The student can explain why prescriptive methods work.

Reasoning (High Importance)

  1. The student has significant difficulty tackling a problem they have never seen before.

  1. The student is sometimes able to apply concepts problems they have never seen before but may need assistance with others.

  1. The student is consistently able to apply their understanding to problems that they have never seen before.

Rate of Learning New Material (High Importance)

  1. The student needs significant practice and/or help to fully understand material. The student regularly needs retakes to demonstrate understanding on their progress ladders.

  1. The student masters new concepts at the rate introduced in class, but sometimes may need extra help, time or practice. The student regularly requires retakes to achieve mastery on their progress ladders.

  1. The student rarely requires extra help or practice to understand a new concept. The student demonstrates understanding on their progress ladders and generally does not need retakes to improve their score.

Fluidity of Computation of Rational Numbers and Integers (High Importance)

  1. The student relies on a calculator for most computation.

  1. The student still gets some rules confused or lacks fluidity in computing with all rational numbers.

  1. The student is proficient and fluid with all rational number computation.

Perseverance or Tolerance of Productive Struggle

  1. The student is not comfortable with productive struggle and tends to give up quickly.

  1. The student shows good effort during productive struggle. The student may “give-up” more quickly than others or welcomes hints.

  1. The student has a high determination to solve problems without help. The student refuses hints. The student wants to understand and correct mistakes.


  1. The student makes many errors and doesn’t check their work, and/or the student does not pay attention to details.

  1. The student makes a moderate amount of calculation/detail errors, and/or does not pay attention to details such as labeling units in their answer.

  1. The student works precisely and carefully with few errors. The student realizes the importance of details such as labels. The student rarely loses points for precision on check-ins.

Work Completion

  1. The student rarely completes homework.

  1. The student regularly misses completing homework.

  1. The student is almost always prepared for class with homework.

Retention of Understanding

  1. The student often needs to review previously learned concepts.

  1. The student can relearn previously learned material with a “quick review.”

  1. The student has good understanding and rarely needs to review previously learned materials.

Ability to Recognize and Use Connections

  1. The student has a hard time making connections between concepts; the student needs explicit instruction in every concept.

  1. The student can make some connections between concepts, but sometimes needs to be led towards the connection.

  1. The student regularly makes connections between concepts and does not require explicit instruction in every concept.

Student Comfort Level 

  1. The student demonstrates math anxiety during class. The student lacks confidence.

  1. The student has confidence with many concepts, but still seeks validation in their work.

  1. The student is very confident in math and is okay with learning from their mistakes.

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