The Virginia Department of Education has officially adopted the 2023 Mathematics SOLs. With these new SOLs come several big changes you should be aware of.

In this blog post for Virginia teachers, you’ll find the reason for the changes, the timeline for implementation, and a list of the biggest changes to the upper elementary SOLs.

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Why Change the Math SOLs?

You may be wondering, why change the math SOLs? It may be tempting to think the VDOE is only changing the SOLs to make teachers’ lives more difficult. But, this is not the case!

The VDOE is required to periodically update the Standards of Learning. By law, the VDOE must review and revise its standards every seven years. According to this timeframe, the math SOLs were due for an update.

Timeline for Implementation

One of the surprising aspects of the 2023 Mathematics SOLs is that the VDOE gave districts and teachers very little time to prepare for teaching the new SOLs. The Virginia Board of Education adopted the 2023 Mathematics SOLs in September 2023 and stated that the crosswalk should begin immediately. Typically, when new SOLs are released, we have at least a few months to prepare before the crosswalk begins.

But, the VDOE recognizes that immediately going into the crosswalk can be a challenge for many schools. So, they have provided three crosswalk options for the 2023-2024 school year. Each school district in Virginia is responsible for choosing which option their schools will follow.

  • Option 1: Full Crosswalk – Both the 2016 and 2023 mathematics SOLs are taught.
  • Option 2: Partial Crosswalk – The 2016 mathematics SOLs are fully taught and the 2023 SOLs are partially taught.
  • Option 3: No Crosswalk – Only the 2016 mathematics SOLs are taught.

The 2024 math SOL test will measure the 2016 SOLs although there will be field test items for the 2023 SOLs. Keep in mind that field test items do not count toward the students’ final scores.

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The 2023 mathematics SOLs are to be fully implemented during the 2024-2025 school year. The 2025 math SOL test will only measure the 2023 SOLs.

You can find more information about the timeline for implementation in my Virginia Teacher’s Guide to the 2023 Math SOLs. This guide is free for Virginia teachers!

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Math SOL Curriculum Framework

Recently, I attended a training hosted by the VDOE about the 2023 Mathematics SOLs. During the training, the VDOE shared that they will not be adopting a curriculum framework for the new math SOLs.

Instead, the curriculum framework will be replaced with a Dynamic Instructional Guide (DIG). The VDOE shared little about the DIG other than it will be similar to the curriculum framework but with more instructional support. When asked when the DIG would be released, a date was not given.

UPDATE: Since writing this blog post, the VDOE has posted an updated math “curriculum framework” on its website. There is no mention of the DIGs and it has not been announced whether they will still move forward with the creation of DIGs.

Biggest Changes to the Mathematics SOLs

When you dive into the 2023 Mathematics SOLs, one of the first things you will notice is that the numbering of the SOLs has changed. The numbering shows the grade level, the strand, and the number within the strand.

Each grade level uses the same strands. There are five strands, which include:

  • Number and Number Sense
  • Computation and Estimation
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Patterns, Functions, and Algebra

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The other changes made to the math SOLs are more specific to each grade level. Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom specializes in upper elementary (grades 3-5), so I have listed the major changes to those grade levels below. For each grade level, I have broken up the major differences by strand.

For more information about the changes made to these grade levels, download the Virginia Teacher’s Guide to the 2023 Mathematics SOLs. The guide provides a side-by-side comparison of every 2016 and 2023 SOL and a list of key differences between the two.

3rd Grade Math SOLs

In third grade, a lot of content has been moved to other grade levels. The following list shows some of the biggest changes made to the 3rd-grade math SOLs. Be sure to download my free guide for a complete list of changes.

Number and Number Sense:

  • Expanded form has been added to place value.
  • Fractions only use 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 as denominators.
  • Compose and decompose fractions in multiple ways has been added.
  • When comparing fractions, only fractions with like numerators or denominators should be used. Proper fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers can be used to compare.

Computation and Estimation:

  • The number ranges for addition and subtraction have changed.
  • Multiplication with numbers greater than 10 has been removed.
  • Adding and subtracting fractions has been removed.

Measurement and Geometry:

  • Weight/mass has been added.
  • Equivalent periods of time has been removed.
  • Many geometry terms and concepts have been removed.
  • Reading temperatures has been removed.

Probability and Statistics:

  • Probability has been removed.

Patterns, Functions, and Algebra:

  • Repeating patterns and patterns in tables have been removed.

4th Grade Math SOLs

Of the upper elementary grades, fourth grade has some of the biggest content changes. The following list shows some of the biggest changes made to the 4th grade math SOLs. Be sure to download my free guide for a complete list of changes.

Number and Number Sense:

  • Compose and decompose fractions in multiple ways has been added.

Computation and Estimation:

  • The number ranges for addition, subtraction, and multiplication have changed.
  • Adding and subtracting fractions is limited to fractions with like denominators. Students are also expected to use regrouping.
  • Multiply a whole number and a unit fraction has been added.

Measurement and Geometry:

  • Multi-step elapsed time problems have been added.
  • The perimeter of a polygon has been removed.

Patterns, Functions, and Algebra:

  • Describe probability using terms has been added.
  • Input/output tables and function machines have been added.
  • Repeating patterns have been removed.

5th Grade Math SOLs

Formerly, fifth grade was a very packed grade level. Many SOLs have now moved out of 5th grade to other grade levels. The following list shows some of the biggest changes made to the 5th-grade math SOLs. Be sure to download my free guide for a complete list of changes.

Number and Number Sense:

  • Prime factorization has been added.
  • Even and odd numbers have been removed.

Computation and Estimation:

  • Fractions only use 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 as denominators.
  • Least common multiple and least common denominator have been added.
  • The inverse property of multiplication has been removed.
  • The number range for multiplication with decimals has changed.
  • The number range and operations for order or operations have changed.

Measurement and Geometry:

  • Area and perimeter of squares and rectangles have been removed.
  • Circles have been removed.
  • Elapsed time has been removed.
  • Transformations have been removed.
  • Combining and subdividing shapes has been removed.

Patterns, Functions, and Algebra:

  • Division patterns have been added.

Where to Find SOL-Aligned Math Resources

One of the most challenging parts of SOL changes is finding quality resources aligned to the new SOLs. My store is packed with high-quality, SOL-aligned math resources that have been used by thousands of teachers across Virginia.

Some of the SOL-aligned math resources in my store include:

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Virginia Teacher Club® members currently have access to my math resources aligned to the 2023 Mathematics SOLs. These 2023 resources will be released to my store in late spring or early summer 2024. When you download my Virginia Teacher’s Guide to the 2023 Math SOLs, you will be notified when the 2023 resources are released to my store.

Conclusion

The 2023 Mathematics SOLs present some big changes for future school years in Virginia. These changes will present an initial learning curve, but implementing the revised standards will get easier with time and by having the right resources to teach the standards. I hope this information provides you with some clarity on what to expect with these new SOLs.

P.S.- Don’t forget to download the Virginia Teacher’s Guide to the 2023 Math SOLs for a more complete breakdown of the timeline and the biggest changes made to each grade level.

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Have you heard of the Virginia Teacher Club®? The Virginia Teacher Club® is a one-of-a-kind program for upper elementary teachers in Virginia. Members receive instant access to a curriculum library of SOL-aligned math, science, social studies, and ELA resources. There are lesson plans, games, assessments, passages, digital activities, and more for EVERY SOL. By using the Virginia Teacher Club®, our members save hours of planning time every month and have access to high-quality, SOL-aligned resources that students love.

CLICK HERE to join the waitlist and be the first to know when the Virginia Teacher Club® reopens for new members.