Lighthouse Initiative for Texas Classrooms

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) Charts

Click on a grade level or content area below to view the TEKS chart with suggested activities for that area:


As the Lighthouse committee began its examination of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), we were often surprised by what was included or left out of courses that preceded or followed those that we normally teach.

"Do they really expect eighth graders to be able to do that?"

"Where are the sequences and series that we used to do in Algebra II?"

Ultimately, we agreed that all of the concepts and skills necessary to prepare students for success in AP* Statistics and AP Calculus would be covered if the TEKS were interpreted in a particular way. Due to time constraints, we were reluctant to add any additional topics to the TEKS, though a teacher might choose to do so.

The problem is particularly acute at the middle school level when all of the TEKS for grades 6-8 are often covered in only two years in order for students to take Algebra I in grade 8. Having students just skip over a year of elementary or middle school mathematics is a dangerous proposition that can have serious repercussions in subsequent courses. A well-planned and instructed Pre-AP* middle school program combines, streamlines, and collapses the material in such a way that all of the TEKS are addressed at a deeper and more complex level.

At one point, someone on the committee said, "The problem is not that the TEKS are incomplete; it is that all of these things are treated equally. Some of these TEKS are three-minute topics, and some of them are three-week topics." That gave us our idea for the structure of the charts in this section. We went through the TEKS and sorted them into three groups.

  • The TEKS in regular font are topics with which students already have some familiarity due to previous instruction and which are being revisited through the spiraling curriculum or are topics that can be covered in minimal time. These topics might provide foundational knowledge (such as definitions) that will be used for future topics throughout the course.

  • The TEKS typed in italics are topics that might be addressed throughout the course on multiple occasions or might be addressed to greater depth than the previous topics.

  • The TEKS in a bold, slightly larger, font are those that merit greater time commitment and greater depth of understanding for the Pre-AP student. These topics should be taught with a particular emphasis toward preparing students for AP Calculus or AP Statistics.

After categorizing the TEKS, we looked for problems or activities that would exemplify those TEKS in the third group and included them in the second column as examples of what we felt were good Pre-AP mathematics problems and activities. Remember that these are only examples; students will have to do many more than the few problems that we were able to include here in order to be well-prepared for AP Statistics and AP Calculus. These are meant to give you ideas and get you started in understanding what makes a good Pre-AP mathematics problem. You will also find in the second column additional comments about the TEKS or sample problems that we felt might be important.

Click on a grade level or area below to view the TEKS chart with suggested activities for that area.