A benchmark in math has the same definition as a benchmark outside of math. TheFreeDictionary.com defines a mathematical benchmark as, "a criterion by which to measure something; standard; reference point". Hope that helps!
Benchmarks at this point are developed into content learning standards at each grade and state. Benchmarks can be found on your local state public school website.
When the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) is re-authorized there will be CORE (common National Standards) in which all children/young adults will be college or career ready once completing their K-12 education. I have provided the link to CORE standards as explained by the ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) below.
What are you interested specifically in understanding about benchmarks in a specific grade? Are you homeschooling?
Erika Burton, Ph.D.
Stepping Stones Together, Founder http://www.steppingstonestogether.com http://www.isbe.net/common_core/default.htm
This book is full of challenging problems, even for parents! For example, when I read the practice of looking for a pattern, I need to think hard. But some times I still can not find the answers, so the answer key really comes as a great help. It includes step-by-step solutions and they are quite understandable. My daughter is confident with the problems, and she really did well in all the practice. This book helps to strengthen her mathematical thinking and build multiple problem-solving methods. She loves the tricks and voluntarily makes up her own problems to solve. She's already seeing how the techniques help her in her normal math work. She is now probably the top math student in her class. In the Beestar online math tests (a nice web site beestar.org), she is ranked high in the honor roll. I’m very pleased with this book.
You can think of a benchmark as a kind of clear stopping point, like a point of reference. When you're directing someone to where your house is, each cross street is a benchmark. Your house is in relation to those points of reference.