A New Year, A New Adventure

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Sharon Rendon, Director of Professional Learning, sharonrendon@cpm.org

On January 1, 2018 I had the privilege to move into the role of Director of Professional Learning for CPM Educational Program. I am following the legacy of Chris Mikles, who has laid a wonderful foundation for teacher education within CPM. She started with basically nothing and built a set of workshop agendas, site visit protocols, conference sessions, teacher notes, organized Study Team and Teaching Strategies, and so much more. Through the years she has recruited many of us to work alongside her and contribute to this important part of CPM. She will be missed and I cannot thank Chris enough for all her efforts to provide a great base for teacher learning that I now get to continue leading.

I started teaching CPM in 2002 at Central High School, in Rapid City, South Dakota. I had the opportunity to teach the Algebra Connections, Geometry Connections, and the Algebra 2 Connections materials for five years. I was also able to teach the Precalculus course. I had many “aha moments” and made many mathematical connections as a teacher that year. As with many others, Chris Mikles was my workshop leader and came to provide my site visits the first year. And now I get the privilege of taking over from her as the Director of Professional Learning.

My passion for adult learning began when I had the opportunity to coach during the last few years I was in the classroom. After leaving the classroom, I was able to lead the teachers in the Rapid City Area Schools as the Secondary Math Coordinator. In this position I gained numerous leadership skills and continued to enhance my coaching, and my passion for adult learning soared. I served in this role for five years before CPM offered me the position of Coaching Coordinator. I have also been privileged to serve on the board for the premier math leadership organization NCSM for the past five years. This group has provided me with a wealth of knowledge, collaboration, and support in the various leadership positions I have held within the organization.

In my various leadership roles, I have always been guided by this quote from Roland Barth in Learning by Heart, “Ultimately there are two kinds of schools: learning enriched schools and learning impoverished schools. I have yet to see a school where the learning curves…of the adults were steep upward and those of the students were not. Teachers and students go hand and hand as learners…or they don’t go at all.” Everyone in the teaching profession needs to be in the business of continual learning. I am excited to continue to support teachers.

My vision for professional learning is based firmly on the belief that everyone is doing their best, and, when given the suitable access to knowledge, strategies, and support, they will be empowered to serve their students in a more meaningful way. In the arena of professional learning, those leading need to be a source for research and information, a provider of strategies, and sometimes even a cheerleader or encourager. CPM has a strong legacy of offering outstanding professional development for teachers. I plan to use this position as an opportunity to build on that history, and continue to enhance the learning opportunities for teachers, leaders, and ultimately students.

I look forward to collaborating with you and hearing your ideas for how CPM can continue to change secondary math experiences for teachers and students across this country and provide more math for more people.

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Algebra Tiles Blue Icon

Algebra Tiles Session

  • Used throughout CPM middle and high school courses
  • Concrete, geometric representation of algebraic concepts.
  • Two-hour virtual session,
  •  Learn how students build their conceptual understanding of simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving equations using these tools.  
  • Determining perimeter,
  • Combining like terms,
  • Comparing expressions,
  • Solving equations
  • Use an area model to multiply polynomials,
  • Factor quadratics and other polynomials, and
  • Complete the square.
  • Support the transition from a concrete (manipulative) representation to an abstract model of mathematics..

Foundations for Implementation

This professional learning is designed for teachers as they begin their implementation of CPM. This series contains multiple components and is grounded in multiple active experiences delivered over the first year. This learning experience will encourage teachers to adjust their instructional practices, expand their content knowledge, and challenge their beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders will gain first-hand experience with CPM with emphasis on what they will be teaching. Throughout this series educators will experience the mathematics, consider instructional practices, and learn about the classroom environment necessary for a successful implementation of CPM curriculum resources.

Page 2 of the Professional Learning Progression (PDF) describes all of the components of this learning event and the additional support available. Teachers new to a course, but have previously attended Foundations for Implementation, can choose to engage in the course Content Modules in the Professional Learning Portal rather than attending the entire series of learning events again.

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Building on Instructional Practice Series

The Building on Instructional Practice Series consists of three different events – Building on Discourse, Building on Assessment, Building on Equity – that are designed for teachers with a minimum of one year of experience teaching with CPM instructional materials and who have completed the Foundations for Implementation Series.

Building on Equity

In Building on Equity, participants will learn how to include equitable practices in their classroom and support traditionally underserved students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Essential questions include: How do I shift dependent learners into independent learners? How does my own math identity and cultural background impact my classroom? The focus of day one is equitable classroom culture. Participants will reflect on how their math identity and mindsets impact student learning. They will begin working on a plan for Chapter 1 that creates an equitable classroom culture. The focus of day two and three is implementing equitable tasks. Participants will develop their use of the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Meaningful Mathematical Discussions and curate strategies for supporting all students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Participants will use an equity lens to reflect on and revise their Chapter 1 lesson plans.

Building on Assessment

In Building on Assessment, participants will apply assessment research and develop methods to provide feedback to students and inform equitable assessment decisions. On day one, participants will align assessment practices with learning progressions and the principle of mastery over time as well as write assessment items. During day two, participants will develop rubrics, explore alternate types of assessment, and plan for implementation that supports student ownership. On the third day, participants will develop strategies to monitor progress and provide evidence of proficiency with identified mathematics content and practices. Participants will develop assessment action plans that will encourage continued collaboration within their learning community.

Building on Discourse

In Building on Discourse, participants will improve their ability to facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse. This learning experience will encourage participants to adjust their instructional practices in the areas of sharing math authority, developing independent learners, and the creation of equitable classroom environments. Participants will plan for student learning by using teaching practices such as posing purposeful questioning, supporting productive struggle, and facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse. In doing so, participants learn to support students collaboratively engaged with rich tasks with all elements of the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices incorporated through intentional and reflective planning.