A Statement on Race

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Karen Wootton, Odenton, MD  karenwootton@cpm.org

Black Lives Matter.

There are no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs about it. Full stop.

In these difficult times, we struggle with what to say. Senseless murder by police and violence and force against protestors are the backdrop of a pandemic that seems almost inconsequential. We have been avoiding the discussions about race for too long. As uncomfortable as some might find these discussions, they will not be as uncomfortable as the experiences of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake, the many that came before them, and, sadly, the many that will probably come after.

As educators, it is our job to open students’ minds. While we provide curriculum and professional learning to those who might teach math, we at CPM are also indirectly teaching our future citizenry. We are teaching young human beings. Are we preparing students to be the best citizen they can be? Are we doing everything we can to foster a belief in the power of diversity? We must reflect on our role in either supporting or dismantling structural racism before we can teach our students to understand these issues and issues of equity.

We all must do better. We must work to weed out racism and become anti-racist. As Dr. Kendi (author of How to be Anti-Racist) says, it is no longer enough not to be a racist, but we must stand up to racist practices, policies, and systems that oppress. As educators, we shape the future by educating our students. We must understand that it is upon each of us to solve this problem, and it is not simply someone else’s problem to solve. Ask yourself: What else can I do?

We know we still have a lot to learn. Some of us have privilege and have benefitted from being white. We know that there will be many uncomfortable conversations ahead as we navigate our way through this, seeking to better understand. But it is through the discomfort that growth will happen; we are confident in that. It is time to lean in and have these difficult conversations.

It is time for change. It is time for action. It is time for everyone to do their part, whether that is reading books, writing to representatives, protesting, educating our youth, and above all, voting. We are responsible for making sure some good comes from all of this pain.

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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.