Chris’s Corner

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Chris Mikles, Director of Professional Development,

Tips of the Week have been expanded to include Tips of the Week for Phase 2 – Instructional Strategies Workshops and another set of Tips of the Week for Phase 3 – Assessment Workshops. They are in the editing stage and should be ready soon. You will be able to find them at our website with the Phase 1 –First Year Implementation tips, as well as the student and parent Tips of the Week.

This is the time of the year to get parents on board with CPM, especially for schools that are using CPM and/or student-centered classrooms for the first time. Please be transparent with students and parents as you start this new venture. Give them reasons for doing math this way. From your Teacher Edition,

Benefits of teamwork include:

  • Working in a team provides opportunities to see and discuss multiple approaches to problems.
  • Students experience greater learning gains when they have multiple opportunities to explain their thinking and discuss ideas, as supported by the research of Glasser and others.
  • Interacting with others gives students the opportunity to become skilled collaborators, which will serve them well in many career paths.

A friend recommended reading Balancing the Equation by Larson and Kanold. There is a lot of good information in here especially for parents and administrators. One example of a quote for parents from chapter four is, “The first thing you should notice is that your child is expected to master skills and procedures. But that is no longer sufficient. In a world that puts a premium on the ability to interpret and solve problems, your child also must be able to explain why those procedures work and when they should apply them. This is called strategic competence.”

Another quote for parents is the one I think most educators tell parents in some form or other. “You might believe that your child can become a better athlete or a better musician by exerting effort, responding to instruction and feedback (learning from mistakes), trying different strategies and practicing. Learning mathematics is no different.” The book has answers for some of the most common questions that parents have about Common Core. There are comments about the role of the parent in their child’s math education. There are also tips in the book about how parents can help their child.

This summer we held our second Residential Workshop (RW). This is a  five-day workshop that encompasses the whole eight-day workshop series. It has been held in Utah for the last two years. We have teachers who are in rural areas where there are no CPM workshops being offered, teachers from overseas, and teachers who, for whatever reason, could not make it to the CPM workshop near them. For some Utah teachers, this was also their workshop. Because CPM believes in supporting teachers all year round (newsletters, Tips of the Week, visits) we want to continue support for these teachers also. So we will be holding webinars every six weeks or so. Since most of the content of the eight days has been covered, we will be asking How is this going? as well as reminding teachers of things to pay attention to throughout the year. We will review some content also, as the week of the Residential Workshop was very intense. This is what we did last year and I think the participants appreciated talking about issues.

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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.