CPM: A Structured, Consistent, and Equitable Framework for Teaching Math

October 2023

If you are a new teacher, or in a new school, you may not have had the opportunity to understand why your school chose CPM. You may not know whether you can trust the curriculum, and you may be tempted to spend time searching for new resources. Let’s explore why you can trust CPM, and how trusting the curriculum can support effective teaching and learning.

The development of an exemplary curriculum requires a collaborative effort by educators and researchers who work together to craft an engaging storyline, carefully considering how the mathematics builds over time. CPM has always relied on the shared expertise of experienced classroom teachers and educational researchers to create lessons that are engaging for students and supported by current research on best practices for teaching and learning mathematics. CPM’s exemplary curricula, both Core Connections and Inspiring Connections, are designed to ensure a comprehensive and structured learning experience by utilizing these research-based best practices. Math educators can also have confidence that the CPM curriculum addresses the content standards, leaving teachers free to focus on what they do best: teach.

Furthermore, CPM provides a clear framework for assessing student progress and understanding. CPM’s pillar of Mixed, Spaced Practice is built into the curriculum through Review & Preview, Chapter Closure, Checkpoint Problems, threads within a course, and vertical threads through courses. When using the CPM curriculum with fidelity, teachers are able to assess students over time on the essential standards

Consistency is another vital factor. When teachers trust and follow the curriculum, it ensures a consistent educational experience for all students. For example, any Geometry student should have equitable access to the standards and instruction, no matter the teacher. This uniformity is particularly important in mathematics, as each concept builds upon previous concepts. By adhering to the curriculum, teachers can guarantee that students receive a cohesive and logical progression of mathematical knowledge.

The CPM curriculum is the result of extensive research and collaboration and provides a structured, consistent, and equitable framework for teaching math. By putting faith in the curriculum, math teachers can focus on what truly matters: equipping their students with the mathematical problem-solving skills they need.

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Marcus Blakeney


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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.