CPM Academy of Best Practices – Veteran

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Kelly Lindsey, Florence, KY, kelly.lindsey@boone.kyschools.us

How do MY ACTIONS as a teacher influence learning for ALL STUDENTS?

This was the mantra for our five days of work at the Academy of Best Practices for Veteran CPM Teachers. We lived and breathed the CPM Team Strategies and eight Mathematical Teaching Practices. We looked inside at our own biases and mindset to see how to proactively change and improve our teaching. What a wonderful way to prepare for the new school year!

My journey as a teacher began in 1981 and has been filled with crazy turns in the road: re-interpretation of standards, new emphasis on standardized testing, new challenges as the student body diversified, to name a few. In the beginning of my career, teachers relied on textbook writers to organize content and relied on other teachers and experience to deliver the content in ways that students could understand. I figured out slowly that students learn more when they are active, cooperative, and responsible. It was difficult to invent all those things myself.

Then I went to a session led by a CPM teacher at the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference. I had so much fun doing math and then incorporating those ideas and strategies into my own teaching. I was hooked on CPM! But, it was still an experience in isolation.  I did not know anyone in my school or district who was using CPM, but I integrated as much as I could and slowly convinced other teachers in my school to also use CPM. About ten years ago we started the transition to CPM in our core math classes and implemented Core Connections Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2. We met in teacher teams to discuss teaching strategies, scope, and sequence, but I still felt like I had a disadvantage; I did not know enough about the depth of CPM.

Last spring I applied and was accepted for the summer Academy of Best Practices – Veteran (ABP-V).  This is a week-long residential workshop held in Seattle, WA for veteran CPM teachers (teaching CPM for more than five years) all over the country. There were 29 teachers from middle and high schools – large districts, small schools, diverse populations, close-knit communities – everything imaginable. We worked with our facilitators, Laura Lethe, Bruce Brusoe, and Cheryl Tucker as well as guest speakers. We all shared a joy and love of math and a love of watching students succeed. Everyday we worked hard, learned new things, shared ideas (which was magical!), and talked about how we overcome obstacles in our own classrooms.

One of the things I appreciated most was the opportunity to see nearly all the team strategies used perfectly. The teachers willingly did whatever Bruce, Cheryl, and Laura asked and I saw how things should happen, and learned to plan for when things are not perfect. We also delved into the CPM Teacher Resources and learned about changes to the teacher eBook. We deconstructed a lesson for in-depth planning and then examined how that lesson fit into its section and chapter. Having time to focus on my specific textbook and hearing how other people manage their classes really helped me understand what I need to do.

We started school the Monday after returning from ABP-V and Seattle. I have been able to carry the excitement of the ABP-V into my Freshman Pre-Algebra class using the Core Connections, Course 3. My students are already learning that they are capable of great math through collaboration and hard work. I am a more capable teacher and better grounded in good practice because of my time at ABP-V.

Even if you have been using CPM for years, ABP-V is worth your time. It helped refresh me and give me new purpose. You should seriously consider applying* for next year’s cohort.*Applications will open in the new year.

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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.