CPM Academy of Best Practices

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Mariah Vandertie, Green Bay, WI, mvandertie@luxcasco.k12.wi.us 

In August, I spent a week in Seattle, Washington, attending CPM’s Academy of Best Practices for novice teachers. I was processing my five day experience while my return flight touched down on Wisconsin pavement. As I disembarked, I knew this for certain: the professionals I connected with, lessons that I learned, and knowledge that I developed would have a lasting impact on my teaching practices. Specifically, I want to convey the importance of one particular topic that was interwoven into the entire week: leadership.

The week took us through a crash course in professionalism, cognitive demand, productive struggle, assessment, feedback, technology, equity and so much more. Exploring these topics will impact my teaching practices, but what truly transformed me was the various levels of effective, quality leadership in our ABP classroom. I finished a fantastic first year teaching this past spring and delved into a time of self reflection. My reflections led to one critical notion: I am a drop in the ocean that is mathematics education. I am making a difference in the lives of 130 students each year, but how can I impact math education across the country?

The Academy of Best Practices inspired me to think beyond my single drop. Watching two ABP mentors, former participants and new teachers like me, facilitate such a impactful week and displaying such a high level of quality leadership inspired me to believe that I too could serve as a mentor in my school, district, state, and even national level of mathematics education. By experiencing their leadership, I developed a trust in myself that I too could take on a leadership role in the profession, regardless of my novice status. I also found inspiration in our three facilitators. They provided resources, connections and instilled self confidence to get involved in a leadership role. Lastly, my passion was fueled by the guest speakers that were invited to ABP. I had the honor of meeting the emeritus director of CPM, the creator of Desmos, and various other inspiring members of the education community. Listening to them share their passion for mathematics education inspired me to one day reach a level of leadership where I can share my expertise with other educators.

Strong leadership in schools can transform the environment into one where both students and staff can flourish. The ABP was my ah-ha moment of how to transform my drop of impact, into a tidal wave. I am entering this school year with a newfound hunger for professional development, leadership opportunities, and networking. I have made many incredible connections because of ABP and gotten to know novice educators that have found the same motivation that I have in Seattle. Because of CPM and the Academy of Best Practices, I am confident that a tsunami of change is headed for mathematics education.

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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.