CPM Community Works Toward Equity

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In the September 2020 newsletter, we shared CPM’s Principles of Equity. These four principles guide our ongoing work toward our vision and mission of, in short, more math for more people. Last year, our writing and professional learning teams studied the book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, by Zaretta Hammond. We found that it changed our thinking about teaching and learning, underscored the work CPM has made toward equity in math classrooms, and offered us ways to do better as educators. The book became an anchor text for our Building on Instructional Practice: Equity professional learning series. However, our reading generated more ideas than we could fit in the series, and we wanted to share the rich conversations and reflections with more people. As a result, this spring semester, we are excited to offer our first-ever virtual book study for the CPM community. 

Historically, the education system in the United States has been organized to produce dependent learners, especially in schools and classes serving students of color, immigrant students, and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. According to Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, if students are to achieve at high levels, they need to be independent learners working in positive classroom cultures, with teachers who are warm demanders, expecting and supporting students to tackle rigorous content. Zaretta Hammond challenges teachers to use what we now know about the brain to shift our practice. By building their own awareness and knowledge, building learning partnerships with students, and building students’ intellectual capacity, teachers can stop the cycle of dependent learning and help all students achieve at high levels. 

In this book study, we will discuss Hammond’s research and how it relates to mathematics classrooms. This study is ideal for anyone who is concerned about inequities in education or wants to do a better job connecting with students with different backgrounds from their own. No matter where you are in your teaching journey, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain will challenge your thinking, increase your knowledge of how the brain works, and offer actionable ideas to improve your practice. 

The book study group will meet together in the Professional Learning Portal, two times per month from January through March. Participants will need their own copy of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.

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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.