CPM Neighborhood

Mark Ray, Sun Prairie, WI   markray@cpm.org

In February, I was asked to arrange a school visit to Indian Mound Middle School in McFarland, WI for a few teachers from a neighboring middle school. The teachers I arranged this visit for were looking to gain new perspectives for teaching CPM in their own classrooms. In particular, they were interested in seeing how other teachers plan and pace their lessons, how they question their students, and what intentional teacher moves they make to keep students engaged. Since this was such a positive visit, I wanted to share three of the greatest takeaways for the CPM community to consider.

First and foremost, the teachers, students, staff, and administration at Indian Mound Middle School exemplified what it means to be a host. Prior to the visit, my correspondence with the Principal, Aaron Tarnutzer, was detailed and expeditious. His genuine interest in our goals allowed us to gain the greatest potential from the visit. Upon arrival, we were kindly greeted by the front office staff and handed a personalized schedule with a detailed map to follow. We visited each teacher prior to the start of school and were graciously welcomed by each. At one point in the day, we stopped in the hallway to check our map, and a concerned student offered to help us find our next room. It was clear that everyone we encountered took pride in themselves and their school. It was the little things that everyone did to collectively make our experience great.

Second, teaching is such a complex profession. It is the type of profession that is usually more work when you are gone. However, stepping away from your classroom and visiting another teacher may make the work you do easier. When you remove yourself from the teacher role, and assume the role of an observer, you are able to focus your perspective. This affords you the opportunity to reflect and make adjustments to your own teaching without the complexities of running your own classroom. To make the most of an opportunity like this, be sure to only focus on one, or possibly two things. For instance, in the case of the teachers I was working with, they primarily wanted to learn how other teachers questioned students, and how they engaged all of their students.

The last takeaway is the power in networking with other teachers. There is tremendous potential to improve the teaching and learning in your own classroom by making connections with neighboring schools. What are your CPM neighbors doing that is working, or potentially not working? What can be learned from their experiences? What resources, assessments, or practices can be shared to help your students? How can connecting with other teachers invigorate you when you need support, or give you satisfaction when you support another teacher? It is worth the time and effort to make these connections. So, I ask, who are your CPM neighbors? Reach out to them. You might just make your CPM neighbors into a CPM neighborhood.

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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.