Engaging All Students in Chapter Closure

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Aleana Rodig, Brussels, WI  arodig@sdsd.k12.wi.us

“What is the goal of your lesson?” This is one of the first, and most important, questions my coach, John Hayes asks as he sits down with me to plan a lesson. I was planning the Chapter 2 Closure activity and chose to have students complete concept maps. This would be the first concept map completed by my students this school year. I wanted my students to reflect, think deeply, and make connections amongst the topics they had learned. 

I envisioned a Gallery Walk after the concept maps were completed. This would give students the ability to see their classmates’ work and reflect on similarities and differences of their own. After explaining this to John he asked, “How will you know if they are reflecting?” and “What will it look and sound like?” Initially, I was not sure how to respond, but as John and I worked through these questions, my lesson really started to come alive.  

At the beginning of the year, my colleagues and I made posters of sentence starters for self and peer assessment. These sentence starters were on the front wall of my classroom all year but I had not used them intentionally with any lesson. John and I came up with a plan to create a Gallery Walk with an objective for students to look critically at their peers’ work while providing meaningful feedback.  

Once the concept maps were complete, I would have the teams choose one student to stay with their concept map to explain it to other teams as they did the Gallery Walk. The rest of the students in the team would be randomly assigned either the “What was done well?”, “What could be improved?”, or “What are the next steps?” sentence starters. As students traveled to each of the other posters, they would listen to the mini-presentation and then provide feedback using the sentence starters. This would give each student an intentional lens while listening to the presentation. Each rotation was three minutes long, with a timer visibly counting down.  

After students completed the Gallery Walk, they would go back to their own teams. The team presenter would be given a few minutes to relay the feedback back to the team members. The lesson would close with a Think-Ink-Pair-Share where students would be given two minutes to think and ink Two Stars and a Wish. This would give individual students the opportunity to reflect on the lesson and then share their thoughts with their team and the class.  

My lesson goal was now very clear and concise and I could not wait to teach the lesson.  

After discussing the goals of the lesson, students got to work completing their concept maps. As they worked, I supported teams by facilitating discussions and questioning their thinking. I was very impressed by how well they collaborated and discussed the various concepts learned in the chapter. Students grouped the concepts, wrote definitions, drew arrows to connect various topics, and drew pictures to provide a visual. When I noticed a few teams in one class struggling to come up with ideas I used the Study Team and Teaching Strategy, I Spy. This allowed one team member to go to a different team to get inspiration for their own posters. This worked well.

When it was time for the Gallery Walk I could tell students were focused on the presentations and listening intentionally. After each presentation, they would look at the sentence starters to start forming their feedback.  I was very impressed with the specific, intentional feedback students were giving their classmates. This also allowed for additional discussions about posters that typically did not happen in Gallery Walks I have done in the past.
During the Think-Ink-Pair-Share Two Stars and a Wish closure, students shared that they liked having sentence starters to help them form their feedback. One student said they never know what to say but this helped them be more specific. Teams were not able to rotate through all of the posters in all of my classes so some of the “wishes” included having more time to see all of the posters. I had quite a few Facilitators express their wish to be able to see other posters instead of staying with their poster the whole time. One Facilitator also reflected that their first presentation did not go very well, but the more presentations they did, the better they got. They said the feedback from the first team also helped their presentation.  

One of the reasons I love CPM is because of the various strategies they provide. This lesson is evidence that you can take any simple strategy and add complex elements to truly bring it alive and conquer a lesson goal more than you ever thought possible.

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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.