New Structure for CPM Teaching Redesign Corps 3.0

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Mark Coté, CPM Project Manager

Answering a call to seek out new ideas for improving mathematics education and test classroom innovations, 44 teacher-researchers helped launch CPM’s Teaching Redesign Corps 3.0 this summer. Two energized cohorts of exceptional teachers will begin 13 new classroom investigations during the forthcoming 2016-17 school year to complement the 18 studies conducted by the dedicated members of TRC 1.0 and 2.0, studies which resulted in numerous suggestions for improvements in our current curriculum and professional development.

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This year, the TRC will be comprised of two subgroups – Exploration and Further Investigation.  TRC 3.0 Exploration is a continuation of the successful discovery component implemented during the previous two years. The Exploration group is comprised of six teams of CPM teachers who met in Sacramento on June 30th and July 1st to design their own research projects and craft implementation plans. Each team will carry out a fairly structured action research study designed to improve instructional practices and enhance student learning.  Monthly Skype meetings with the TRC Leadership Team will be held through the course of the investigations.

The Exploration teams and their respective proposal titles are:  Group 1a:  Beckie Frisbee, Shelly Grothaus, Beth Johnson – How do we shift the culture of the class using growth mindset and the idea that mistakes and developing understanding are valuable opportunities to learn, grow, and/or challenge one’s self?  Group 2: April Bain, Stephanie McClain, Sandy Reavill – What are the benefits of adding regular opportunities for guided revisions of mathematical writing?  Group 5a: Marty Joyce, Aristotle Ou, Erica Warren – Embedding Mixed-Spaced Practice as a Classroom Routine  Group 5b:  Taylor Clements, Samantha Falkner, Valerie Scott – What are some performance-based summative assessment methods that we can implement to better capture student learning?  Group 7:  Abbie Hobbick, Laura Ratliff – Can students learn to seek multiple strategies for problem-solving without a prompt?   Group WC:  Anthony Johnson, Jenni White – How can a written response be incorporated or utilized to maximize benefits for students on formative assessments?

These teams left nothing on the table as they departed Sacramento, enthused and ready to begin the research when school opens this fall. New teacher-researcher Abbie Hobbick summarized her thoughts. “This whole process is definitely a unique experience for me. I have never fully committed to completing a research study before, so I’m really excited to see how it goes and also to hear the findings from all the other studies. I am amazed at what we accomplished in 2 days. I never would have guessed that we would have a formal plan in place in such little amount of time. This is going to be an amazing learning opportunity for me, and I’m anxious to be able to share this experience with my other colleagues and district.” Returning TRC veteran Anthony Johnson added this comment on the improved format for proposal writing. “I loved the time that was given to share and react to initial proposals. It is very valuable to hear other people’s thoughts about our work. I also really liked the guided questions used to help brainstorm research ideas. In general, it seemed like our conversations were more directed, purposeful, and flowed much more naturally.”  Finally, new researcher Aristotle Ou enjoyed the collegiality stating, “I liked being able to collaborate with like-minded individuals and explore new teaching practices to improve student learning.”

Complementing the TRC 3.0 Exploration group is the Further Investigation group, which will be solely concerned with validating two promising sets of results from the past two years. This group of 28 CPM teachers, divided into seven teams, met in Las Vegas on July 25th to learn about the two research projects and develop implementation plans to extend each study. The first study for further investigation, the TRC 2.0 Mistakes as a Focus for Learning effort, provided tantalizing data indicating that significant gains could be had by providing students with the opportunity to learn from both fabricated and organic mistakes. Study leaders Alycia Clarkson, Penny Smits, Tanya Lantrip, and Natalie Ijames developed numerous instructional and assessment strategies that helped students realize the power of mistake analysis, the learning potential of reflection, and the change in how they felt about themselves with regard to making mistakes in a mathematics classroom. By the end of the study, students learned to expect mistakes, both their own as well as others, to inspect them with care, and respect them as essential to the learning process.

The second study for further investigation, Developing a Culture of Investigation (work from both TRC 1.0 and 2.0), will be led by veteran researchers Pam Lindemer, Jen McCalla, and Christy McConnell. Positive initial findings resulted from the implementation of three instructional strategies and one study team management strategy. All strategies were coupled with an overall focus on growth mindset. Emphasis on both the building blocks of class culture and teacher talk had a significant impact on how students perceived the class and the content.

The Further Investigation Mistakes as a Focus for Learning teams include: Group A1:  Alycia Clarkson (team leader), Laura Bell, Julie Kiedrowski, Megan McGregor  Group A2: Penny Smits (team leader), Kerry Cardoza, Anthony Davis, Ilene Kanoff, Thor Tillberg  Group A3:  Tanya Lantrip (team leader), Heather Kosmowski, Claudine Margolis, Marc Petrie, Brooke Raven-Sandberg  Group A4:  Natalie Ijames (team leader), Chris Kintz, Sara O’Connell, Cathy Sinnen.

The Further Investigation Developing a Culture of Investigation teams include:  Group B1:  Pam Lindemer (team leader), Mark Jones, Angela Kraft, Chad Ophime Group B2:  Jen McCalla (team leader), Laura Bain, Tammy Kaufman  Group B3:  Christy McConnell (team leader), Denise Dedini, Jesse Knetter.

With just one day to plan, all participants made excellent use of every minute. New TRC member Denise Dedini said, “It was incredibly powerful to hear about the implementation of best practices from the presenters and to begin wrapping my brain around my goals for this year. I’m excited to get started!”  Intending to have an impact, new researcher Laura Bell added, “I am intrigued to take others’ ideas, tweak things in my classroom to make things work better, and see where I can go with this opportunity. As we share our findings with others, we’ll improve not only our own classrooms but others across the nation.”

The results of the Further Investigation project will be evaluated on the ease of implementing the approach, the effectiveness of the approach after implementation, and the likelihood of implementation. All researchers will be responsible for keeping track of the questions and concerns that surface as they implement the strategies. “We hope to find any common issues that should be addressed prior to endorsing the strategies and sharing them with the greater mathematics education community,” said Tom Sallee, originator of the TRC project

By continuing to trust in the intellectual effort and wisdom of teachers, we anticipate building on the success of the first two years. The two TRC 3.0 groups will support this next cycle of advancements, as we continue to realize our goal – help more students learn more math.

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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.