Purposefully Planning Study Team and Teaching Strategies: Math Practices

John Hayes, Eagle River, WI johnhayes@cpm.org

Study Team and Teaching Strategies can support and serve several different purposes. These strategies support active learning–not only through movement and engagement, but also through promoting shared math authority. They are also vehicles to support collaborative learning. Students learn how to verbally justify their reasoning with structured, goal-centered strategies. An overlooked purpose of Study Team and Teaching Strategies is their connection to the NCTM’s Standards for Mathematical Practice. Teachers can purposefully choose a strategy to target one or more practices. In particular, if a teacher or co-teacher is aware of a practice that is a barrier for students, they can mindfully plan for strategies that may support growth with that practice.

Let’s look at an example. A teacher’s comfort level with a lesson’s mathematics is usually superior to their students; this is not always the case, but it could be if teachers worked the problems before they expect students to. One of the reasons for a teacher’s superior math ability is that they are able to quickly identify and determine solution paths for problems based on the structures they recognize. Suppose that a teacher is supporting a student who struggles with determining structures (Standard for Math Practice 7). In this case it is a good idea to plan for strategies that will support all students with this struggle. In other words, if there is one student that struggles with this practice, we might assume that there are more students who could benefit from this same strategy. That teacher can plan to use the I Have Who Has strategy to help that student recognize structures.

Who has a method for solving systems of equations when both equations are in standard form?

I have elimination, who has….

Another strategy that might help students make sense of structures is the Fortune Cookie strategy.

One way to solve this system might be to….

Let’s look at one more example. Suppose that a co-teacher recognizes that some of the students he supports are struggling with written justification on their assessments (Standard for Math Practice 3). While co-planning, the teacher recommends a Huddle during a key point of the lesson to explain that he wants elbow partners to use a Silent Debate. The Huddle will be used to outline the expectations for the Silent Debate where students will debate which solution method is better: Elimination or Substitution. To close the lesson, the teacher recommends that the students use a Pairs Check to explain how to use the method they argued for in the Silent Debate on a particular system. In this second example, rather than relying on remediation, the co-teacher has connected a learning barrier to Standard for Math Practice and then intentionally planned a STTS to support that practice.

Below are examples of Study Team and Teaching Strategies that may be connected to a given practice. I encourage you to make your own connections with the strategies you are most comfortable with in order to be purposeful in your planning process. In your eBook you will find connections to the Standards for Mathematical Practice in each Study Team and Teaching Strategy description under the Strategies Tab.

Peer Edit??
Gallery Walk??
Hot Potato???
Hot Seat???
Board Report???

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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.