Resolutions, Continued

Leah Gaines, Blacklick, OH,
Stephanie Castaneda, Round Rock, TX,

In our last article, we encouraged you to set a new year’s resolution. We also suggested a few ideas, such as improving STTS and assessment practices. How is it going? Do not be discouraged by slow progress. Push forward and lean on your colleagues for support. We believe in you and know you are making a difference already. Tweet your successes, struggles, and/or concerns @CPMmath.

What if you have not committed to a new year’s resolution? Consider a mid-semester resolution. Your commitment to try something different can start at any time. Here are a couple of resolutions to consider.

I resolve to use more vertical non-permanent surfaces (VNPS).

A great complement to your student-centered learning environment is VNPS. Vertical work surfaces include but are not limited to dry-erase boards affixed to classroom walls, walls painted with dry-erase paint, moveable dry-erase boards, classroom windows, or any vertical surface that can be wiped clean easily.

Getting funds, equipment, and permission to affix dry-erase boards along the entire perimeter of a classroom can be time-consuming and expensive. A less expensive and immediate option is to hang laminated butcher paper around your classroom. This is not a long-term solution, but it is a great starting point. Use VNPS with your next Gallery Walk, Huddle, Teammate Consult, or any team activity. Yes, NP stands for nonpermanent, so how might you collect classwork? When necessary, teams take pictures and upload their work to a learning management system such as Google Classroom.

Vertical work spaces allow students to get out of their desks to collaborate. Math and movement is an underutilized combination in many secondary schools. VNPS is a simple way to incorporate movement into the classroom, and over time you will find students are more engaged and focused.

I resolve to use Math Talks.

Number Talks, Dot Talks, Which One Doesn’t Belong? and How Many? are a few examples of Math Talks. These are simple wide threshold, high ceiling practices that get students of any grade or ability level discussing their mathematical thinking. Math Talks align with CPM’s values of creating a safe learning environment where all students have a voice. They also spur math discourse, build vocabulary, and foster math confidence in your students.

You can use Math Talks at any point during a lesson, but they have the greatest impact at the start of class to get students primed for the day’s activities. Another great thing about Math Talks is they require little to no prep. Simply project or sketch one on the board in your classroom and get rolling!

The important thing to remember when trying something new in your classroom is to start small and manage your expectations. Maybe you commit to try each of these practices once before the end of the year, or commit to making them part of your weekly routine. Either way, you are taking the steps to foster confident students in an inclusive classroom.

Remember, focus on mastery over time. Try VNPS or Math Talks once, and then discuss the pros and cons with your colleagues. Get advice from others and share your advice with others. Then try incorporating them again. Collaborate, practice, make mistakes, revise, and repeat!

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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.