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

Declaring New Year’s resolutions is a goal-setting tradition. Teachers are given district goals, campus goals, and individual student goals with plans they are required to follow. What are your New Year’s resolutions for your teaching practice? If you have not settled on one yet, consider the following options.

I resolve to utilize a greater variety of Study Team and Teaching Strategies (STTS) to promote effective teamwork.

The demands of teaching can make it easy to fall into a predictable pattern of using a select few STTSs. Maybe you use a Red Light, Green Light regularly or call a Huddle for a quick intervention. The following strategies may complement your existing STTS toolbelt.

A Carousel can be easily implemented in a variety of situations. There are a few variations, such as Around the World. These STTSs get students up and moving, which is beneficial to brain function, and can be helpful during this time of year.

Similar to a Carousel is a Gallery Walk, which can be a silent activity, giving students time to think and reflect individually. This can be powerful as closure for a lesson or chapter. Teamwork is a foundation of CPM curriculum, but time should be given for students to think and synthesize individually when appropriate.

The teacher notes of every CPM lesson include suggested STTSs. Gradually work to incorporate these strategies, and you will be an expert before you know it.

I resolve to engage in varied assessment practices to allow all learners the opportunity to show mastery.

When students are assessed by paper-pencil tests, often the same students are successful chapter after chapter. But these students are not the only ones mastering the standards. Differentiating assessment strategies allows more students to have an opportunity to prove their mastery of the content.

Many people go to coffee shops and order coffee from a menu. They can choose to add sugar or creamer, drink it black, served hot, or even cold. If a coffee shop only served one type of coffee, how successful would they be? It is possible to offer a menu of assessments, so students are able to show mastery in a format that makes sense to them.

In every chapter you will find a Suggested Assessment Plan, which recommends the use of individual tests, team assessments, presentations, and portfolios. Generally, all students perform the same assessment at the same time. Provide students a choice and offer an assessment menu. Give students advance notice so they may prepare for the type of test they will choose. Menu testing may not be possible for all units. Try it once and see what impact it has on students’ attitudes towards assessments. Will they be more excited to take the test they get to choose or perhaps more confident in their ability to do their best? If you want to try a menu test for the first time, consider a unit with a lot of visualization such as patterns or geometry.

Do one of these resolutions speak to you? Do you have a different resolution you want to tackle for the remainder of the school year? Let us know! Tweet @CPMmath #2020mathresolution.

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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.