Stick to the Checkpoints: How to Pick and Choose in a Time of Crisis

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Brianna Ruiz, Dixon, CA

Going into distance learning, it was important for me to continue to provide a meaningful mathematical experience for my students and expose them to as many essential concepts as possible without overwhelming them as they navigated through countless adjustments both in and out of school. I felt that in order to do so, I needed to prioritize creating structure in my course, and providing consistency throughout my lessons. To begin this process, my department and I decided that we would use the CPM Checkpoint topics to guide our weekly instruction in an effort to keep instruction focused on essential topics, and organized for both teachers and students.

Once these topics were solidified, my colleagues and I collaborated to produce weekly classwork and homework assignments that focused primarily on a specific weekly learning checkpoint, while also providing opportunities for spiral review. Each week students were given five assignments that provided a balance of CPM core problems and skills-based problems, along with opportunities for reflection. While the content of each assignment was different, the format of our weekly assignments never changed. The number of assignments and their due dates stayed consistent.

Several students expressed their appreciation for the weekly structure, saying that it helped them to stay organized. I also found that consistency and revisitation allowed for improvement among student responses. For example, many students improved in their ability to justify their reasoning after having the opportunity to respond to similar prompts over the weeks and receive feedback.

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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.


Building on Instructional Practice Series

This series contains three different courses, taken in either order. The courses are designed for schools and teachers with a minimum of one year of experience teaching with CPM curriculum materials. Teachers will develop further understanding of strategies and tools for instructional practices and assessment.

Building on Equity

In this course, participants will learn how to include equitable practices in their  classroom and support traditionally underserved students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Participants will reflect on how their math identity and mindsets impact student learning. They will begin working on a plan for implementing Chapter 1 that creates an equitable classroom culture and curate strategies for supporting all students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Follow-up during the school year will support ongoing implementation of equitable classroom practices.

Building on Assessment

In this course, participants will apply assessment research to develop methods to provide feedback to students and to inform equitable assessment decisions. Participants will develop assessment action plans that will encourage continued collaboration within their learning community.

Building on Discourse

This professional learning builds upon the Foundations for Implementation Series by improving teachers’ 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 rigorous, team-worthy tasks with all elements of the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices.