When telling a student that I was attending a conference for CPM, her response was:
Mrs. L, please make sure to tell them that I failed Geometry last year but with our new books, I understand much better and have a high B. – Courtney
In my career, I have taught from 4 different geometry series. Until I started teaching with CPM, I was high skeptical that my students truly understood the material. When our district adopted CPM, I was unhappy, since I was "comfortable" using our previous book. Then I decided to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem and give it a try. Now I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't enthusiastic from the beginning. It has been the very best thing I have ever done in my classroom. Students need to not only learn to go through unconnected steps but to truly understand the ideas and how they are connected. To hear things like, "That is so cool", "I so get it; it totally makes sense to me!" "I finally understand something in math!" and "Why haven't we been using this all along?" convinces me that my students are engaged and being successful.
Having students work in study teams is valuable beyond the math. Yes, they will learn from each other and further their understanding of math, but they are learning life skills that their future employer will be looking for. Students are learning to communicate mathematically but also to work cooperatively as a team, with each of them fulfilling their roles to be successful. They are learning to deal with others with perhaps different personalities, strengths and weaknesses and learning to appreciate those differences.