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Jillian Mendoza, Stockton, CA,

It is the middle of the night, and my phone is buzzing. It is the family group chat, and our family members in Manila are starting their day.

Julie: Dumating na po yung mga pinadala nyo nila Tom and we just want to say maraming salamat po! Unfortunately, I can’t search Tom sa msgr kya paksibi na lang din po sna sa kyna na we really appreciate mga pinadaa nyo po. Ingat po kayo palagi dyan!

Jay Rick: Thank you po Tito Gerardo sa mga binigay nyo po sa amin! Please say thank you rin po to Thomas and Jill! Grateful po kami palagi sa inyong lahat. God bless po 🙂

Gerardo: Very nice po, I am glad the gifts made it to Manila and I’m glad you enjoyed them!

What is Translanguaging?

If you speak multiple languages, then my family group chat exchange may feel familiar. For those who are unfamiliar, translanguaging encompasses the language practices of multilingual people. While “code-switching” implies an on/off switch (Celic & Seltzer, 2013), “translanguaging” recognizes the fluidity of speaking, thinking, writing, and listening without conscious regard for the named languages. According to Celic & Seltzer, “translanguaging takes as its starting point the language practices of bilingual people as the norm, and not the language of monolinguals, as described by traditional usage books and grammars” (p. 1).

Translanguaging in mathematics classrooms

Supporting translanguaging in mathematics is a key lever in educators’ work toward equitable and culturally sustaining classrooms. Aguirre & Zavala (2012) state that “culturally responsive mathematics teachers leverage mathematical learning by expanding children’s mathematical thinking, building bridges between previous knowledge and new knowledge, supporting bilingualism and academic language development, fostering connections with cultural funds of knowledge and experiences” (p.168). Gutiérrez (2007) foregrounds the importance of recognizing the assets of students’ language practices as an aspect of their identity. In order to promote mathematics as a cultural practice, there must be space for students to access and utilize their full language repertoire in the classroom. Furthermore, Gutiérrez states that it is harmful when students have to downplay aspects of their cultural, personal, and linguistic capacities in order to participate in mathematics (p. 3). As mathematics educators, we must encourage students to bring their whole selves, and their whole language repertoire in particular, into our classrooms.

Translanguaging also supports an asset-based approach to teaching multilingual learners. Maldonado Rodriguez et. al. (2020) share that “a translanguaging stance in a mathematics classroom means designing a space in which the teacher views and understands the complexity of multilingual students’ language practices, recognizing that they are a powerful resource to draw upon and connect to mathematical learning” (p.17). States across the U.S. also recognize the need to support multilingualism in mathematics.

Where to start?

The practice of translanguaging helps make content accessible to multilingual learners and strengthens students’ understanding of the underlying content. According to Celic & Seltzer (2013),

Translanguaging as a pedagogical strategy offers more direct ways to teach rigorous content, at the same time that academic uses of language are developed. By using collaborative group work and multilingual partners, translanguaging extends and deepens the thinking of students. The expansion of available multilingual resources for teaching opens up worlds, experiences, and possibilities. And the ability to read and write multilingual texts enables students to gain different perspectives. Translanguaging simply has the potential to expand thinking and understanding. (p. 2)

If you have had limited opportunities to reflect on your own translanguaging practices, it may feel daunting to get started with new classroom practices. There are small tweaks and changes you can make to your classroom structures and routines to support more translanguaging in your classroom. Some suggested starting points for developing translanguaging in your class, adapted from CPM’s new middle school curriculum, Inspiring Connections, and from Translanguaging: A CUNYNSIEB Guide for Educators are included on the following page.

With all the above suggestions, it is important to invite multilingual students to contribute to the ways their language is used and highlighted in the classroom to the extent they are comfortable. Multilingual students may belong to one or more marginalized group, so getting to know their comfort with and preferences for sharing their language experiences is central to ensuring students feel supported and as though they belong in mathematics classrooms. Furthermore, these practices support teachers and students to share authority in the classroom by encouraging teachers to learn from their students and more fully draw on students’ multiple funds of knowledge.

Classroom Practices

Questions to Consider


Classroom Greetings

How do you greet your students, and how do they greet one another?

Encourage students to use greetings from their family’s heritage.

Classroom Signals

How do you use gestures and/or verbal signals to communicate transitions within a lesson?

Incorporate multilingual transitions. Showing a genuine interest in your students’ language repertoire signals to your students that all language is valuable.

Additionally, learn which of your common gestures, such as the ‘thumbs up’, are considered vulgar nonverbal signals outside of your culture.

Table Names

Do you have names for your groups, tables, or stations?

Include labels and names that represent your students’ language repertoire.

Multilingual Word Walls

How do you support literacy development? Do you support literacy through an English-only or English-first lens?

Incorporate multilingual words on the class word wall. This could mean all words are displayed in languages familiar to your students because they contribute to the word wall.


Aguirre, J., & del Rosario Zavala, M. (2013).
Making culturally responsive mathematics teaching explicit: A lesson analysis tool. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 8(2), 163–190.

Celic, C., & Seltzer, K. (2013).
Translanguaging: A CUNYNSIEB Guide For Educators. CUNY-NSIEB.

California Department of Education. (n.d.).
English learner roadmap principles overview. CA Dept of Education. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from

Gutiérrez, R. (2007).
Exploring Mathematics Education in Context. University of Nevada, Reno.

Maldonado Rodríguez, L., Krause, G., & Adams-Corral, M. (2020).
Flowing with the translanguaging corriente: Juntos engaging with and making sense of mathematics. Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics: Special Issue on Multilingual Learners, 11(2), 17–23.

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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.