Mark Coté, Project Manager
For the second time in less than a year, CPM’s idea engine roared to life as the Teaching Redesign Corps version 2.0 crossed the starting line in Sacramento during the final week of June. At this dynamic gathering, 14 new teacher investigators joined as many veterans and the TRC Leadership Team to collaboratively launch eight new research proposals.
The new proposals were generated using ingenuity, creativity, reflection on current research findings, and hours of intense discourse supported by numerous proven study team strategies. Yes, the STTS work as well during TRC idea incubation as they do during a Core Connections course! All proposals fell within the broad categories of mindset, study team effectiveness, and consolidation.
When asked about the proposal generated by her team, Raven Mabe-Wortman said, “I am very excited to be part of the mindset-mistakes group because I have always served a population of students who were very terrified to take any kind of risk in the classroom. They always end up being very teacher-reliant despite my best efforts. I am hoping that this action plan created through my collaboration with my colleagues will move the students toward a growth mindset. I want them to see that it is okay to make mistakes and it is all part of the process of learning. This is going to be a really amazing journey I think, and I am excited that we were able to collaborate and come up with a plan.”
Planning for the TRC 2.0 meeting involved incorporating improvements based on several key lessons learned from the previous year. Thanks to some timely input from the 1.0 veterans and the TRC Leadership Team, adjustments for 2.0 included more time dedicated to the proposal writing/editing process, an enhanced communication plan that targeted more frequent Skype discussions during the school year, increased access to the university researchers who serve as mentors to the group and a more explicit understanding that the goals and methods will evolve through the year. Reflecting on the process changes enacted for 2.0, TRC veteran Cisco Cox commented, “Thanks for the extra day this year. It was nice and it was needed. We were definitely not in a place yesterday to be ready to leave the face-to-face meeting, go back to our classrooms and be clear about what we are going to do for our research project. Today, I feel more clear about those things (although I know that will end the first day in class!)”
All participants gained valuable insights and fielded tough, focusing questions from veteran researchers Judy Kysh, Tom Sallee, Mickey Davis, and Aaron Brakoniecki. The savvy research leadership team circulated among the groups over two days offering constructive criticism and pushing the TRC members to clarify definitions, set investigative goals, and refine action plans. Sage advice included the idea that these initial proposals would continue to develop even after the classroom investigations are set into motion this fall. Erin Hommowun found a silver lining in the struggle, “I am very appreciative of the experts we have had the opportunity to work with over the last three days. Each one offered us great questions and insight as to what we are exploring. There were certainly moments where if felt like a ‘grenade’ had hit our project, but those can be very necessary. We had moments of intense frustration in our team with both our ideas and each other, but I believe this is also a very necessary part of the process. If we experienced sunshine and dandelions the entire time I would be worried about the quality of our work.”
Fully expecting history to repeat itself, results from the TRC 2.0 investigations will add to CPM’s growing body of knowledge about best instructional practices. As with 1.0, look for contributions from this current group of teacher researchers at the CPM National Conference in February of 2016, in future CPM Newsletter articles and at the Summer Leadership Institute next June. In summary, 1.0 veteran John Hayes added, “Overall I love the TRC discussion. It is far richer than any educational discussions I have ever had. The TRC concept is pretty near perfect due to the fact that we embrace the messiness of discussing big educational issues. This is something that needs to continue if CPM wants to carry on its tradition of teacher-led curriculum design. CPM does a fantastic job of bringing together a group of teachers who aren’t afraid to push the envelope when it comes to educational conversations. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible group.”
Thank you John. We could not agree more.
|TRC 2.0 Projects and Teacher Researchers|
|A. Mindset, Mistakes, and Classroom Culture. Alycia Clarkson, Michael Huler, Tanya Lantrip, Penny Smits.|
|B. Fostering a Culture of Investigation. Pam Lindemer, Raven Mabe-Wortman, Jen McCalla, Christy McConnell.|
|C1. Planning for Closure. Kerry Cardoza, Karen Hatch, Heather Kosmowski|
|C2. Implementing Effective, Timely and Engaging Closure. Lorna Vazquez.|
|D. Increasing Productive Authentic Mathematical Discourse in Study Teams. Erin Hommowun, Ardella Koester, Dechelle Rasheed, Jeanne Villeneuve.|
|E. Growth Mindset and Mastery Over Time. Mark Atkinson, Cisco Cox, John Hayes, Natalie Ijames, Anthony Johnson, Alan Little, Lyn Osburne, Erica Warren.|
|F. Alternative Summative Assessment. Aurora Alamillo, Sarah Morrison.|
|G. Mindset and Coaching in the CPM Classroom. Mark Ray|
|H. The Effect of Access to Desmos on CPM Instruction. Meghan Sanders|