TRC 9.0 – A Return to Real

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Mark Coté, Issaquah, WA markcote@cpm.org

CPM’s Teacher Research Corps returned to an in-person TRC Institute this summer at the University of Utah, launching new practitioner investigations. Thanks to the efforts of 15 Teacher Researchers, 5 members of the TRC Leadership Team, and members of the CPM Professional Learning Team, the Institute resulted in the successful completion of the following key goals:

  1. Possible problems of practice brainstormed/reviewed/refined and temporary investigative cohorts formed.
  2. Temporary cohorts discussed/decided on a specific goal(s)/question(s) to investigate and wrote a first draft (not detailed) of a research proposal.
  3. Initial proposals were briefly shared with the entire cohort.
  4. Teacher Researchers made a final choice about a problem of practice.
  5. Final cohorts wrote a second, more detailed draft of the initial proposal.
  6. Teams developed brief presentations and shared them with the entire TRC cohort.
  7. Completed proposals were presented with feedback.
  8. Research investigations began in August.

We are excited that CPM has yet another opportunity to tap into the “wisdom of teachers” and offer new investigative findings that will influence pedagogy as well as contribute to the ongoing development of our curriculum materials. The TRC 9.0 Teacher Researchers and investigations are as follows:


Alexis Reid
Amanda Ethridge
Anna Dailey
Janine Scott
Jennifer Moriarty

How do non-traditional grading and assessment structures support students in developing positive mathematical identities, particularly those who have been disenfranchised by traditional mathematics instruction and assessments?


Ashley Sergi
Karen Kurcz
Kristen Griebel
Laura Bell
Simon Terrell

How do certain instructional and mathematical choices we make as teachers foster student engagement and mathematical thinking? Specifically, how can we support students to collaboratively take on challenging and wordy tasks, try out new strategies without the fear of failure, and become stronger mathematical thinkers?


Amanda Marx
Brooke Raven 
Pam Propst
Tom Dagit

How can we as teachers implement systems and strategies that support all students in recognizing and appreciating their personal mathematical growth over time? It is our hope that providing these opportunities will help students realize they are capable of doing mathematics, will motivate or enable them to contribute in class, and will positively impact their learning.


Michelle Lo

How can I distribute authority to the students so that they expect to critique, question, and validate each other’s mathematical thinking during whole group and/or small group discussions? (This study is a further investigation.)


Teacher Researcher Janine Scott summarized the final day of the TRC Institute with this comment, “This morning’s work totally cemented the fact that our research will be a team collaboration with multiple offshoots/strategies, which is fine for me. I feel like we made great strides, and I am looking forward to working with my team and finding new ways to disrupt the traditional grading system. I think that this is what TRC is all about, being able to collaborate with teachers that want to make their classrooms better, recording data to measure outcomes, getting better in your classrooms with your students, and sharing your results with other teachers that may be interested.”

In parallel with past practice, all research teams launched their projects as school began. Data collection, participant reflections, and team meetings are underway. Teacher Researchers will soon be reporting updates on their investigations using the TRC blogspot www.imath.us, and several teams are looking forward to presenting at CPM’s Teacher Conference in February of 2023. The TRC Leadership Team is delighted to announce that applications for the TRC 9.0 Institute, which is scheduled for the summer of 2023, will be available in early spring. Watch https://cpm.org/trc for more information.

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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

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.