What is intervention?

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Karen Wootton, Director of Curriculum & Assessment, karenwootton@cpm.org

Students are expected and encouraged to struggle productively in mathematics. When a student has an occasional period of unproductive struggle where things are not making sense or seem confusing, the teacher can step in, and through some well-chosen questions, set the student back on the right path. Embracing the notion that mastery takes time, effort, and support, allows the students who occasionally struggle time to develop their understanding.

When the time, questioning, or added support is not enough, then what should happen for the student? Usually, the word “intervention” is mentioned, as a way to help. But ask teachers or administrators “What is intervention?” and you will hear a variety of answers.

CPM will be piloting an intervention course during the 2018-19 school year. CPM’s intervention course will be different from what many might think an intervention course should look like. The focus of CPM’s intervention course is not pre-teaching, front loading, or drill. Nor is it a vocabulary intensive course or a place to do homework. Instead, this intervention course has a few simple goals.

First, we want the students in the course to become a community of mathematicians. It will take a special teacher who truly likes kids, and who is willing to get to know them as people, to teach this course. Having strong relationships with children has a large effect size on student learning, so this course is structured in a way that promotes relationships between students and teachers as well as students and their classmates.

Second, we want to bolster the students’ problem-solving capabilities. While some people might believe that intervention time is best spent drilling the students on the skills needed in their math course, CPM’s intervention course takes the position that the students will be better served if they can become better problem solvers. This course is filled with enjoyable problems, some of the classics and some new ones, that are just fun to solve. Students will build their problem-solving toolkit, filling it with tools that will carry over to other courses.

Third, we want students to love math. We believe that by focusing on the first two goals, we will accomplish this third one. Students will be given ample time to discuss and solve problems, experiencing the success that promotes enjoyment of mathematics and a growth mindset. The course includes brain information metacognitive pieces relevant to having a growth mindset as well as goal setting and personal reflection.

We were pleased to have so many great applicants apply to pilot the course. We did have to limit the number of pilot teachers, and look forward to their commitment to giving CPM timely feedback on all aspects of the course. With the feedback, the writing team will adjust and revise the curriculum, readying it for sale for the 2019-20 school year. This is an exciting project, and the team is eager to hear what the students and teachers accomplish. Stay tuned for updates!

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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.

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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.