News You Can Use Page 1 The CPM Educational Program Newsletter Keynote Session: Dr. Jo Boaler The Mindset Revolution: Teaching Mathematics for a Growth Mindset March 2015 Peggy Ratner, Teacher Reporter, Chula Vista, CA Jo Boaler’s keynote session at the CPM National Conference exposed those of us in attendance to the elephant in the room: the fixed mindset that only some kids are good at math and are born with the ability to do math. Dr. Boaler debunked this myth and provided strong evidence that the brain is actually quite flexible and changeable as long as we continue to get our synapses firing. In other words, we need to embrace the growth mindset. Why has the elephant been in the room for so long? Media messages in movies and television have played into the math ability myth by portraying math, especially algebra, as some mysterious algorithm that is only accessible to a small percentage of “smart” or “nerdy” individuals. This fixed mindset is especially damaging to girls and students of color. Parents often encourage a fixed mindset by either stating they themselves were never good at math or by constantly praising their children for being smart. A child who considers herself smart may believe the opposite once she encounters a task she cannot immediately master. This may lead her to think that maybe she is not so smart after all. Teachers also contribute to fixed mindsets by how they grade and group students. Ability grouping gives students on both sides of the spectrum a fixed mindset. Teachers grading tasks as either right or wrong also contribute to a fixed math mind set. A growth mindset, on the other hand, sees the brain as flexible and changeable. Synapses need to be fired to make deep connections. Boaler made the analogy that synapses in our brain will wash away like footprints in the sand unless we learn deeply. She shared a study about drivers for the Black Cab company in London who must learn thousands of routes and pass a rigorous exam to qualify as Black Cab driv- ers. Brain scans show that the hippocampus in these drivers grew as they studied deeply and prepared for this exam. The pedagogy in the United States has often made mathematics a “performance” subject rather than a “learning” subject. We tend to favor kids who are procedurally fast rather than those who think slowly and deeply about ideas. Math should not be about the speed in which one can complete “drill and kill” problems because when we face stress, working memory is blocked. It has been found that the lowest achievers are those that use memorization strategies for formulas and procedures whereas the highest achievers are those that think about big ideas and can make connections between these ideas. Boaler shared results of a three-year New York study that compared “tracked” versus “untracked” students. At the end of the three years, the untracked students had the highest achievement rates. It is the ideas that teachers and students hold about themselves as math learners that can affect the depth of their learning. We need to believe that we can learn anything and every child can excel at math with the right messages. Teachers need to provide math tasks that are open ended, with multiple entry points and approaches to problem solving. Student discourse is vital and making mistakes needs to be encouraged as that is when we get our synapses firing. They fire because the brain is challenged when a mistake is made, resulting in brain growth. We need to give our students the message: “When you make a mistake in math, your brain grows.” Providing constructive feedback when students do make errors is extremely important. This single sentence: “I am giving you this feedback because I believe in you” positively changed the way students achieved. Boaler even shared a video in the session of (Continued on page 3) Page 2 CPM Directors and Coordinators Everyone listed below can be contacted via email by using [email protected] The Directors will receive mail and faxes sent to the CPM Business Office c/o Debbie Jacobs. We look forward to hearing from you. EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Elizabeth Coyner (916) 391-3301 Karen Wootton (443) 396-4010 PROGRAM COORDINATORS Judy Kysh (SFSU) (510) 526-1619 Tom Sallee (UCD) (530) 574-0346 Administration: Debbie Jacobs (209) 745-2055 fax (916) 226-2427 Research Coordinator: Leslie Dietiker (Boston Univ.) (781) 281-4443 Curriculum Coordinator: Michael Kassarjian (949) 422-3497 Professional Development Coordinator: Chris Mikles (888) 808-4CPM Assessment Coordinator: Karen Wootton (410) 672-6474 Technology Coordinator: Carol Cho (925) 229-5091 CPM Business Office General transactions with the Business Office [email protected] (to send purchase orders) [email protected] (to check status of current orders) [email protected] (to submit timesheets) [email protected] (to submit AP invoices) Debbie Jacobs Administration and Accounts Payable [email protected] Workshop and Conference Registration cpm.gosignmeup.com Anna Poehlmann [email protected] Jill George Ordering, Accounts Receivable, Quotes, eBooks [email protected] General Information and database records Lorrayne Graham [email protected] Phone: (209) 745-2055 Fax: (209) 251-7529 REGIONAL COORDINATORS AK, AL, ID, LA, MT, OK, TN, TX, WY, New York City & Long Island, International Sites Chris Mikles (888) 808-4CPM fax (208) 777-8605 Central/Midwest/Southwest (AZ, IN, MI, NV, NM, OH, MO) Lonnie Bellman (559) 799-5866 Arkansas and Mississippi Gerry Long (901) 828-8221 Colorado Scott Blatnick (719) 684-6943 Hawaii Mike Long (808) 224-4178 IA, KS, NE Cheryl Krafka (402) 660-0160 Illinois Amy Rybaczuk (630) 709-7109 Kentucky Erin Schneider (502) 641-4797 Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, PA, SC, VA, WV) Tim Scripko (717) 434-8190 Minnesota Lisa Fisher-Comfort (651) 226-1729 New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, Upstate NY, VT) Barb West (802) 362-3329 North Dakota, South Dakota Sharon Rendon (605) 431-0216 Oregon, Washington Darrell Trussell (503) 393-8024 Utah and Southern Idaho Lisa Jasumback (801) 884-2153 Wisconsin Bruce Brusoe (608) 256-1207 California Central Valley (Modesto to Bakersfield) Karen Arth (559) 999-0927 Sacramento/Chico/Sonoma/North Coast Pat King (530) 219-9458 Southern California Glenda Wilkins (909) 794-1567 San Francisco Bay Area Gail Standiford (707) 688-8559 Santa Barbara/Ventura/San Luis Obispo Jerry Chiu (805) 403-3225 Page 3 Keynote Session (from page 1) her own daughter negatively reacting to a paragraph at the end of each CPM chapter that is written in such a way that might make a student see themselves as less than smart. She asked for suggestions on how this paragraph might be changed. These suggestions were collected to be considered for revisions to the CPM texts. Boaler stressed that we need to provide tasks that give students the “space to learn.” In a five week summer course that Boaler conducted with Stanford graduate students, underachieving 7th and 8th grade students learned to use algebra as a problem solving tool. Students were asked to think visually about a task involving patterns. They were not asked what the nth pattern would look like nor to count tiles and make a T-table and then come up with an equation. Instead, students discussed about seven different ways that the pattern visually changed for them. The ensuing discussion opened the eyes of students about different ways to approach a problem. These low achieving students remained engaged and discussed math for 40 minutes without interruption. By changing the questioning from “what is the pattern” to “how do you see the pattern,” deeper learning occurred. Boaler ended her session by encouraging teachers to watch the Stanford videos on mathematics learning on Youcubed.Stanford.edu as well as taking the student on-line class How To Learn Math for Students. These are powerful six to ten minute sessions for students ages ten and up. Students who do not believe in themselves as capable in mathematics, come away feeling empowered to do math after viewing these videos. These videos are also helpful for teachers. Session 2: Erica Warren, Incorporating the Growth Mindset in Your Classroom This session was a great and engaging follow up to Dr. Jo Boaler’s keynote address. Erica shared several strategies she has implemented to incorporate the growth mindset in her classroom as well as had us read research that shows the brain can be developed like a muscle. Erica’s handout and activities followed a lesson plan she has used with her students to help them adopt a growth mind set in all areas of their lives. She had us out of our seats touching two walls, three tables, and the floor to get us to find new partners to interact with. We shared things we are currently not good at but would like to improve, and then saw a Sesame Street video with singer Janelle Monae called “The Power of Yet.” This was followed by us restating our area of improvement with the word “yet” so that my initial statement: “I can’t do Zumba steps” (a fixed mind set) was changed to a growth mind set statement of “I can’t do Zumba steps, yet.” Students continue developing a growth mind set in Erica’s classroom by watching a Khan Academy video: “You Can Learn Anything” and Erica also shared various posters and slogans that teachers can have in their classrooms to promote the growth mindset: • Each wrong answer makes your brain stronger. • Your brain is a muscle. Math class is your daily workout. • I’ve learned so much from my mistakes I’m thinking of making a few more. Ideally students will create their own slogans. Session 12: Erica Warren, Bringing Technology Into Your Classroom This session stressed that technology is a tool, not a learning outcome. Learning objectives are always math based, but we also need to incorporate strategies for reading, writing, and 21st century skills. Strategies/applications that Erica used included one of her favorites, Poll Everywhere, in which students can answer a question posed by the teacher upon entering the classroom by using their own hand held devices to submit their answer. Students’ responses are displayed live in Keynote, PowerPoint or on the web. The teacher can quickly check for understanding during class time as well as use it as an exit slip. Another app Erica had us download was a QR reader. This was an exciting way to do math problems since students would take their device to one of several QR cards posted around the classroom. Their device would “read” the problem and students would (Continued on page 11) Page 4 Fine Tune your Student Study Teams Beth Baker, Eureka, CA It is easy to put students in teams of four, but it can be hard to get math out of them. My first training as a new, larval CPM teacher was in 1991. I am pretty sure the formal team roles of Facilitator, Task Manager, Resource Manager and Recorder/Reporter had not been invented yet. Or maybe I was so involved implementing all the other aspects of the training that I overlooked it. For many years I would half-heartedly start team roles and then give them up in favor of a more general set of expectations that, in my defense, actually did result in good team work. I really learned about the team roles when I trained to be a teacher leader, and diligently included their use in my trainings. I still did not use them myself though. I stayed a caterpillar for many seasons. In the summer of 2014, CPM hosted a Teaching Redesign Corps (TRC) and my team chose team roles as our area of study. My metamorphosis has yielded the best student teamwork results of my teaching experience. Finally, butterfly mode has been achieved! This year for the first time my students have been trained with fidelity in the team roles and my teams are soaring. This brings us to the question...how do we get optimal learning out of our student study teams? As the grade levels increase, so does the likely gap between most and least competent ability levels in our students. The following list is a compilation of what I have developed to help all students engage in the team learning structure. I learned the techniques listed below as a participant in CPM’s TRC and through CPM’s coaching system. My teaching demographic is 150 eighth graders, with 65% free and reduced lunch. Nothing is effective for 100% of students, but the following set of guidelines is effective for 95% of my students. For the other 5% I modify as much as I can, not always successfully. Sometimes I use an isolated “Safety Zone” desk and an alternative or a shortened assignment. When possible I have them work with an aide or tutor. The goal is always to re-integrate the 5% to teams as soon as we both think it is feasible. Norms. Set the class norms for optimal respect and responsibility within teams, and reward the desired behavior when you see it. Schools that have a campus-wide norm system can tap into that for math class. If not, the TEAMS acronym found in the Teacher’s Edition under Team Support is a good place to start. Motivation. See any list of “Top Ten” skills required of college graduates. The internet is full of them and everyone lists the importance of teams, even in a non-math context. When they see the large poster* I have in my room listing all the skills students need to acquire by the time they are adults, my students and parents believe that team work in math class is a great idea. Appropriate use of technology. Do not let fact fluency be a problem. Remove any stigma from slow fact recall by making sure everyone has and can use a calculator for even the simplest computations. Make graphing sites like Desmos.com readily available. The CCSSM calls for appropriate application of technology and by middle school students who are not fast in fact fluency can still fully participate in the lessons if they do not have to struggle with arithmetic as well as grappling with new concepts. Leadership. Emphasize the need for leadership in effective groups and point out that the most mathematically proficient or the speediest student is not necessarily the person with the best leadership skills. Students and parents both appreciate the opportunity for students to contribute more than just their math skills to the math learning experience. Student Study Team Roles. All CPM texts start with the roles. Take the time for students to learn them and use them all year. Train the teams diligently on what each role does. A study team role provides a starting place for each team member so the dominant students are less likely to run the whole discussion, and the shyer or more reluctant students have suggestions of how to begin. Team roles contribute both to classroom management and to the development of math content. Once you have invested the time to make team roles second-nature, your well-trained classes can run at an impressive level of autonomy. (Continued on page 5) Page 5 How I Became a Better Teacher at the CPM Conference Leah Gaines, Teacher Reporter, Westerville, OH When first arriving at the CPM conference I was excited to have some time to collaborate with other teachers and learn something new; little did I know it would be so much more than that and my experience at the conference has already had a positive impact on me professionally. Beginning with Jo Boaler, the keynote speaker, I was instantly inspired—she is so passionate about her work and research. She specifically spoke to issues that have been brought up on numerous occasions by our district’s parents and students as we have transitioned to CPM: ability grouping, students thinking they are “not good at math,” and the research behind the benefits of a growth mindset. Everything she shared with us made me a bigger believer in the fact that we are doing what is best for students and will continue to see huge growth in their learning. Next it was on to the individual sessions. The amount of information I soaked up during these sessions was astounding. I was amazed by the scope of what can be done with Desmos, I heard of fellow teachers’ experience with a standards-based grading Student Study Teams (from page 4) Accountability. Use a team points sheet*, participation quiz*, or tap into a school wide reward system if you have one. Make it explicit that following the team roles and doing math within the team is why teams are together, and that the grade book will reflect effective teamwork. Distractible or overly social teams can be pulled apart into pairs to enforce the message that we expect teams to be effective. Positive Feedback. Make sure to praise specific examples of exemplary work during circulation time. Circle great work with a highlighter to bring it to the attention of the team. Do a participation quiz*. Give teams feedback based on your observation of the whole class. Students are more receptive when they realize how many times the teacher notices that the team is engaged in the work. Easy access. Make sure team tasks have a “low floor” or easy access point. If they do not, create a system, I was introduced to tech tools I can incorporate into my everyday lessons, I learned how to grade with a rubric, and how to make my grading practices fair and equitable. I could go on and on about the invaluable learning that took place. But what really solidified it for me was the chance to discuss these topics with my peers. For the entirety of the two days I was constantly collaborating with teachers from all over America, from schools of all types and backgrounds. In true CPM fashion, this is where the true learning happened. I had the chance to internalize all of the information I had heard, was able to learn what others had learned in different sessions, and was able to compare notes and come away with so many ideas for my own classroom and school. For me, being a teacher is summed up perfectly in the saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees.” As any teacher knows, the day-to-day grind of planning, grading, emails, and meetings makes it hard to take time out to focus on your teaching practice as a whole. I know for me personally, taking time to come to the CPM conference helped me see the forest and remember why I am a teacher. resource page or other aide that scaffolds the beginning of the task. As you circulate at the beginning of a lesson, check in with students and make sure all students are able to grasp the problem. Students of all ability levels will get off to a stronger start if the beginning of the task is easy to understand and has a low first step. Once started, most students can take the next steps. For CPM teachers, student study teams are simultaneously the gold standard of learning and the most challenging aspect of our day. As I embark on my 26th year of teaching and my first year of TRC I am re-examining how to get the best learning from my student study teams. The above list has become my touchstone for improving student learning. I am happy to report that this year’s crop of caterpillars is developing into some really impressive butterflies! *The sample forms mentioned can be seen at my website, bethbakermath.com under the “For Educators” tab. Page 6 Staying Afloat in the Storm of Technology Blendspace is a possible life raft. SAMR Model is the tugboat. Sara Good, Parma, OH Just try it and see where it takes me. That is my new motto for deciding which new technology tools to use in my practice. I used to work under the assumption that if I researched and planned, I could be an expert in the latest information portal, from email to Moodle to the best apps to try. I preferred positioning myself ahead of the professional curve, feeling confident with sharing ideas in formal settings. Nowadays, I have come to realize that there is and never was one single curve on which to position myself. It is more like a turbulent sea of swells and sometimes crashing waves of ideas on which we are challenged to stay afloat. And these waves will not wait for me to organize a formal setting for rolling out ideas to teachers. So on CPM Day 7 training day, I just tried something and let the participants help me consider its potential. SAMR Model steers me in the right direction. I am not the type to sail deep, unchartered waters teeming with man-eating sharks! I prefer to know what will keep me buoyant, where I am headed, and how to steer myself back on course if I find myself adrift. The SAMR Model, created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, helps me with all of this. It provides me the framework from which to reflect on my improved use of technology. My goal is to move from Enhancement to Transformation practices; that is, to use technology in ways that not simply replace older technology, such as an overhead projector or paper and pencil, but to create impactful learning opportunities for students that were not possible before its use. I am not there yet, but at least I have an idea of where I am headed. It is all word of mouth. Like most anything, I learn the best ideas from trusted friends and colleagues. When I heard of Blendspace from colleague and CPM Teacher Leader Jen McCalla, I tried it out to see where it could take me. Blendspace is a free collaboration platform created with teachers in mind. It allows teachers to quickly organize lessons that include mixed media from the most popular sources such as YouTube, Flickr, Educreations and Google Drive. Teachers can create classes, assign lessons to classes, and include simple formative quizzes. Students can collaborate on ideas and even rate the lesson. If Blendspace were a life raft amidst a sea of changing information, it is worth grabbing ahold of its line. Blendspace provides an efficient way to organize and display content. How the Blendspace lesson is set up and the type of content displayed determines the level of its effective use according to the SAMR Model. I decided to organize content with Blendspace for CC2 Day 7 Training instead of using a traditional PowerPoint. I had only used Blendspace a handful of times with my own district teachers, so I was by no means an expert (a concept I believe no longer exists). In my stubborn pursuit to “just try it and see,” I learned something new from the trusted CC2 colleagues that day. I moved from Substitution to Augmentation. Blendspace allows for the simplest implementation. I originally intended to use it as a slideshow, such as PowerPoint, to keep me focused on the day’s agenda. I typed up simple content in each Blendspace tile, like a PowerPoint slide, and was able to easily change the order. A novel tool, but nothing novel about its use. In the SAMR model, this is Substitution at its best. I then asked Reporter/Recorders to join me in a Huddle with their devices. I made them collaborators (Continued on page 8) Page 7 Six Degrees of Separation – CPM Style Mark Cote’, CPM Project Manager Every so often the phone rings and, instead of an insurance salesperson or a scammer calling to transfer a large sum of money into your bank account (just send him the pin and the account number), it is someone you actually want to talk to. I received such a call last fall. “Hi Uncle Mark! It’s Angelina,” said my niece with a very upbeat and joyful tone of voice. “Hi Angelina! Wonderful to hear from you. How are you doing?” I replied. “I’m fine. You know what? They handed out our new books in math class today, and your name is in it! I told my teacher that you’re my uncle and she said you should come visit our class as a guest speaker!” Angelina seemed truly excited about this occurrence, but you could also hear the adolescent voice of doubt in her head wondering ‘Uh oh. Is this going to be embarrassing?’ “Wow, what a coincidence!” I replied. “And how nice of your teacher to invite me.” Having worked with adolescents for the better part of thirty years, I added, “We’ll do something fun and I promise not to be embarrassing.” This delightful conversation happened because Angelina is currently a student at Herman Intermediate School in San Jose, CA. The Oak Grove School District is piloting the Core Connections Middle Grades Program. By happenstance, I would soon be traveling from Washington state to San Jose for a family celebration. After exchanging several emails in December with Barbara Maguire, Angelina’s energetic and gracious teacher at Herman, and Principal Laura Meusel, a visitation date was set. We continued to talk during the next several weeks about course objectives, class progress, and possible lesson ideas. I was also contacted by Shannon Anido-Bui, the Oak Grove Educational Services Coordinator about the possibility of visiting other classes and meeting with several teachers from the other middle schools at the end of the teaching day. This sounded like a wonderful opportunity to offer additional support. Shannon gave rave reviews for the initial training provided by Gail Standiford, CPM Regional Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area and Teacher Leaders Gabrielle Baumgartner and Jan CarlsonWilliams. What a superb visit to Herman Intermediate! Barbara and I enjoyed the opportunity to team teach a lesson that helped the students understand the connection between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations. We also employed several study team strategies to promote discussions and help consolidate the learning. The final bell of the day came very quickly. After bus duty, Barbara and I debriefed as teachers from the other intermediate schools in the district arrived. Over the next hour we had a stimulating discussion about grouping, pacing, and a number of other topics. As I packed up and prepared to leave, Shannon remarked, “Thank you so much for your time! I have loved learning about CPM during this pilot year!” How did I get to help work on the textbook? I have been fortunate to participate in numerous (Continued on page 10) Page 8 Bridging Practices in Argumentation Jocelyn Dunnack, Mansfield Middle School, Storrs, CT CPM problems are ripe for teachers to promote the Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs), but as I have been repeatedly reminded this year, SMPs (like a lot of other things) take time, effort, and practice. I have been part of a research collaboration called Bridging Practices among Connecticut Mathematics Educators (BPCME), which brought together UConn researchers, graduate students, and teachers from urban, suburban and rural districts to learn about the third SMP: Students will construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. We have developed resources to support teachers and students in the process of mathematical argumentation. Here are a few things I have learned: 1. Arguments are not describing your steps or showing your work. Arguments consist of claims, warrants, and evidence. You have to state a claim, and provide enough explicit evidence to prove you are right. It is more like those fun problems that have multiple strategies or solutions, the ones where students have to prove their solution was actually mathematically sound. Argument is about why you are right, mathematically speaking. SAMR Model (from page 6) of the Blendspace lesson so that they could edit and add content. Each team was able to take and upload pictures of their STTS concept map, write a description for it and even attempt to make comments on each other’s maps. Instead of a Gallery Walk, Blendspace allowed for a Bansho analysis in which all ideas are accepted, analyzed and stored for future reflection. If CPM were not such a transformative, interactive program compared to traditional classrooms, I might be able to rate these uses at the Modification Level. I admit that no Modification or Redefinition took place on Day 7, but we certainly discussed potential ideas: • Ask teams to work Core problems and create Educreations videos of their solutions. Post 2. At first, students needed to learn how to provide enough evidence. Then, they had to learn how to explain the reasoning as to why their evidence even mattered. That was much harder to do, and much more important. 3. The CPM teachers in BPCME had no trouble implementing argumentation (and seeing growth in our students’ work). Great tasks were already part of our lessons! However, we did have to devote extra time for these tasks. By digging into a good argument question and skipping a few of the other questions in the lesson, we found deeper understanding than we previously got. It was definitely worth the investment and the sacrifice. Our work will be compiled and submitted for publication approval by NCTM this summer. Even though I had already been doing argument tasks that existed in CPM, it was very powerful for me to see what happened when I made a conscious choice to explicitly teach a math practice, rather than just knowing it was embedded. Guess what? My kids could not really do it at first, but now they can! I am sure you are not surprised. videos to Blendspace and require classmates to post comments and questions. • Encourage students to find other online content or create videos to add to Blendspace lessons that will help classmates construct understanding for the lesson’s learning targets. • Create Blendspace lessons for Learning Logs submissions and Chapter Closures. • Share Blendspace lessons with parents to improve communication as well as their content knowledge. What ideas do you have? Add them to the Blendspace! Create a free account, join the class with code uepk and add your comments to the first tile. (The last tile takes you to Padlet…another technology life raft.) Just try it and see where it takes you! Page 9 Find: The Problem Karen Wootton, Director of Assessment My new mission, along with changing the perception of mathematics and math teaching in the U.S. within my lifetime, is to eradicate the use of the word “find” from mathematics. This mission formulated slowly; in fact, I spent the first 20 years of my career using the term freely. “Find x” was definitely part of my lexicon as was “Find the width,” “Find the area,” “Find the distance”. I used it all the time. Maybe it was the well-circulated comic that had me questioning my practice and pushed me towards this mission. At first I just made it a personal goal to not use the “F” word in math problems that I wrote, but now I have formulated my opinion on why I must rid the math world of “find.” Some people might dismiss the comic as just the response of a smart aleck student, and not worthy of extra clarification. I strongly disagree with that and will now explain why we must be more clear with our language. This is a bigger problem than thwarting smart alecks. Let’s remind ourselves of one of our Standards of Mathematical Practice: attend to precision. Is it really precise to say “Find x”? What does that ask the student to do? In particular, what does that tell the struggling student to do? The definition of “find” is “to discover or perceive by chance.” Is that how you want your students to think that is how we do math? Do you want them to think of solving math problems as random, or by chance? For many students, and in particular, struggling students, most of their confusion stems from not seeing the connections, and think that most of math is random. To many struggling students, math is for the lucky who are good guessers of what to do next, or for those people with the elusive math gene that enabled them to be “math people.” Let us explicitly ask students what it is we want or expect. Rather than “Find the intercepts” which implies that there is some way to just have them appear before you, change this to “What are the intercepts?” Asking the question at least implies there is something for the reader to do rather than rely on chance. Better yet, “Calculate the intercepts” or “Determine the intercepts.” If we ask “Find the intercepts” we must give full credit to the student that draws arrows pointing to the intercepts on the graph because the student has accomplished exactly what was asked. But, if that is what you want students to do, why not say “Point to the intercepts on the graph”? If we expect our students to attend to precision, we must model what that looks like. Even if we are asking something that might have an element of luck, we can do better than “find.” “Find a strategy” can be replaced with “Develop a strategy” or “Create a strategy” which implies there could be creative work, but work none the less. So here is your challenge: whenever you are writing a math problem and are about to type the “F” word, reconsider. Can you turn a find-statement into a more precise question? Can you write the question as precisely as possible, to be sure your expectations are clear? Let us stop the perception that math is done by chance. Page 10 Chris’s Corner Chris Mikles, Director of Teacher Education I am thrilled to report that the 2015 CPM National Conference was a success, bringing 340 attendees together for 51 sessions. We had far more interest than we had space, so please make your plans early for next year’s conference that will be held again in San Francisco on Feb 26-27, 2016. It took a lot of great people to enable us to successfully pull off this conference. I want to thank all of our speakers. Many of them offered to repeat their session so that we could open up the numbers of attendees. We had 51 sessions, with 45 speakers and cospeakers. And, I want to individually thank our keynote speaker, Jo Boaler for her thought provoking, inspiring talk. We had a lot of great support during the conference. Thank you to the Regional Coordinators who served as Proctors, worked as AV techs, answered questions, handled check-in at the registration tables, set up the session rooms, stuffed the swag bags, and mostly just pitched in and did whatever was needed. There was a lot of work leading up to the conference, and I’d like to point out many who helped set us up for success. Thanks also to Elizabeth Coyner who took care of all the logistics. She took care of details none of us would think of. Thanks to Karen Wootton who was my sounding board for everything. She read all the submissions and grants and helped to make difficult choices. She, Elizabeth and Matt at Six Degrees of Separation (from page 7) outstanding professional development opportunities with CPM. One of the very best was assisting in the creation of the Connections Series and the Core Connections Series as a contributing author on several writing teams. For 26 years, CPM has relied on scores of classroom teachers just like you and me to make the textbooks. After responding to a request for writers and submitting several sample problems, I was asked by Senior Managing Editor Leslie Dietiker to join the team. A year of hard work lead to one of TC put together the program booklet to make it look very professional. Thanks to Bob Petersen for getting all the supplies and handouts for the conference. Thanks to Jill George, Lorrayne Graham, and Susan Hoffmier for all their work on registration, signs, set up and check in. Karla Chandler is a name most of you know as the person who took care of registration and the wait list. Anna Poehlman took care of the hotel rooms and some of the flights. Thanks to Danny Orasco for all his help. Thank you to our sponsors for supporting us. Thank you to those people I forgot to name. I especially want to thank Mark Cote, the cochairperson of this conference. He was definitely my right hand man. And among many other contributions, he got our sponsors and the swag bag, with all the goodies that went inside. I thank everyone again for your interest in this conference, whether or not you were able to attend. Without your desire to attend, the conference would have never happened. As you can see, this conference was a team effort, and all of you are a part of the CPM team! Note: The conference url, http://conf2015.cpm. org/, will remain active where you can download speaker handouts. If you did not fill out your feedback forms from the program, you can still submit feedback at this url. We would love to hear your suggestions for next year’s conference! the proudest moments in my professional life, holding a copy of the finished text while reflecting on the dedication of dozens of CPM teachers who committed an enormous number of hours to the project. And now, our manual for learning mathematics was in the hands of my niece, one of ten million students who have participated in a CPM course. I am fairly certain that Angelina was not too embarrassed to have her uncle visit school because she was willing to be in the picture. Here we are, two members of the CPM family, at zero degrees of separation! Page 11 News Bytes Core Connections Courses are available in Spanish! In order to make mathematics more accessible for more students and their families a Spanish translation of the CPM Core Connections series is available. The Spanish versions are identical to the English versions and can be obtained as two-volume softbound set with an accompanying eBook. The complete middle school series, Core Connections Courses 1-3 is available now. The translating of the high school curriculum is currently in production. The first volume of all six Core Connections courses, Core Connections Algebra, Core Connections Geometry, Core Connections Algebra 2, Core Connections Integrated I, Core Connections Integrated II, and Core Connections Integrated III, will be available in July 2015. Volume Two will follow by the end of the year. The Parent Guides with Extra Practice in Spanish will be available as downloads on our website. The sample chapter tests from the assessment materials for these courses will also be made available in Spanish. Thank you for making this request. CPM is proud to be able to offer this service. formation about their learning and understanding as well as give information to the teacher. Typically these lessons provide a problem difficult enough for students to grapple with and discuss with teammates. It should be relatively easy to understand (low entry level) but allow students to go to great heights in what they can do with it (high ceiling.) You can see samples of FALs at the webpage for the Mathematics Assessment Project, http://map.mathshell.org/ materials/lessons.php. FALs could provide a different approach to a topic of mathematics from what students might have already seen, or allow students to use what they know in a new context to deepen their understanding. If you enjoy writing lessons and believe you would be able to produce quality lessons, please apply by filling in the form at http://goo.gl/forms/T5nA6uCI48. Note: you will need to submit a sample of a formative assessment lesson that you created yourself. The deadline for applying and submitting is April 10, 2015. For more information contact Karen Wootton, Assessment Director, at [email protected] Formative Assessment Lesson Writing Project Summer Camp for New Teachers CPM is forming a team to meet for one week, July 20 - 24, 2015 to write Formative Assessment Lessons. The location is yet to be determined. Check the CPM website for information about a possible camp this summer 2015 for teachers who are new to the teaching profession. We hope to have more information posted by April 1, 2015. An FAL is designed to give students real-time in- Keynote Session (from page 3) solve this one problem with a partner, and once solved would go to another QR card posted in the classroom and repeat the process. This seemed to be a very engaging way to get students to work on word problems by only having to tackle one problem at a time and having the opportunity to get out of their seats to “read” their next problem. Many other apps along with helpful directions and tips were included in the thorough handout Erica provided. Included were step by step directions and links for using the CPM eTools, Explain Everything, Google Drive/Google Docs and Tiny URL. A Fortune Cookie activity was incorporated into the session in which participants could read slips of papers with technology fears and concerns listed on them as well as helpful tips. Erica encouraged us to try just one or two new technology applications and incorporate them daily until we and our students are comfortable using them. She also reminded us to always have a back up plan if we plan to use technology for the times that there are “glitches” with the system. Note: The conference url, http://conf2015.cpm. org/, will remain active; you can download speaker’s handouts such as Erica Warren’s. Presorted First Class US Postage PA I D Sacramento, CA Permit No. 2898 CPM Educational Program 9498 Little Rapids Way Elk Grove, CA 95758 In this issue... Recap of CPM’s National Conference Session Highlights STTS, SAMR Model and more Future projects NEWS FLASH The assessment site has been updated. Visit the new assessment site at the same url, assessment.cpm.org. Your tests are now editable online and can be downloaded as a pdf, Word, or Open Office documents. At the links below you can get support for the new features at the assessment site. Also, watch for a new CPM website coming soon! http://cpmprogram.screenstepslive.com/s/teacher/ m/1034/l/319177-new-beta-test-bank-how-do-iselect-questions-for-a-test http://cpmprogram.screenstepslive.com/s/teacher/ m/1034/l/319218-new-test-bank-how-do-i-edit-online-a-saved-problem-set 3.14159 Is the number for which I pine So if you hear me loudly sigh Don’t give me cake; just give me PI! How did you celebrate Pi Day?
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