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CPM Workshops

CPM Workshops are a partnership created with teachers and site administration to improve instruction through specialized workshops and coaching.

CPM's Position Paper on Assessment

To ensure all students are afforded the same opportunities for appreciation and success, CPM researches the best practices to support learning. It is on this research that CPM has based its philosophy and methodology for the position paper on assessment.  

CPM's Position Paper on Homework

CPM's philosophy and methodology surrounding homework.  The Review & Preview portion of each lesson is CPM's opportunity for independent practice.  

CPM's Three Pillars of Research

In the seven years since the original CPM Research Report was posted, the new research has continued to validate the efficacy of the three pillars of CPM pedagogy:

  1. Students learn ideas more deeply when they discuss ideas with classmates.
  2. Students learn ideas more usefully for other arenas when they learn by attacking problems—ideally from the real world.
  3. Students learn ideas more permanently when they are required to engage and re-engage with the ideas for months or even years.

These three principles (termed respectively as collaborative learning, problem-based learning and mixed, spaced practice) have driven the development of the CPM textbooks from the beginning, and each year these principles are validated by more research to prove their effectiveness.



The dashboard is a virtual location where CPM users can interact with the Learning Management System. It provides at-a-glance views of instructional element outcomes progress.

Deficit Mindset

Deficit thinking refers to the notion that students (particularly low income, minority students) fail in school because such students and their families experience deficiencies that obstruct the learning process (e.g. limited intelligence, lack of motivation and inadequate home socialization). Deficit Thinking does not Support Productive Struggle in Learning Mathematics.

A deficit mindset often results in Educators rescuing students from difficult tasks, and removing the opportunity for productive struggle

  • “Teachers sometimes perceive student frustration or lack of immediate success as indicators that they have somehow failed their students. As a result, they jump in to “rescue” students by breaking down the task and guiding students step by step through the difficulties. Although well intentioned, such “rescuing” undermines the efforts of students, lowers the cognitive demand of the task, and deprives students of opportunities to engage fully in making sense of the mathematics” Principles to Action, pg. 48

Mindsets must shift about what it means to be “successful” in mathematics. Productive struggle should be considered as a valuable part of the learning process. 

  • “Mathematics classrooms that embrace productive struggle necessitate rethinking on the part of both students and teachers. Students must rethink what it means to be a successful learner of mathematics, and teachers must rethink what it means to be an effective teacher of mathematics. “Principles to Action, pg. 49

“Teachers greatly influence how students perceive and approach struggle in the mathematics classroom. Even young students can learn to value struggle as an expected and natural part of learning, as demonstrated by the class motto of one first-grade math class: “If you are not struggling, you are not learning” Principles to Action, pg. 50

Depth of Knowledge

Depth of Knowledge or DoK is another type of framework used to identify the level of rigor for an assessment. In 1997, Dr. Norman Webb developed the DoK to categorize activities according to the level of complexity in thinking.  CPM Classwork problems are often DoK level 3 or 4, while Review & Preview problems are often level 1 or 2.

Descriptive, Effective Feedback

Good feedback improves student learning. It has the following qualities:

Specific: It is a tool for future change.  Ask yourself, "What worked?" or "What does the student understand?" Then ask, "What needs improvement?"  

Actionable: Emphasize what could be done differently rather than what is wrong.  Actionable feedback is often in the form of a question.  "How could you have justified this differently?"

Timely: The most effective feedback is immediate and frequent.  How can your feedback be timely for both formative and summative work?

Respectful:  Make an effort to look for the good while still focusing on future changes. How can this work be an asset for future learning not just for this student but other students?

Discussion Points

Some lessons include questions embedded in the task that study teams should use to guide their discussions, investigations, and problem-solving processes.


Mode of Instruction: Partner work           Purpose: Making connections

Objective: To implement tasks that promote reasoning and problem solving, students share without interruption for a short period of time. Teacher monitors through circulation.

Student think-alouds are used in a variety of ways. For example, partners take turns talking about feelings of returning to school. Or, students express concern about math topics on upcoming assessments. A Dyad allows students time to talk without interruption. Each student receives equal time. The listener does not talk; a Dyad is not a conversation. Students maintain eye contact and positive body language.

  • Students share—without interruption—with a partner.

  • Each partner shares for an equal amount of time.

  • Listening partner remains quiet and uses positive body language.

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