Pacing

When using CMP, you should try to maintain a steady pace that will allow you to get through as much of the material as possible. Because ideas are developed over several Problems, it is important for you not to spend too much time on any one Problem. In some schools, district coordinators set timeline schedules to help teachers establish a sense of pacing. Each Unit contains pacing schedules for 50–60 minute periods and block scheduling that were based on field testing. Dictating pacing is difficult. Many variables impact pacing: the number of years you have been implementing CMP, the needs of your students in any given year, the number of days allocated to teaching, and the length of your class period. Over the course of a year, the 10-minute difference between a 50- and a 60-minute class period amounts to about one Unit. Also in this era of standardized testing, some schools are adding review days, test prep days, pretesting, and standardized testing of various kinds in addition to the Common Core tests. In some districts the number of days devoted to reviewing or taking tests is more than 30 days. This shortens the time for teaching by 1 to 2 months.

In the first year of implementation, you may feel the need to supplement the materials with drill and practice. This will take time away from CMP and slow the pace. The curriculum incorporates practice and skill development into the lessons.

You may have other concerns about homework, grading, basic skills, and collaborative learning. These concerns may affect how you set the pacing of a Unit. You should address these issues during professional development or staff meetings.

In general most CMP teachers suggest the following guidelines when planning a lesson:

Launch

Spend as little time as possible on the Launch. Get students engaged as quickly as possible to allow for their work time.

Explore

Use the goals and Focus Questions to help you decide when an Explore can be ended. Remember that all students do not have to answer all parts of a Problem before you begin the Summarize.

Summarize

Allow enough class time for students to discuss, question, connect, and generalize the mathematics of the problem to ensure that most students are comfortable with the mathematics of the problem. If you run out of time, do not skip the Summarize. Find a way to complete the conversation about the Problem the next day.