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The CMP curriculum development has been guided by our single mathematical standard:
All students should be able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness, and technical proficiency.
CMP is a problem-centered math curriculum. This means that mathematical concepts are embedded in interesting problems. As students explore a series of connected problems, they develop understanding of the embedded ideas. With the aid of the teacher, students abstract powerful mathematical ideas, skills, and problem-solving strategies. CMP students are developing mathematical habits of mind: solving problems, reflecting on solution methods, examining why the methods work, comparing methods, generalizing methods, and relating methods to those used in previous situations.
In class, students solve mathematical tasks. The class usually begins and ends with the teacher leading class discussions. During the class, the teacher monitors group work, making informal assessments of individuals and the whole group, and adjusting their teaching as they gather information. Students ask questions, pouring over their individual and collaborative work, making suggestions for improvements, and in the process making their own sense of the ideas being studied. Analyzing and critiquing the reasoning of others helps students strengthen their own understanding. Students record the learning of mathematical ideas, procedures, and vocabulary in notebooks. The notebook becomes a valuable resource for students with notes, vocabulary explanations, and worked examples for future reference.