CMP may be very different from curricula with which teachers and administrators are familiar. Because important concepts are embedded within Problems rather than explicitly stated and demonstrated in the student text, teachers play a critical role in helping students develop appropriate understanding, strategies, and skills. Teachers’ thoughtful engagement with the curriculum and their reflections on student learning will create a productive classroom environment.
A typical CMP classroom has students and teachers actively working together in pursuit of an important and challenging mathematical task. The teacher connects to prior knowledge and provides the challenge. (The Launch) Students work together to solve the Problem as the teacher moves around the classroom observing, prompting, redirecting, questioning, and encouraging. Students are engaged in the challenge, working together to find a solution, making conjectures, validating conjectures, considering alternative strategies, questioning each other, and communicating their findings. (The Explore) Then, the teacher and students come together at the end of the lesson to share, solidify, clarify, validate, generalize, connect, and extend their understandings. (The Summarize)