Things to Consider
In order for the implementation of CMP to be successful, teachers need to be on board. The size, composition of, and past experiences of the school district and staff will determine how the following actions are handled.
- Consider piloting units before adopting the entire curriculum.
- Develop an implementation plan. Will all students (and teachers) begin using the materials at the same time? Will they be phased in over the course of two to three years?
- Establish plans for long-term professional development for teachers that coincide with the implementation schedule. See details for professional development in Preparing Teachers.
- Designate teacher or building leaders responsible for scheduling and planning professional development.
Districts need to take early action on the preceding items. The best professional development plans have gone astray because schools did not take the time to share the rationale for a new curriculum focus with the key players in their districts or to develop a wide base of support. If a district committee, representing all the key players, has collected evidence about CMP as suggested above, then any questions from parents or teachers can be honestly and rationally answered. If the adoption process has been transparent, then the community will have had an opportunity to ask questions and seek reassurance.
Comments on Implementation
The Units in CMP were identified, developed, and carefully sequenced to help students build deep understanding of and skill with important mathematical ideas. Once a Unit has been taught, the understandings and procedural skills developed are used in succeeding Units to build understandings of new concepts and skills. Therefore, the order in which the Units are listed in each grade is the recommended order (See the Contents in Brief by Unit table which presents the recommended unit sequence).
Two typical implementation plans are:
- All three grades in the first year, and
- A three-year plan - one grade level at a time
If the school chooses to implement all three grades in the first year, it is important for teachers at each grade level to know what mathematics is taught in the previous year and in the succeeding year. Most of the material that is taught in sixth grade occurs in most sixth-grade textbooks; however, if something is taught in CMP that was not taught the previous year in your school, then the seventh-grade teachers may need to add an extra lesson or two to cover this topic. Sixth- and eighth-grade teachers should use the same procedures. After the first year, there should be very little, if any, adjustment needed to the curriculum that is prescribed for each grade.
How many Units a school teaches at each grade level is difficult to predict. Length of the class periods, number of days spent on instruction, district objectives, and the background of incoming sixth-grade students are just some of the variables. In addition, class periods vary from 40 to 90 minutes across the country. The difference of 10 minutes for each class period can mean as much as a difference of one more Unit being taught per year.