Videos can be used during professional development, as part of collaborative planning within a building, or by individual teachers and administrators.
These videos should stimulate dialogue about these important aspects of teaching:
- Classroom discourse centered on developing understanding of mathematics;
- Students taking responsibility for their learning;
- Students expecting to make sense of mathematics; and
- Teachers listening, questioning, and reflecting on student learning and the mathematical goals for the lesson and then using this information to plan for the next day.
Instead of watching a video as a demonstration of “how to”, participants should try to put themselves in the teacher’s shoes and ask:
- Were my actions/words productive in pushing kids to think harder or to make the mathematics clearer?
- How can I use this evidence to plan for tomorrow?
The videos should be thought of as artifacts that will help viewers learn more about teaching and learning if studied carefully.
Promising professional development practices include teachers working together, planning, teaching, and reflecting on common lesson plans.
During the planning of the lesson, teachers familiarize themselves with the mathematics embedded in the problem and how it is connected to the mathematical goals of the Unit and Investigation.
- What are the mathematical concepts or strategies that need to come out of the problem?
- How might students solve the Problem?
- How will I launch the Problem?
- What will I look for in the explore phase?
- How do I plan for an effective Summarize Phase? (The teacher guide for each Unit can provide insights into these questions.)
Teachers teach the lesson keeping in mind the goals as they guide, observe, redirect, question, and listen to their students’ interactions around the Problem. As they observe and interact with students during the Launch and Explore phases, they look for evidence to use during the Summarize that will highlight the mathematical and reasoning goals.
More information on the Launch, Explore, and Summarize phases of the lesson can be found at Teacher Materials.
Teachers come together to reflect and discuss the results of their teaching.
- What were my goals?
- What evidence do I have that my students met these goals?
- What difficulties did students experience? Were there any “ah ha” moments?
- What am I still puzzled about?
- How will this affect my plans for tomorrow?
The reflection discussion can be enhanced if individual teachers in the group can share a video of their lesson. If collaboration occurs around one of the Investigations that are reflected in the CMP videos, then the teacher and the classroom in the video can serve as partners in this process.
For teachers, leaders, and administrators new to CMP, it might be important to watch the videos to gain a broad view of what a CMP classroom might look like. Over time the videos can be watched with different questions in mind. Some focus questions are provided as a start. Other foci are provided in the discussion documents.