List of FAQ

Each activity (1-3) has its own page with FAQ specific to the activity.
Activity 1 FAQ Activity 2 FAQ Activity 3 FAQ

How long does it take to complete the CME module? And when during the course should I implement the activities?

The tables below reflect several different options for implementing the activities across multiple class sessions.

Option A: Activities conducted over a 3-week period, mostly during class sessions

Week 1: Launch Week 2: Visits and lesson planning Week 3: Lesson presentations
·      PSTs form school-based groups (3-4 PSTs per group)

·      PSTs share information from students about communities activities, familiar settings

·      PSTs select two community locations for visits, conduct visits and reflect

•       PSTs talk with students about visits, learn more about students experiences and practices

•       PSTs select one location for follow up visit, as needed

•       PSTs brainstorm and plan a mathematics lesson based on visits

•       PSTs prepare PPT presentation that reports on community visits, and learning about mathematics in the community. Presentations highlight tasks and lessons.

•       Presentations and reflection session in class.

Option B: Activities conducted over a 6-week period, mostly outside of class sessions

Week 1: Launch Week 5: Check In Week 6: Lesson Presentations
·      Instructor introduces assignment

·      Shows pictures and review assignment requirements including group and individual products.

•       Check in with PSTs about progress on community walk and lesson planning progress.

•       Show exemplar lesson “Las Socias” with specific attention to launch, use of L1, and rationale for number choice.

•       Groups make 7 minute presentation of CME Lesson with highlights from their walk and

•       Presentations are embedded in a session devoted to culturally responsive pedagogy

When time is limited (either in-class time, or out-of-class time), we have found that productive adaptations include:

  • replacing the final reflection paper with an in-class quick write followed by a group discussion;
  • encouraging students to visit community locations on their own, outside of class time (days when schools are closed and preservice teachers are not spending time in field work have worked well);
  • replacing the full lesson plan development with an in-class work session in which preservice teachers brainstorm ways they might build on what they learned in their community walk in their math teaching;
  • combining the community mathematics walk with other community engagement experiences (in this instance, it is critical that preservice teachers focus specifically on mathematical practices in the community, as part of their broader community exploration)

Minimally, all teachers need to engage in some sort of community walk, reflect on what the learned in the walk and how they can draw on these new understandings and connections in their mathematics teaching.

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Do you have your prospective teachers complete any readings as part of the CME module?

There are many related readings appropriate for prospective teachers that will enrich their experiences with the CME module. We recommend that you consult our related readings for prospective teachers list and decide which readings fit your goals for the module and the course.

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How does the CME module connect to your other modules?

Case Study Module Connections:
This module can connect to an activity from the case study module, the “Getting to Know You” interview (Activity 1). In this activity, prospective teachers conduct an informal interview with a student or students in their field placement classroom to gather information about the children’s home and community experiences, the children’s knowledge of the community, and the children’s ideas about the use of / relevance of math in their community.

Classroom Practices Module Connections:
This module also connects to the analysis lenses used in the video lens activity in the classroom practices module (Activity 1). More specifically, the instructor can use ideas and prompts from the various lenses to draw prospective teachers’ attention to particular aspects of sample CME lessons. For example, when prospective teachers review the Las Socias CME lesson, the Power and Participation Lens help prospective teachers to notice ways that teachers planned for various kinds of participation and included specific moves to address potential status issues.

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How does the CME module connect to big ideas in mathematics methods courses?

The CME module connects to key concepts in mathematics methods courses, such as building on children’s thinking in instruction, and connecting to students’ experiences outside of school. As prospective teachers prepare a mathematics lesson plan based on what they learned from their community visits, they are explicitly probed to consider what they know about children’s mathematical thinking, AND what they know about children’s experiences in the community, including ways that children (or children’s family members or community members) might engage in mathematics outside of school.

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How does the CME module connect to teaching mathematics for social justice?

Prospective teachers are encouraged to explore issues of fairness and social justice in the CME Module.For example, instructors might ask prospective teachers to talk with families, teachers, children and community members to identify important issues and challenges in the community, including issues of inequity or injustice. In our experience, prospective teachers have written lessons that explored issues such as a) the mathematics of a neighborhood payday loan establishment; b) the cost to replace a cement running track at a community park with a tartan (rubber) track that would be more supportive of runner’s joints; c) cost of prescriptions at a neighborhood pharmacy for families without insurance; d) excessive water use at a construction site near the elementary school; e) equitable/inequitable placement of fire stations in the city; f) adding a safety fence around a community park that is surrounded by major roads with high levels of traffic; among others. These lessons have often focused on using mathematics as a tool to investigate, analyze, and better understand the issues, including important inequities or injustices. We have found that conversations with children and adults in the community have been essential to this process – particularly in the cases where prospective teachers are outsiders themselves to the school/neighborhood community, dialogues with community members have been critical to enhancing prospective teachers awareness of key issues and challenges.

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How does the CME module connect to Education Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA)?

The Education Teacher Performance Assessment (EdTPA) is a high stakes performance-based assessment used by several states to grant licensure (Pearson, 2014). An important component of the EdTPA requires prospective teachers to show evidence of how the mathematical focus of the lesson segment (a 3-5 lesson sequence) connects to “Personal/Cultural/Community assets.” A guiding question of the planning commentary specifically asks, “What do you know about your students’ everyday experiences, cultural backgrounds and interests?” (Pearson, 2014, p. 13). The community math exploration provides an explicit opportunity to create a mathematical lesson/task grounded in what the prospective teachers learn about their students and communities.

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To learn more about the concepts, research, etc. related to the community math exploration module see our list of related readings for instructors.

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