Lesson Plan for Activity 2

Lesson Plan Handouts Activity FAQ

Summary of Activity 2: Analyzing Curriculum Spaces

Prospective teachers will complete analyses of curriculum materials in groups of 2-4 students during class. They will analyze one or more curriculum lessons using a Curriculum Spaces Analysis Table. There are two versions of this table. The longer version supports prospective teachers on identifying spaces within the materials and designing adaptations for leveraging and expanding those spaces. The shorter version focuses prospective teachers on specific strategies that can be used to open spaces in curriculum materials. A lesson we have frequently used for this activity is the Everyday Mathematics lesson (Grade 4, 6-2 Strategies for Division) featured in our practitioner article, Three Strategies for Opening Curriculum Spaces (Drake et al., in press). Prospective teachers might then complete the curriculum analysis activity and table for other lessons.

HANDOUTS download includes:

  • CP 9 – Curriculum Spaces Analysis Table
  • CP 10 – Curriculum Spaces Analysis Table (short)

  • Launch

    Pass out the Curriculum Spaces Analysis Table for prospective teachers to record their thoughts. Introduce the notion of a “space” in curriculum and consider a couple of example spaces for initial discussion (prompts in lesson plan).


    Prospective teachers analyze a mathematics lesson chosen by the instructor (or recommended in lesson plan). They can either complete the Curriculum Spaces Table together in small groups, or they can analyze a lesson as a whole class using the table and then analyze a different lesson in pairs or small groups. Guide prospective teachers to notice places where connections to mathematical thinking and children’s funds of knowledge takes place (or is limited), various strategies introduced, potential mathematical pitfalls or errors in the text, as well as consistency between lesson objectives, task(s), and learning outcomes.


    The summary part of this activity consists of a debriefing discussion in class, either in small or whole groups. Present prompts from the lesson plan to guide discussion around prospective teachers’ analyses of mathematics curriculum materials. Prospective teachers might also address prompts in individual written reflections.

    Goals for Analyzing Curriculum Spaces

    • integrate understandings and practices related to children’s multiple mathematical knowledge bases and the use of mathematics curriculum materials.
    • identify and enact adaptations to curriculum materials that create “spaces” for eliciting and building on children’s multiple mathematical knowledge bases.


    Activity 1 Activity 3 Activity 4