

Comparison
with Traditional

Mostly familiar mathematics  Some unfamiliar mathematics 
Sample problems in text  Guiding questions in text 
Sample solutions in text  Student solutions in notes and summaries 
Following someone else's reasoning  More independent sense making 
Homework Assignment 
Homework Assignment 
Usually numerical or short answer  Sometimes short, often more lengthy answers 
Some symbolic work or algorithm demonstrated  Symbolic or graphical/tabular evidence, accompanied by a complete explanation 
Rarely a check  Reflection on whether answer is reasonable and supported by evidence 
Problems are typically divided into sections: "A" questions are designed to be almost identical to the examples demonstrated; "B" questions are designed to be more complex examples; "C" questions are often applications.  Problem sets are labeled MORE: "Modeling" tasks are usually applications of the concepts developed in class to somewhat different contexts. "Organizing" tasks are designed to help students connect the underlying mathematical ideas across strands. "Reflecting" tasks ask students to think about their own thinking processes. "Extending" tasks provide students opportunities to explore further or more deeply the mathematics they are learning. 
For evidence to support, see Research on Learning.
For specific organization tips, see CPMP
Classrooms and Using
the Math Toolkit.