2nd Edition Parent Resource Core-Plus Mathematics
Mathematical Content
CPMP Classrooms
Helping Your Student
Research Base
Evidence of Success


Comparison with Conventional Homework Assignments

How is CPMP Homework Different from Conventional Programs and Why?
As a concerned parent, you want to take an interest in what your child is doing at home to support the learning that takes place in class. In traditional programs, this is facilitated in two ways: the content and presentation of the mathematics in the traditional text has not changed markedly in the past 20 years, so the problems may look familiar; and the text offers sample problems, so that even if parents do not understand or remember a technique they can usually follow the examples supplied. In CPMP and other NSF-funded programs, there has been a deliberate attempt to move away from having students go through the motions of following an example, and towards having students actively make sense of the mathematics they learn in class.

Conventional Texts
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 an 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 On Your Own: Application tasks provide opportunities for students to use and strengthen their understanding of the ideas they have learned in the lesson. Connections tasks help students to build links between mathematical topics they have studied in the lesson and to connect those topics with other mathematics that they know. Reflections tasks provide opportunities for students to re-examine their thinking about ideas in the lesson. Extensions tasks provide opportunities for students to explore further or more deeply the mathematics they are learning. Review tasks provide opportunities for students to review previously learned mathematics and to refine their skills in using that mathematics.

For evidence to support, see Research on Learning.
For specific organization tips, see CPMP Classrooms and Using the Math Toolkit.

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