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November 1, 2013

The Reason Behind CPM

by Jordin Hopkins

This article was written with Chieli Maldonado.

The State of Illinois had recently adopted a new curriculum for all schools to enforce in their math and sciences classes. College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), is a middle and high school math program that integrates basic skills and topics and helps you grasp an understanding on new problem solving concepts. These classes are Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Mathematical Analysis. This curriculum  uses many teaching tools, lectures, discussions, and activities called “Math Labs”. This is to help the students use problem solving skills which will then help the teacher summarize lessons based on the students’ needs in the subject.

Centennial has been one to change to this curriculum over the past few years. Many math classes have been set up in groups where every student has a specific job assigned to them. Those jobs ensure that every student has an equal share in the responsibility of the math work. Research claims that the traditional “tell and practice”  isn’t an accurate way to teach mathematics and science; therefore, CPM has been tested to be the best alternative.

The Centinal interviewed one of its very own Math teachers, Mr. Bagniefski about the new curriculum. “I believe that the adoption of the CPM curriculum will have major benefits for students now and in the future. As CPM offers a deeper understanding of the material versus skill-based problems, where students are just memorizing facts and ideas. CPM offers spiraling, which has mathematical concepts spread throughout the book, so that students don’t just see something once or twice, but many times throughout the course/book. Students are more likely to remember something long-term that they have seen numerous times, rather than something they have only seen once or twice.”

However, being among the student body, there have been mixed feelings about it. We then interviewed one of our students to get another side to the topic, senior Jimmy Nelligan.

The Online Centinal: What do you like about CPM?

Jimmy Nelligan: “I like how you interact with your group to solve the problem instead of watching the teacher do it in front of the class.”

OC: What do you dislike about it?

JN: “If no one in your group knows how to do the work you fall behind, the teacher doesn’t help you much.”

OC: What would you change?

JN: “I would make the teacher help the students a little bit more instead of putting it all on the students. I believe everyone learns in a different way, so making us teach each other can also hold one another back if someone doesn’t fully grasp the concepts.”

OC: Do you believe it’s beneficial to your learning?

JN: “No, I work better with teacher-student interaction instead of student-student interaction.”

With CPM being new to students and teachers, there have been multiple different opinions concerning this way of learning. The hope of the matter is that the district will continue to grow with the curriculum and do its best to make this method of teaching and learning more appreciated.

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