Which grade levels are the focus of the Math Center work?
The Math Center focuses on mathematics instruction in grades 6-8, the years that have potential for large growth, and on topic areas, algebra and algebra readiness skills, that are challenging and important for future success in mathematics.
Why was Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) selected?
Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) is an NSF-funded, research-based curriculum that covers topics emphasized in both national and state standards and aligns well with key ideas from the NCTM (2006) Focal Points. Especially important is that CMP develops the understanding of core concepts. Key features of this widely-adopted curriculum are that it (1) is organized around important mathematics ideas and processes, (2) is problem-centered, and (3) builds and connects concepts across problems, units, and grades.
What design principles are being used?
The Math Center work focuses on four principles derived from cognitive research: (1) Combine graphics with verbal descriptions, (2) Structure practice to interleave worked examples, (3) Space learning over time, and (4) Use quizzing to promote learning. The task will be to translate these principles into specific practices applicable to important content as represented in the materials of the CMP curriculum.
Why were these four design principles selected?
These four principles were chosen as the focus of the proposed program of research because:

  • Each principle has demonstrated effectiveness in increasing student learning based on laboratory and/or classroom studies.
  • The principles can be readily implemented in a range of curricular materials and instructional practices that span classroom activities, homework assignments, and periodic assessments of student learning.
  • The principles have broad applicability to a range of curricular programs derived from varying instructional philosophies.
  • The Math Center team has extensive experience applying, testing, and refining these principles with existing curriculum materials and implementing those materials in cooperation with teachers as part of normal classroom instructional activities.