

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 NSFfunded 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

CPMP Text

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 
Conventional
Homework Assignment

CPMP
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 reexamine 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.
