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CPM Online Parent Resource

Parent Resource CPM

Sylvia Jacobson Locker
7/26/18 12:49 PM
8/11/19 5:05 PM
8/16/13 6:49 AM

Sylvia Jacobson




I give up.

This is too hard.

I can’t make this any better.

I can’t do math.

I’m not good at this.

I made a mistake.

I’ll never be as smart as her.

I’m awesome at this!

I’ll use some of the strategies I’ve learned.

This may take some time and effort.

Is this really my best work?

I can always improve; I’ll keep trying.

I’m going to train my brain in math.

Mistakes help me improve.

I’m going to figure out what she does and try it.

I’m on the right track



Headers: Name, Class Number, and Assignment Date are on the top right corner of the paper


Understanding: Your Level of Understanding  for the assignment is circled top middle of paper.


Organization: All work shown with plenty of room to clearly demonstrate your reasoning. Work down for multiple step problems. Only one problems per box (multiple boxes OK for longer problems)  Complete responses that effectively communicate reasoning. Used correct mathematical language and symbols throughout


Completion: All problems completed - Student made an excellent attempt to answer each problem and showed some excellent logic (may be incorrect)


Answers: Final answer clearly circled and stars or checks to indicate which answers are correct or incorrect.


Learn from Mistakes: Student asks questions, writes notes, or comes in for clarification to learn from any mistakes.


Timeliness: Turned in on time.


Total Points Possible: 10


Problem Solving Write-up

• What is the Question?                                                                                                  

Always start by finding the question. Underline only as many words to understand the question but make sure all the details necessary to answer your question are complete. You want to be able to state the general overall problem clearly enough that someone unfamiliar with the problem could pick up your paper and understand what you are asked to do.

• Process                                                                                                                                 

Describe in detail how you attempted to solve this problem. You may want to consider some of the following questions. You can also include things that didn’t work.

*How did you get started?                                                                                                      

*What approaches did you try?                                                                                          

*Where did you get stuck?                                                                                                         

*Did you talk to anyone about the problem?                                                                                    

*Did talking to someone help or hinder you? 

 *What strategy did you try: organized list, drawing, chart, graph, or model etc.?

• Solution                                                                                                                              

Show or state your solutions as clearly as you can. Include any charts, graphs, and lists and soon that you used to help you. If you were able to generalize the solution, include your results. Defend why you believe your solution is correct or the best possible answer. Your explanations should be written in a way that will be convincing to someone else.

• Learning                                                                                                                            

Reflect on the problem. What did you learn? What mathematics did you use? 


*Real problem solving takes time and revision! What you are asked to do and how much you will be asked to do each time you start or revisit a problem will change.  Your teacher will tell you what you are expected to do and post expectations on schoolnotes each time you are assigned to work on a Problem Solving Write-Up. 

You may get one answer and your friend may get another answer.  You may get an answer one day and after presentations or a discussion revise your answer.  You may be asked to justify your answer and have to convince others of your reasoning and they may revise their answer.  These are all a valid part of the problem solving process. 

Remember your goal is to become a confident problem solver for all problems you face and not just to get a “right answer” instantly for one problem. 



Dear Parents,

Problem solving is a fundamental goal of any strong mathematics program. Our school is committed to making each of our students a problem solver. It is never too early or too late to develop the real life learning skills of problem solving. Therefore, our class is embarking on an In Depth Problem Study program to help achieve this important goal.

Periodically, I will present students with a non-routine problem for them to attack and solve. It is understood that some students will not get too far into the problem. The process of attacking and struggling on a non-routine problem is important to learn. When your child has reached the maximum level of his/her understanding please celebrate their progress.

Trials, errors, and retries are key attributes of good problem solvers. We ask you to encourage your students to persevere. Many students might want to initially give up. The best support for your student is encouragement through good questions. Some good questions are: What have you tried? Why do you think it doesn’t work?, Have you tried to make the problem simpler?, What do you need to know to be able to solve the problem?.

There are many other good questions; however leading or guiding questions are not helpful. The process of finding and understanding a solution outweighs the benefit of having a correct answer. Doing the problem for the student actually hurts the problem solving process. Many students will receive the hidden message that they can’t solve problems by themselves and, will learn to stop and wait for someone else to answer.

Once students have reached their level of understanding, they are asked to complete a write-up of their findings. Students should communicate how they went about solving the problem as well as the solution they found. This write up helps students understand how they think and approach new problems. We look forward to a partnership with you around problem solving. Thank you for supporting your child.


Sylvia Jacobson

CPM Online Textbook


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Online Textbook Link


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Open CPM Homework Link for Review and Preview Problems Only


You will need a quad ruled journal, plenty of lined paper, pencils, sharpener or replacement lead, mini stapler, ruler, and an eraser each day.

You will also need a calculator, compass, and a protractor.Save & Exit