The PowerTeaching Math instructional process provides opportunities for instruction in and discussion of the outcomes for students in grades 6 through 8 and accelerated eighth graders in algebra I. It includes the development of mathematical concepts and skills and the vocabulary necessary to be successful. Designed around cycles of instruction, the PowerTeaching instructional process develops math concepts over 3-7 lessons. These cycles connect math topics and provide time for skill development coupled with regular feedback to ensure that all students are successful. Teachers use the instructional process along with cooperative learning and the Cycle of Effective Instruction to develop understanding in these areas. Through a dynamic process of teacher modeling, reinforcement, and assessment, students become actively engaged in working through problems and explaining their thinking with partners and teams. The instructional process, when used strategically, successfully raises student achievement.
Performance tasks within the PowerTeaching Math program are additional assessment opportunities couched within a more realistic problem-solving situation across a three-day cycle. Students will engage with a rich, real-world context across the three days, potentially conducting research or having whole-class discussions to become familiar with that context. Then, teams are assigned multistep tasks that draw upon the multiple standards and domains that they have been practicing during the year. For example, the geometry performance task in grade 7 involves scale drawings and proportions, percentages, area and surface area, measurement conversion, computation with decimals, and estimation. In addition, these tasks provide practice with reading, problem solving, and comprehension, and persevering with longer text prompts for problems. Not only will students taking Common Core assessments be graded on tasks like these, but these tasks are much more like how they will use math in their everyday lives. Practice doing research, figuring out how to approach a complex problem, choosing from many different options to forge a solution, using models to represent a complex situation, having to alter and revise as more of the problem is revealed, and reflecting on the process are all part and parcel of how real-world problems are solved. These skills, for all levels of students, are invaluable practice for real life.