Middle School Mathematics

St. John’s Middle School uses CPM (College Preparatory Mathematics).  The curriculum uses problem-based lessons, collaborative student study teams and spaced practice with course concepts.

Each student is given a key role, and over the course of 3 years they will learn to master each role:

Facilitator/team leader

  • Helps the team get started on the problem or task by reading it aloud

Task manager

  • Keeps the team focused on the math problem
  • Makes sure everyone is involved
  • Monitors the team

Resource manager

  • Gets necessary supplies
  • Calls the teacher over if the team has a question, and explains how far they got and where they are requesting help
  • Makes sure the team has cleaned up


  • Shares the team’s results
  • Makes sure everyone is on the same page
  • Presents to the class the team’s findings or assigns each person their role in a group presentation

In addition to key roles, there is a TEAMS component:

T - together, work to answer questions
E - explain and give reasons (justify)
A - ask questions and share ideas
M - members of your team are your first resource
S - smarter together than apart!

Students are seated at round tables so they can be collaborative.  Every student has a voice, is willing to share their ideas, listens to other ideas, rethinks their answers and has no fear of being wrong or alone.  They all have different talents and skills, and these roles help expand their skill sets, while working in a team.

The curriculum is unique in that it is considered a spiral curriculum.  Students are not expected to master a concept the first time it is introduced.  Rather, the concept at hand keeps coming back in different scenarios to help students master it in many different ways.  

Students are given a textbook and online access to the textbook.  Concepts, ideas and problems will be worked on in class. Since most of the homework answers are online, work will be graded on the justification of the correct answer.  Students can use Google Classroom when working remotely or offsite.

Parents have access to a Parent Guide which shows how the concepts used to be taught as well as additional practice problems.

For any questions regarding CPM, please contact Mr. Vanevenhoven.

Mathematics teacher

Lee Vanevenhoven