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High Impact Instructional Strategies: Mathematics

District Sample Curriculum Project (DSCP): Phase IV High-Impact Instructional Strategies

Colorado Academic Standards Mathematics Graphic (small)

Phase IV of the District Sample Curriculum Project focuses on the instructional strategies needed to support standards-based teaching and learning. This work was highlighted by the All Students, All Standards Institute, held in June of 2016, which brought together educators from across Colorado to focus on improving their teaching through better lesson planning and reflection.

The resources shared here represent a sample of the nationally-known tools available to support mathematics teachers and the work of Colorado math educators that followed the ASAS Institute. These include lesson planning guides, instructional models, mathematics teaching practices, and tools for lesson observation and reflection, and I encourage you to dig into the details of each of these to support your own teaching. CDE is also providing some non-math-specific resources that you will find under Phase IV General Training Resources.

Raymond Johnson
Mathematics Content Specialist

DSCP Phase IV Lessons

The lesson materials shared here are designed to go beyond typical lesson plans that describe a set of steps to do with students. Instead, these lessons have a particular focus on aspects of teacher planning, instructional practice, and reflection. They are better thought of as lessons to learn from rather than to teach with, and I hope each lesson prompts you to think about your own approach to lesson planning and reflection. Teachers submitting lessons were asked to structure them using four common elements:

  • Classroom Context
  • Lesson Planning with Rationales for Your Decisions
  • Description of the Lesson Implementation
  • Reflection

The ASAS Institute page has more information about these lesson elements and the main District Sample Curriculum Project page describes all phases of this collaborative work to support standards-based curriculum and instruction throughout Colorado.

Content Specialist Model Lesson

I modeled the teaching of a lesson using a task called Track Stars for math teachers at the ASAS Institute. Track Stars asks students to judge whether a particular record-setting long jump is more impressive than a particular record-setting high jump, and it is open to a wide variety of solution strategies. For this lesson I used the following lesson resources:

Elementary Math ASAS Model Lesson

The elementary math group at the ASAS Institute constructed a lesson using jumps along a number line to connect addition and multiplication. They then introduced a new task using repeated blocks of time to see if their "students" (other institute participants) would apply similar thinking without a number line-based model.


Teachers used the following resources to help them plan this lesson: