Pacing Guide

For someone who has openly admitted to not following curriculum pacing guides, I sure spent a ridiculous amount of time churning one out. Our middle school is adopting CPM Core Connections 1, 2, and 3. Aside from our own reviews, the decision to go with CPM were also based on:

  1. Desmos is embedded in many lessons
  2. Other teachers’ reviews, including Riley Lark’s

I don’t know if this would be of any use to you, but I might as well share the doc math 8 pacing 2014-2015. It’s kinda pretty.

pages 1 and 2

pages 3 and 4

I replicate our school calendar and put in all the holidays and half-days. I go to each chapter in CPM and write down the guiding questions. Matching up the standards to each chapter was a pain in the ass. (CPM does it the other way around: they have the standards in one column and the different lessons that cover those standards in another.) The suggested number of days for each chapter does not include assessments, so I add about 6 days on top of whatever CPM recommended. I’m going to post the pacing guide near my desk — probably the only document I will print in full color this school year.

(Oh, I took out Chapter 1 because it’s on problem solving. C’mon, I got this.)

Then I’m going supplement it like crazy. I can’t teach straight from the textbook. Just can’t. So the 6 days that I add to each chapter will hopefully allow us some wiggle room to do other stuff.

Other stuff includes, but not limited to, what you see on the right sidebar of my blog.

We also need time to begin each class period with math talks because it was one of the most powerful things we did last year. (Grrrrr. Just realized that most of the images on the math talks site are not there. Why now.)

I was brainstorming with a couple of 6th grade math teachers at another district, and we were listing out a possible warm-up/math talk schedule, something like:

My assignment this year looks almost like last year’s: 2 sections of Math 6, 1 section of Math 8, and 1 section of Geometry [1].

I wish you a healthy school year. Teach what you love and love the kids. Follow the rules, but break a few if doing so makes it better for the kids.


[1] I’m happy to say that we will no longer be tracking kids in math. However, we need to finish out what we’d started with these 8th graders who took Algebra last year as 7th graders. So this group will do some geometry, some stats, and a whole lot of problem solving.

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  1. Mrs. J
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! And absolutely helpful here… I’m teaching CCC3 this year as well. You’re skipping Chapter 1? Unnecessary? All those patterns are right up your alley!

    • Fawn
      Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Yay! Glad you could use it somehow, Mrs. J. That’s exactly why I’m “skipping” Chapter 1. We will be doing all those patterns and much more throughout the year.

  2. Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Fawn, I love the color coding. I’m inspired to do something similar for the units in my pacing guide for my AP Stats class. I have in the past done it in pencil to accommodate changes as the year progresses. I’d like to do it electronically so that I may share with colleagues. How well do you stick to your pacing? More importantly, how do you make changes along the way?

    • Fawn
      Posted August 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Amy. Since this is a brand new curriculum, I’m not sure how well I’ll stick to it. But it’s there for me to be mindful of our time constraints. That said, my kids will ultimately determine my pacing guide. If I have a large number of kids not getting a concept, then I’m not moving on just because some calendar says so. I simply make changes by hand on the doc itself because it’s only for me to look at. I have 1 math colleague, so we’ll share the same pacing guide, but we have the same philosophy about it — it’s there, use it, but it can’t overrule what kids need. Thanks for dropping in, Amy.

  3. Brandy
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I would be interested in seeing how you supplement in each unit and what lessons you choose to use because I too am teaching CC2 and CC3. Since I’m new to teaching it, I don’t know how comfortable I am with that.


    • Fawn
      Posted August 25, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brandy. I guess what I have on this blog — under the subject categories — would be my supplements to the curriculum. It’s intentional that many of them are not aligned with a particular unit because I believe true problem solving means the solution path is not at all obvious (or it wouldn’t be problem solving). Sure, kids have to have the prerequisite skills for whatever you choose, but don’t do Taco Cart because you’re teaching Pythagorean theorem, for example. As long as the mathematics involved in the task is level appropriate, and the task is rich (engaging, multiple strategies), then we’re doing it. I hope that makes sense.

  4. Posted October 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Yeah Chapter 1 is pretty important though to preview for the students what they will be learning more in depth later in the year and also helps establish the cooperative learning environment and norms.

    As you are finding out I’m sure, it’s hard to teach a CPM lesson in 1 day outside of the Core Problems. This year has been more manageble I must admit because every kid in my 8th grade class was in Math 7 last year taking the Course 2 curriculum. We are unofficially piloting it.

    I’m a big cheerleader for it, and my students really liked using a graphing calculator’s advanced capabilities in lesson 3.1.3.

    I can share you my pacing guide as well, I am on 3.1.5 Monday.

    • Kristi
      Posted August 1, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi Martin,
      I would love to see your pacing guide for CPM3. Our district just adopted CPM and piloted it last year. Both 7th and 8th grade did not even finish the book! Did you? We did start with Ch. 1 and the kids did have a lot of say in whether we moved on a little too much at the beginning of the year.

      • Fawn
        Posted August 1, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        I can’t remember if our 7th grade math teacher finished the book. I don’t think so. For sure I did not finish the book with my 8th graders. Never have. I’ll send it to you via email, Kristi.

  5. Debbie
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kristi,

    I piloted a mix that included Most of CC2 and some of CC3 (to correspond with the pre-algebra class) during the 2013-2014 year. The my school adopted CPM officially last year and I taught CC2 for my 7th graders and CC3 for my 8th graders (since pre-algebra officially no longer exists). I love CPM but it’s definitely difficult to finish the lessons as I’m sure you’ve realized (unless I’m just terrible at timing lessons). I want to thank you for posting your CC3 pacing guide! As I currently sit here trying to rework mine from last year, it’s nice to look at what you tried to keep in mind. I was able to get through Chapters 1 – 9 completely, but didn’t even touch 10 because I feel like the kids would have been too rushed. How did you end up doing with it since you finished out the year? Do you happen to have an updated pacing guide for 2015-2016 that reflects more/less time needed in different chapters?

    Sorry for all of the questions, it’s just nice to find people that are also teaching CPM! Hope you’re enjoying your summer :)

    • Debbie
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Also, if you’d ever like to swap quizzes/assessments, I’d love to compare and see how other schools are doing it!

  6. Matt
    Posted April 19, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Fawn!

    Long time follower but first time commenter! I really like how the Math 8 pacing guide is formatted. Is that made by your school district? Our school has just adopted CPM and I’d love to take a look at your secondary pacing documents for Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 if possible! Thank you!


    • Fawn
      Posted April 30, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Hi Matt. So sorry I neglected to respond, glad you hit me up on Twitter. Just make the pacing guide pretty because you can’t really follow it, can you? :) I’ll continue to keep an eye out though.

  7. Ms. R-P
    Posted June 8, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I am a first year teacher, and this is the first year our district is using CPM – no pacing guide and no experienced colleagues to turn to. It’s been a challenging year, to say the least. I’ve been teaching Course 2 (7th grade), but I might also be teaching a section of Math 8 (CC3) next year. I’d love to hear about some of your ups and down two years later.

    My kids have a really hard time accessing it, and quite frankly, the problems become a bit boring and tedious day in and day out. Many of the kids seemed to spend most of the year just confused, trying to decode the problems, often giving up, and they weren’t getting enough actual practice. And of course, I was struggling to understand it, too! Not to mention our periods are 48 minutes long, with only 32-minute periods on Wednesdays. Compared to a neighboring district, my students get an entire hour LESS of Math instruction every week! This makes my job almost impossible.

    This year we barely made it through Chapter 7 (of 9), and that was skipping around a lot. Few of my students could ever do the homework. Granted, the structure is completely different than what they’re used to, and I anticipate my next bunch will be better prepared having done CC1, but… it’s all around been very awkward and disheartening to work with.

  8. Leslie
    Posted July 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    This is so beautiful! Do you by chance have a pacing guide for Course 1?
    I’m trying to find the “recommended” pacing you mentioned on their website so I can make my own, but it looks like you may already have a great one made.
    Keep me posted! :)

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