Here are some of the most common questions that we receive about CALM.
Click on the arrow next to each question to read our answers.
The lesson plans are several pages long and involve materials from different places. How can I get organized?
It can feel overwhelming, especially when you are first getting started and are used to using more traditional workbooks. But, it often feels overwhelming when you are trying anything new, so be patient with yourself. Here are some tips to help you keep organized:
- When using the EMPower books, read through the activity in the teacher book, including sections like “Heads Up” and “Lesson in Action” which give you ideas about what to expect with the activities and how they’ve worked in other teachers’ classes. Be sure to have access to both the Teacher Book and the Student Book for each title that you are going to use.
- Look at the CALM materials list for the unit you are working on. Many materials, like square inch tiles or rulers, are used in many lessons. Find a place in your classroom to keep these things handy. In fact, it’s a good idea to always have them available for students to use, whether an activity calls for them or not.
- You don’t have to do every activity in every lesson. If you haven’t seen the activity modeled before, it might be hard to figure out exactly how to do it. In those instances, you might reach out to the CALM teacher community* for suggestions from teachers who already have taught the lesson, or you might rely on your own way of addressing that content for now. But, as you get more comfortable, continue to incorporate more new activities!
- If you aren’t sure how an activity is supposed to go or are nervous about trying it in your classroom, reach out to the CALM teacher community* or the SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy C & I PD Center. We’re here for you!
* CALM teacher community is a community of practitioners who have all participated in the CALM Orientation.
What if I can't get all the materials and manipulatives I need, or can't use them in my classroom (i.e., in a correctional setting)?
There are often ways around not having access to manipulatives. For example, long paper strips or commercially available paper yardsticks may be used in place of rulers, string, and scissors. Drawing numbers out of an envelope may be used in place of dice. Square inch tiles can be printed and cut out of paper or cardstock ahead of time. Folding and tearing paper instead of using scissors in class, or even cutting things apart in advance of class, are other options. Reach out to the CALM teacher community* or the SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy C & I PD Center for ideas if you are stuck!
What are all the components of CALM?
CALM lesson plans use a variety of materials and tools, some of which may already exist in your classroom. CALM includes handouts, answer keys, formative assessments, and unit assessments throughout the units; however, you will need to have some outside resources. Specifically, CALM draws upon the EMPower series heavily and also references many free online resources. Check out some sample CALM lesson plans to see how these types of resources are incorporated into the instructional design.
How can I get help?
Start with the SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy C & I PD Center. If you have never heard of CALM, or don’t know how to begin after you participated in a CALM Orientation.
Come to a regional CALM meeting! Check the SABES calendar (https://www.sabes.org/calendar) to find one near you. You can also post your question to the CALM teacher group.