Reflecting on the Cultural Responsiveness of a Math Lesson

Use the CRMT-TM Lesson Analysis Tool to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement in how a math lesson promotes thinking and equity
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About This Strategy

The Culturally Responsive Mathematics Teaching Lesson Analysis Tool consists of guiding questions and an analytic rubric that involves six categories of math instruction.The six categories are: 

  1. Cognitive Demand

  2. Depth of Knowledge & Student Understanding

  3. Mathematical Discourse

  4. Power and Participation

  5. Academic Language Support for Multilingual Learners

  6. Cultural/Community-based Funds of Knowledge

Teachers can use this tool to reflect on individual lessons as well as trends in instructional practice. If math teachers are working to amplify the presence of each of these categories over time, their lessons will be more culturally responsive and improve the learning experiences of their students.

Implementation Steps

  1. Connect with one or more colleagues, if possible, to work as a collaborative team to analyze a math lesson.

  2. Review the lesson analysis tool included in the resource section below and choose 1-3 focus categories. 

  3. Identify a math lesson that you would like to analyze.

  4. Choose one of the following approaches to using the lesson analysis tool:

    • Analyzing a written lesson plan

    • Analyzing a video of a lesson

    • Guiding an observation of a live lesson

  5. Use the guiding question and the rubric criteria to reflect on the presence of each of your focus categories in the lesson

    • Customize this lesson reflection template, which is also linked below, to capture your reflections about your chosen focus areas

    • By using the template, brainstorm with a colleague about what adaptations could be made to make the lesson, and other similar lessons, more culturally responsive

  6. Repeat with other lessons and other focus categories

Algebra Lesson Example

Here is an example of a teacher's use of the tool to analyze an Algebra 1 lesson from the Illustrative Mathematics curriculum included below.