Search This Blog


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spotlight: March 5, 2015

Tip of the week (grades 6-11):
M-STEP Online Calculator Practice: Have your students practice using the M-STEP online calculators using the Google Chrome browser.

Updates and info:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rate your textbook (or help find a new one), an independent non-profit, has released free, web-based reviews of current K-8 math instructional materials.  The teacher-led process raised good questions for textbook consumers about the alignment of current options, reviewing popular textbooks to see whether the math content aligned to the Common Core.

Check out the reports for their analysis and as you approach the process of choosing or adapting instructional materials in your school and district for the coming year, consider using an alignment-focused tool such as the Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Submit your Common Core units for review: earn $1,500

Achieve is looking for units to support Common Core instruction in both ELA/Literacy and Math. If you have a unit that you’ve created, on your own or collaboratively with your district, consider submitting it for review by Achieve’s EQuIP (Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products) peer reviewers. There will be an award of $1,500 for units rated exemplary within the following areas:
  • Addition and Subtraction (1st-2nd)
  • Fractions (3rd-5th)
  • Ratio and Proportion (6th-7th)
  • Geometry (8th)
  • Speaking and Listening (2nd-5th)
  • Supports for English Learners (2nd-5th)
  • Topical Reading and Writing (4th-8th)
All Exemplar units will be made freely available for download and use by educators across the country. If you are interested, review the submission details and then register and submit your materials online. There will be two review cycles through which prizes will be awarded; the first deadline for submitting units is March 20, 2015 and the second is June 3, 2015.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spring 2015 M-STEP ELA and Mathematics Summaries

Over the past six months, numerous articles have been included in different issues of the Spotlight regarding the spring 2015 M-STEP ELA and mathematics tests. Now, the Office of Standards and Assessment (OSA) has compiled that information into two content-specific summary documents—the M-STEP ELA Summary and the M-STEP Mathematics Summary—to help district and building coordinators, as well as teachers and assessment administrators, easily locate essential information.

The summaries include

  1. descriptions of Classroom Activities and Performance Tasks,
  2. information on the M-STEP Spring 2015 Preview and Sample Item Sets,
  3. where to go to practice using the online delivery engine’s navigation tools and features, and
  4. grade-specific information, such as which calculators may be used and where to go to learn about gridded responses. 
The summaries also cover important administration information, such as the grades assessed, the content measured, online and paper/ pencil test component administration order, testing times, and testing windows.

The OSA believes these two new resources—which can be found under What Do I Need to Know—will give teachers, assessment administrators, and coordinators the content-specific information they need regarding how the spring 2015 ELA and mathematics tests are designed, as well as how and when they should be administered.

M-Step What do I need to know

M-STEP Mathematics Summary 2-24-15: A compilation of Spotlight articles specifically
related to the M-STEP Mathematics Assessment
M-STEP ELA Summary 2-24-15: A compilation of Spotlight articles specifically related
to the M-STEP English Language Arts Assessment

Sign up for Spotlight! Enter your email address and select Spotlight under
Student Assessment

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Foundation for Technology and Engineering Education (FTEE) - Dugger/Gerrish Endowment, in partnership with the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) has commissioned a study to determine to what extent students in United States public schools use a tactile hands-on process of problem solving involving "doing" in their elementary, middle, and high school courses. We are currently conducting the second of four rounds of this study. We ask that you participate even if you participated in the first round.

To start the survey, please follow the appropriate link:
For the purposes of this study, the definition of "doing" is: A tactile/hands-on process of problem solving starting with human needs and wants that leads to the
principles of innovation such as designing, making/building, producing, and evaluating.

We ask that you respond to three demographic questions and answer Yes or No to 13 statements dealing with "Doing Based Learning." The survey will not take longer than five minutes to complete. The statements are based on Next Generation Science Standards, Standards for Technological Literacy, and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

Your input will not affect what you are currently teaching. There are no correct or incorrect responses. We are trying to determine what types of activities your students do in class. A space is provided for you to make comments, if you choose to do so.

This survey is totally voluntary. Please complete this survey before April 15, 2015 to be eligible for an iPad Mini drawing that will be held no later than April 30, 2015. Congratulations to Ms. Taylor, an elementary teacher from Murray, Utah for winning the iPad Mini from the first round. To participate in the drawing, follow the prompt at the end of the survey.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. If you have any questions or concerns, please address them to

Thank you in advance for your valuable participation in this research!

Johnny J Moye, Ph.D., DTE
ITEEA Research Associate
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
1914 Association Drive, Suite 201
Reston, VA 20191

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

PD opportunity: Observing high quality math instruction

2014 MadMimi Header1
Math HQ Header


Please Click Title to Register

Elementary Instruction

March 11, 2015
4:30pm - 8:00pm
presented by Danielle Seabold
Kalamazoo RESA Service Center
Rooms AB

Secondary Instruction

March 11, 2015
4:30pm - 8:00pm
presented by Diane Rogers
Kalamazoo RESA Service Center
Rooms CD


$55 Consortium Member ; $82 Non Consortium Member
Dinner is included and will be delivered around 5:30 pm

What critical teacher behaviors should you see when observing math instruction? These presentations will provide information related to teaching mathematics instruction aligned with the CCSS.

View all Kalamazoo RESA PD offerings here:


Friday, February 20, 2015

M-STEP sample items now available!

The Sample Item Sets are intended to provide students and teachers with sample test items that demonstrate the rigor of Michigan’s academic content standards in mathematics and ELA. The Sample Item Sets will be embedded in Michigan’s online delivery engine so students and teachers can practice using its navigation tools and features, become familiar with the technology-enhanced items they are likely to experience in the spring, and practice ELA and mathematics test items at their grade level. 
This new resource differs from the Spring 2015 Preview by providing more sample test items specific to grade and content. The Sample Item Sets are grade-specific, content-specific, and will be released on a rolling schedule that mirrors the staggered testing windows. 
The first phase of Sample Item Sets released will be for grades 5, 8, and 11, and will consist of one third of the total number of sample items OSA will be posting. As additional items and grades become available, OSA will communicate this information in the Spotlight
The following Sample Item Sets are now available

  • Grade 5 ELA 17 sample items 
  • Grade 5 Mathematics 11 sample items 
  • Grade 8 ELA 17 sample items 
  • Grade 8 Mathematics 6 sample items 
  • Grade 11 ELA 15 sample items 
  • Grade 11 Mathematics 7 sample items 
Use must use Google Chrome to access the sample items.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Free Mini-Assessments: Try these in your classroom

Try This in Your Classroom
Tools and resources you can use tomorrow.

  Annotated Mini-Assessments
These free mini-assessments contain questions that address the complexity of the Common Core State Standards they cover. The high-quality items help assess a deeper understanding of the content taught in class. Visit our full collections of math and literacy mini-assessments for grades K-12!