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Friday, August 22, 2014

Opportunity to Participate in Interim Assessment Field Test for K-2 and High School

Michigan schools are invited to register to participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test (September 15-October 17, 2014). This field test is an important part of a high quality test development process and can be valuable to schools, students and teachers.

Reasons to Participate
  • Prior to the state summative assessment to be administered in the spring 2015, participation in the Fall 2014 Field Test provides an opportunity for schools to test bandwidth capacity and to logistically schedule and move students through an online assessment experience. 
  • Students would have the benefit of taking an online assessment in a low-stakes situation. The test would offer students a chance to have an online experience and to practice commonly used online assessment tools.
  • Teachers who offer the field test assessments will receive an invitation to participate in a focus group that will provide valuable feedback on the interim assessment reporting features.
Districts may have several schools participate in one or more subjects and grade levels. Each participating school must individually register. Content areas to be field tested include:
  • English language arts (ELA) and mathematics for grades K, 1, and 2.
  • High school science courses (Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
  • High school social studies courses (US History & Geography, World History & Geography, Civics, and Economics).
Technology Considerations: 
  • Schools may use Windows or Mac desktops and laptops to administer the field test assessments.
  • Additionally, MDE is seeking schools to administer the field tests on devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, and Windows 8 tablets (non-touch). Test window runs from October 20 - November 14, 2014. Additional information on testing with these devices will be provided during the next few weeks. 
Details regarding the minimum requirements for each device type are provided in the Michigan Testing Device Requirements document.

Additional information regarding the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Tests:
  • The Michigan interim assessments are only available on-line.
  • All interim assessments are aligned to Michigan’s education standards and assess students currently enrolled in the subjects selected.
  • If Earth Science high school courses are offered to 8th grade students, schools may consider offering the Earth Science interim assessment to these 8th grade students.
  • The field test window is September 15, 2014 through October 17, 2014. Schools may administer the field test assessments any time within this five-week test window.
How to Register
To participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test, please complete the registration survey for each school.

Check out more information about the Michigan Interim Assessments.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spring 2015 Testing Schedule Update

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Spring 2015 testing schedules for all summative assessments in grades 3-8 and 11 have been updated.

The general assessment for grades 3-8 and 11 are shown in the first four rows of the table. The window for these assessments spans eight weeks with grades testing within sub windows as specified. The high school test window has been extended to provide high schools with the flexibility to complete
state summative assessments prior to the beginning of Advanced Placement testing if they choose to do so.

For more information and to check out the paper-pencil schedule, read the entire update.

Monday, August 18, 2014


The National STEM League (NSL) is a practice league for future professionals that has recently been named one of four Exemplary and Scalable STEM programs by Change the Equation.
Thanks to sponsorship from the U.S. Army, you are invited to the one-day STEM Expo on
Oct. 23, 2014 at a Venue TBD in Detroit, MI that highlights project-based curriculum from
the NSL and engages high school students and educators in concepts and careers ranging
from race engineering to software+hardware innovation.
STEM Expo attendees are eligible to activate the full sponsorship and bring the NSL to their schools for sustained project-based learning that doesn’t forget the learning! Depending on the challenge you choose, full sponsorship includes up to $4,000 worth of non-consumable materials, STEM curriculum for clubs, camps or courses, training and entry into the 2014-15 National STEM League. Competition is optional. Collaboration and Creativity required!
Download the one-page application to reserve your school’s space.

Expo Details & Highlights
  • Thursday, 23 October 2014 from 9:15 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Location: TBD in or near Detroit, MI
  • Transportation: Bussing stipend available upon request
  • Lunch provided
  • Participants will learn how ALL students can engage in STEM through Ten80’s National STEM League and join workshops featuring 3-D CAD and printing, race engineering, robotics and the language of computers and code.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Michigan's 2014-15 Summative Assessment Update

In June of 2014, legislation was passed requiring the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to develop a new summative assessment for use in Spring 2014-15. Unlike the previous MEAP assessments, the new assessment will be aligned to Michigan standards and administered in the spring measuring current versus past year student knowledge. 

English language arts and mathematics will be assessed in grades 3-8. Science will assessed in grades 4 and 7, and social studies in grades 5 and 8. This assessment will be administered for one year only online with a paper and pencil option for schools not technology-ready.  For more information click the links below:

New legislation also requires the department issue a Request For Proposal by September 1, 2014 for a new summative assessment system to begin in the 2015-16 school year.

To obtain valuable input, this week, the department held a public hearing in Lansing attended by more than 100 educators, associations and parents.

Beyond the hearing, the public can provide input on the 2015-16 state assessment numerous ways which are outlined below -- through Tuesday, August 5.

U.S. Postal Service
Michigan Department of Education
Office of Standards and Assessment
608 West Allegan Street
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, Michigan 48909



Monday, July 14, 2014

No Smarter Balanced, now what?

In late June, Michigan’s School Aid budget, set to take effect Oct. 1, was signed that requires a “new MEAP” to be developed and administered for the 2014-15 School Year. There seems to be some confusion with the language included in this budget as it relates to using the same name – MEAP – but meeting our current state standards, which is not something the “old” MEAP did. There have been reports suggesting the state is returning to the old test and that teachers now are rewriting lesson plans in an attempt to be ready for next year’s assessment. Last week, Joseph Martineau, Deputy Director for Accountability Services released a memo to clarify what we now know and how educators should be planning for the 2014-15 school year. The main message: stay the course.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Support for 'blending' your classroom

Blended Learning in the Classroom will be offered in Fall of 2014

This FREE Blended Learning in the Classroom course, led by highly trained instructors, will prepare you to effectively create your own blended environment. Through active and timely praxis, you will engage in learning, application, review, and revision of your own blended environment. 
This course is for classroom teachers of students of all ages. It covers the theory, pedagogy, and technical elements of online work in the blended classroom. Participants engage with their instructor and other participants in this blended course and, in conjunction with the course, develop an authentic blended learning environment for immediate implementation and use with students and revision after feedback. 

Each offering is limited to 20 registrants. Multiple offerings are available at various locations across Michigan, including Kalamazoo RESA, Gull Lake, Mattawan and South Haven. When registering, select the location most convenient to you as the course includes one face-to-face session with your learning cohort and instructor. Live chats and/or virtual sessions may be set up depending on participant needs.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Preparing our K-2 kids for online assessments

Starting next school year, Michigan will offer Interim Assessment for all K-2 students in ELA and Mathematics. And, these assessments will be online.
Start preparing now for the transition to the online assessment environment by attending the next TRIG assessment and curriculum video conference.
May 22, 2014
10-11 AM
"Preparing our K-2 Kids for Online Assessments" will discuss getting our youngest learners ready for future assessment opportunities. The session will focus on how to enhance our students' digital skills through the use of apps, websites, interactive whiteboards, and other technology. The bulk of this conversation will center around Math and ELA tools and ideas to help our students grow in technology preparedness and use.  
Schedule the time to watch the live videoconference now.
This session will be archived on the site following the live stream.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Khan Academy, Smarter Balanced, and Illustrative Math Collaborate to Provide CCSS Math Resources

Want to offer your student opportunities to practice with solving math tasks online?
Do you want to track the progress of your students' learning in math over the course of the year?

Khan Academy’s Common Core math resources have been developed in collaboration with Smarter Balanced, IllustrativeMathematics, and 40 educators to provide thousands of new, interactive math problems fully aligned to every Common Core State Standard (CCSS) for mathematics. Students can work at their own pace through grade-level “missions” and track their progress through personalized dashboards. All problems are accompanied by step-by-step solutions specific to each problem. Successful completion of missions is charted on a progress report on the student’s dashboard while “coaches”—whether teachers, tutors, or parents—can see a student’s progress with access through a class code or coach ID. Learn more about these resources from Khan Academy founder, Sal Kahn, in a recent EdSurge article

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Register for the 65th annual Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference

Please join MCTM on the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI for the 65th Annual - Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Conference, which is being held August 6 & 7, 2014. The Pre-Conference Institutes are being held on Tuesday, August 5, 2014. MCTM is looking forward to this exciting event and is proud to offer a great selection of sessions for enriching, effective, and useful professional learning. Check out the great selection of Pre-Conference Institutes- you won't want to miss them!
The 2014 MCTM Institute and Conference Online Registration is now open. If you are unable to access the online registration form, the registration form is also available in electronic form. If you have any questions about registering, please contact the MCTM office at 734-477-0421.
MCTM has negotiated rates for accommodations with several hotels in Holland. A list of these hotels and several low cost options have been compiled, along with ideas for activities.
Register Now