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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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

PD opportunity: Smarter Balanced & Michigan´s Balanced Assessment System for Mathematics

This one-day workshop will bring together teachers and administrators to explore Michigan’s new Balanced Assessment system slated for implementation next school year. The Smarter Balanced assessments will be part of our new Balanced Assessment system. 

Smarter Balanced summative assessments will be used for federal accountability. But, Smarter Balanced offers more than just the required summative assessments. Come explore the additional tools and resources that are being released for use starting this school year.

Together, we will explore and answer each of these questions
  • What will be included in Michigan’s new Balanced Assessment system? What role will Smarter Balanced play in this system?
  • What tools will be offered as part of the Balanced Assessment system? What type of PD will be provided?
  • What is included in the Smarter Balanced digital library of resources? When can we access these resources?
  • What will happen to the ACT? When is it going away? Will there be a MEAP assessment in 2014?
  • What support will teachers need in transitioning to the new assessment system?
  • What needs to happen with my district or school’s technology plan so that we are ready for the new assessments?
  • What do our parents and guardians need to know about the new assessment system?
Friday, May 9, 2014
Kalamazoo RESA
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
6 SCECHs offered, pending approval

MEAP or SBAC: which will it be?

The legislature continues to haggle over which assessment system Michigan will use in the 2014-15 school year.
For the latest news on this topic, read the April 24, 2014 Bridge article from The Center for Michigan and then contact your legislator.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Share your idea and win $1,000

In a world increasingly shaped by science and technology, STEM education has never been more critical. If America is to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must STEMtheGAP™ in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical education.
Who better to turn to for new ideas than you—the teachers in America’s classrooms?
Share your best ideas for improving STEM education.
The Center for Science of Teaching and Learning (CSTL) and Dow have come together to support STEM education in our schools. STEM education is absolutely vital for our children and our future. We need to encourage children to pursue science, technology, engineering and math related fields. Our real challenge lies in how to achieve our goal of improving STEM education.
We would like to introduce the STEM THE GAP Teacher Challenge. Teachers of all fields are invited to submit their ideas for increasing STEM education in the classroom. The top 25 entries will earn a $1,000 grant to be used in the classroom!

Submit an entry by May 16, 2014.

Monday, April 14, 2014

FREE Stanford Online Course: How to learn math - for students


How to Learn Math is a class for learners of all levels of mathematics. It combines really important information on the brain and learning with new evidence on the best ways to approach and learn math effectively. Many people have had negative experiences with math, and end up disliking math or failing. This class will give learners of math the information they need to become powerful math learners, it will correct any misconceptions they have about what math is, and it will teach them about their own potential to succeed and the strategies needed to approach math effectively. If you have had past negative experiences with math this will help change your relationship to one that is positive and powerful.
The course will feature Jo Boaler and a team of undergraduates, as well as videos of math in action - in dance, juggling, snowflakes, soccer and many other applications. It is designed with a pedagogy of active engagement.The course will run from May/June to the end of December, 2014.


Part 1: The Brain and Math Learning.
  1. Knocking Down the Myths About Math.

    Everyone can learn math well. There is no such thing as a “math person”. This session give stunning new evidence on brain growth, and consider what it means for math learners.
  2. Math and Mindset

    When individuals change their mindset from fixed to growth their learning potential increases drastically. In this session participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset for math.
  3. Mistakes and Speed

    Recent brain evidence shows the value of students working on challenging work and even making mistakes. But many students are afraid of mistakes and think it means they are not a math person. This session will encourage students to think positively about mistakes. It will also help debunk myths about math and speed.
Part 2: Strategies for Success.
  1. Number Flexibility, Mathematical Reasoning, and Connections

    In this session participants will engage in a “number talk” and see different solutions of number problems to understand and learn ways to act on numbers flexibility. Number sense is critical to all levels of math and lack of number sense is the reason that many students fail courses in algebra and beyond. Participants will also learn about the value of talking, reasoning, and making connections in math.
  2. Number Patterns and Representations

    In this session participants will see that math is a subject that is made up of connected, big ideas. They will learn about the value of sense making, intuition, and mathematical drawing. A special section on fractions will help students learn the big ideas in fractions and the value of understanding big ideas in math more generally.
  3. Math in Life, Nature and Work

    In this session participants will see math as something valuable, exciting, and present throughout life. They will see mathematical patterns in nature and in different sports, exploring in depth the mathematics in dance and juggling. This session will review the key ideas from the course and help participants take the important strategies and ideas they have learned into their future.


There are no prerequisites for this course