Search This Blog

Loading...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Getting our students used to online testing before this spring

So, we don't yet know who the content provider will be for this spring's assessments. We know it won't be Smarter Balanced. Here's just the little we do know:
  • The assessments will be online and testing windows have been assigned
  • Specific dates have been assigned for assessment for those school that elect to do paper-pencil testing instead
  • The mathematics assessments will be offered grades 3-8
  • The content of the assessments will be taken from our Common Core State Standards
  • The platform used will be the same as the platform for the Interim Assessments.
So, how can we get our students ready to take online assessments? The answer might sound a little strange: Sign up for the Michigan Interim Field tests.

Why? There are now two good (big) reasons to do this.
  1. Students can become familiar with the testing platform that will be used this spring. They'll get their practice now in a no-stakes testing environment.
  2. School Districts will earn a $3.00 minimum participation incentive per completed test for the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test

Although the interim assessment field test window begins Monday, September 15, testing does not have to begin Monday and there is still time for your district or school to participate.

Funding is being made available through the Technology Readiness InfrastructureGrant (TRIG), furthering the TRIG goal to support and build state capacity in technology.
Additional Reasons to Participate
  • The Fall 2014 Field Test provides an opportunity for schools to test bandwidth capacity and student scheduling for online testing, prior to the state summative assessment to be administered in the spring 2015.
  • Students will have the benefit of taking an online assessment in a low-stakes situation and practice using common online assessment tools (calculators, highlighters, etc.)
  • Earn TRIG incentive funds in the amount of $3.00 minimum, per test completed (Each content or subject area test consists of two parts, and both parts of the test must be completed to be eligible for the participation incentive. For example, a student who completes both parts of each assessment in ELA and Mathematics will earn the school district a participation incentive of a minimum of $6.00.)  Final amount to be based on the total number of completed tests throughout the state.
  • Teachers will receive an invitation to provide feedback and recommendations for improvement. 
Technology Considerations
  • Schools may use Windows or Mac desktops and laptops to administer the field test assessments. 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.
  • NEW - MDE is also seeking schools to administer the field tests on iPads and Chromebooks. This separate window encompasses only these devices and runs from October 20 - November 14, 2014. Additional information on sign up and on testing with these devices will be provided during the next few weeks. Tests completed as a part of this separate window will also qualify for the TRIG participation incentive as well.
Details regarding the minimum requirements for each device type are provided in the Michigan Testing Device Requirements document.
 
To participate in the Fall 2014 Interim Assessment Field Test, please complete the registration survey for each school. If you have already completed the registration survey, you do not have to complete it again to qualify for the TRIG participation incentive.
 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fraction Foundations: Helping Students Understand Fractions

Are you helping students learn fractions? 

Having trouble attending PD because your school can't afford to send you?

Then help yourself to the latest Massive Open Online Course for Educators (MOOC-Ed) from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University's College of Education.
"FractionFoundations" introduces activities about fair-sharing, measurement, and the number line that you can use to teach fractions concepts and skills. Goals of this free, self-directed course include
  • developing a deeper understanding of the fractions content standards, and relevant practice standards, that apply in your school
  • investigating common student misconceptions about fractions and why fractions are hard for children (and adults) to understand
  • analyzing students' thinking about fractions to inform instruction
  • addressing students' learning differences when teaching fraction concepts and skills
This MOOC-Ed is organized around the recommendations of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) practice guide entitled "Developing Effective Fractions Instructionfor Kindergarten through 8th Grade"


The 2014 Fraction Foundations MOOC-Ed is comprised of five units scheduled over eight weeks.  It begins on September 22, 2014 and ends eight weeks later on November 16, 2014.  For those who would like more time to complete their work, the course will remain open until December 16.
More information is provided in the Course Overview section and other links below. Participants are invited to engage in all the units and activities or to select those that are most relevant to their personal learning goals. For those who complete the requirements, a Certificate of Completion will be provided that can be submitted to your local agency to obtain Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
The Fraction Foundations MOOC-Ed is brought to you by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University's College of Education. Dr. Glenn Kleiman is the program director, working with a team of teachers, researchers, designers and technologists to develop and offer the course.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to school: Time to engage parents and students

Diane J. Briars, NCTM PresidentBy NCTM President Diane J. Briars
August 2014

It’s August—back-to-school time. As you plan for the new school year, don’t forget to make explicit plans for engaging parents and families. As you well know, parents can be invaluable supports for their children’s mathematics learning. While it’s helpful to send parents basic information about their children’s mathematics class, such as course outlines, assignments, and descriptions of teacher expectations, they typically need much more than that to be prepared to support their children’s mathematics learning, as the following examples illustrate:
  • The father of a third-grader who says, “Every night, my son and I fight about math! Like last night. I told him you have to start adding from the right; he says ‘No, you don’t. That’s not the way we do it. I can start adding at the left—or anywhere.’ He gets the right answers—and explains to me what he’s doing. But it’s not the way I learned it! Is that okay? I’m very frustrated!”
  • The mother of a seventh grader who calls the principal, complaining that her daughter’s mathematics teacher is not teaching; she’s just asking students questions instead of showing students “the steps.”
  • The mother of a high school student who complains, “Ms. Smith is not a good teacher. When my son does his homework, there are problems that he struggles to solve. If she were a good teacher, he would be able to work all the problems easily.”
Sound familiar? Read more of Diane's current President's Corner message.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Website Design Competition for High School Girls

The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation is excited to announce its 9th annual MCWTFoundation Website Design Competition for high school girls in Michigan!  
High school girls in Michigan are challenged to create a website addressing this year’s theme, "Repurposing:  The ultimate in creativity and recycling." It is open ended enough to encourage creativity, thoughtfulness, and a little research.

Student teams can be individuals or groups of two. MCWT Foundation will award monetary prizes, ranging from $50 to $750. Girls may enroll in one of two categories: Beginner or Advanced. 

Free optional instruction will be offered in two locations on different Saturdays.  
The application deadline is fast approaching: October 1, 2014. The deadline to upload the design entries is November 12, 2014. Winners will be judged not only on the technology used, but also on their creativity and innovation. 

Recent winners and finalists have been from Lake Shore HS, Utica Stevenson HS, Ferndale University HS, Salem HS, Mercy HS, Warren Fitzgerald HS, Livonia Franklin, Canton HS, UAIS, Lakeview HS, Farmington HS, Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology, Centerline HS, International Academy, Ingham County Computer Science Academy, and many others.


MISSION:  The MCWT Foundation is dedicated to inspiring and assisting girls and women in Michigan to pursue technology education and careers. To that end, the Foundation fosters technology aspirations among women, of all ages, throughout Southeastern Michigan to create a sustainable talent pool of women technology leaders for tomorrow.

Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) updates

The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) Frequently AskedQuestions document has been updated to reflect the latest changes in legislation. The credit guidance documents for ELA, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies have been updated as well. Questions should be directed to Ruth Anne Hodges

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

TEN80 STEM EXPO


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

Fax
517-335-1186

Email