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Thursday, December 11, 2014

M-STEP Spring 2015 Preview

The M-STEP Spring 2015 Preview is now available for Michigan students and teachers. The M-STEP Spring 2015 Preview must be used in Google Chrome.The preview is intended to provide students and teachers with a brief look at the technology-enhanced item types they are likely to see for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Students will also have an opportunity to use the navigation tools and features of the online delivery engine. Students and teachers may log into the Spring 2015 Preview as often as they like.
Please note: The Spring 2015 Preview is just that, a preview of the item types and system tools. It does not represent all standards for ELA and mathematics, nor all grade levels. A more complete M-STEP sample will be released in early 2015.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Finally: Spring assessments decided

The Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) would like to share the latest information from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) informing educators across state on the new spring 2015 summative assessments. 

MDE has listed three key points:
  • MEAP is replaced by the M-Step (Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress) test.
  • Both Michigan developed content as well as Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) content will be included on the Spring 2015 assessment.  
  • The deadline for schools to apply for a  paper/pencil waiver is today,  November 21, 2014.
The mathematics (grades 3-8) assessment will include a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT), a classroom activity, and a performance task.

The mathematics for grade 11 assessment will include ACT, WorkKeys, and M-Step summative assessments.  The mathematics portion of the assessment program will also contain content from the SBAC plus Michigan developed field tested items that will include a CAT, a classroom activity and a performance task*.

Due to time concerns and restrictions for the 11th grade assessment, the Performance Tasks and their accompanying classroom activities will be recommended but not required for 11th graders.

To learn more please peruse the M-Step Assessment Transition document.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fluency Without Fear: Research Evidence on the Best Ways to Learn Math Facts

By Jo Boaler
Professor of Mathematics Education, co-founder youcubed
with the help of Cathy Williams, co-founder youcubed, & Amanda Confer
Stanford University.

A few years ago a British politician, Stephen Byers, made a harmless error in an interview. The right honorable minister was asked to give the answer to 7 x 8 and he gave the answer of 54, instead of the correct 56. His error prompted widespread ridicule in the national media, accompanied by calls for a stronger emphasis on ‘times table’ memorization in schools. This past September the Conservative education minister for England, a man with no education experience, insisted that all students in England memorize all their times tables up to 12 x 12 by the age of 9. This requirement has now been placed into the UK’s mathematics curriculum and will result, I predict, in rising levels of math anxiety and students turning away from mathematics in record numbers. The US is moving in the opposite direction, as the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) de-emphasize the rote memorization of math facts. Unfortunately misinterpretations of the meaning of the word ‘fluency’ in the CCSS are commonplace and publishers continue to emphasize rote memorization, encouraging the persistence of damaging classroom practices across the United States.

Read more on how to develop fluency effectively...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Effective Instruction for K-2 Addition & Subtraction

2014 MadMimi Header1

Effective Instruction for K-2 Addition & Subtraction

math primary
Dates & Times: A two day series
11/10/2014 8:30AM-3:30PM
12/10/2014 8:30AM-3:30PM
Location: Kalamazoo RESA Service Center, 1819 East Milham Avenue, Portage, MI 49002
SCECH'S: 12 .. $15 fee is due at sign-in (cash or personal check only)
Presenter(s): Matt Mayer
Tuition: $170 Consortium Member | $248 Non Consortium

K-2 Addition & Subtraction: In this two-day series Kindergarten through 2nd grade teachers will develop a common understanding of what students are expected to learn about early addition and subtraction and how they are supposed to learn it. Teachers will leave the series with detailed knowledge of their grade-level content standards for addition and subtraction, lessons that are in support of students developing a deep understanding of addition and subtraction, diagnostics for assessing students’ level of addition and subtraction understanding, and a plan for teaching addition and subtraction with the appropriate focus, coherence, and rigor as is called for in the Common Core.

Registration help: Linda Bussema @ or 269-250-9210

View all Kalamazoo RESA PD offerings here:


Friday, October 24, 2014

Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability: Week of October 20, 2014 update

Want to find out about each of these (and more)? Just click and read.
  • Sample Schedules for Online Testing
  • Pre-identification for Spring 2015 Assessments
  • Request for Paper/Pencil Administration
  • Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA)
  • Technology Readiness Information

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why students hate word problems

In 2012, Dan Meyer gave a talk in Durham, ON looking at why students hate word problems, posing five ways to improve them, and introducing this thing called “three-act math.”