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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Register now for the MCTM annual conference - supporting assessment

The MCTM annual conference offers numerous opportunities to learn about upcoming assessments.  The conference is being held in beautiful Traverse City on July 29-30.  Additional information, including a schedule of sessions, registration, and lodging, can be found at the MCTM website.
*Are you looking for the latest information on the M-STEP?
On Thursday, Pat King, Assistant Director of the Office of Standards and Assessment for Michigan’s Department of Education, will be delivering a keynote titled “Next Steps with M-STEP”.
She will then be joined by Ruth Anne Hodges and Kyle Ward for grade-banded breakout sessions on Thursday.  This will be a great opportunity to ask questions as well as offer feedack.
*Are you looking for the latest information on the SAT?
On Wednesday, Kathy Berry, MCTM’s President-Elect as well as the Coordinator of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment for the Monroe County ISD, will be presenting a session titled “New SAT/PSAT- Preparing for the Mathematics Portion”
*Are you looking for ideas and strategies for Formative Assessment?
There are several sessions throughout the conference focusing on this including:
  • “Tips for Incorporating Formative Assessment Activities in Your Classroom” presented by Joanne Philhower on Thursday
  • “JumpStart Formative Assessment Modules- an NCSM Resource” presented by Denise Brady on Wednesday
  • “Stress-free Formative Assessment: Concept Development and Re-engagement” presented by Diane Rogers and Danielle Seabold on Wednesday

Questions can be directed to Kevin Dykema.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorizers are the lowest achievers and other Common Core math surprises

It’s time to debunk the myths about who is good in math, and Common Core state standards move us toward this worthy goal. Mathematics and technology leaders support the standards because they are rooted in the new brain and learning sciences.
All children are different in their thinking, strength and interests. Mathematics classes of the past decade have valued one type of math learner, one who can memorize well and calculate fast.
Yet data from the 13 million students who took PISA tests showed that the lowest achieving students worldwide were those who used a memorization strategy – those who thought of math as a set of methods to remember and who approached math by trying to memorize steps. The highest achieving students were those who thought of math as a set of connected, big ideas.
The U.S. has more memorizers than most other countries in the world. Perhaps not surprisingly as math teachers, ... more from Jo Boaler's Op Ed in The Hechinger Report.

Friday, May 22, 2015

PD opportunity: 2015 KRESA Administrator Academy

Administrator Academy 2015 Header
2015 Adm Acad Icon
Click the flyer to download full Administrator Academy details
June 16-17, 2015 | 8:00am-9:00pm
John E. Fetzer Center, 2350 Business Court, Kalamazoo, MI
Registration Fee:
Consortium: $250 | Non-Consortium: $400

(Fee includes light breakfast, lunch and dinner both days)
50 SCECHs or 2 WMU graduate credits available
(CHs fee $15 | grad credit @ WMU tuition rate)


Dr. Kevin Feldman, Emeritus Director of Reading and Intervention with the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE)
Lisa Swem, Attorney with Thrun Law Firm, P.C., specializing in school, labor and employment law
Wendy Zdeb-Roper, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP)
Dr. Grant Chandler, Dean of the Arcadia Commons Campus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College and the Director of KVCC's Center for New Media
** Deadline June 9 **

Friday, May 1, 2015

NCTM and Hunt Institute Math Video Series

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Hunt Institute have produced a series of videos to enhance understanding of the mathematics that students need to succeed in college, life, and careers. The series also covers the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Standards for Mathematical Practice and examines why developing conceptual understanding requires a different approach to teaching and learning. You will also find a useful video for parents wishing to support their child’s mathematics learning. Please view the videos on the NCTM Teaching and Learning Mathematics with the Common Core Web page. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Michigan Awards Future Assessment System for Spring 2016 and Beyond

(Excerpt from Official Press Release)
Michigan has awarded a three-year contract to both Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) and Measurement, Inc. for the future Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP) system beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The recommendation of award was made jointly by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), and Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB), which runs the state procurement process. “Data Recognition Corporation and Measurement, Inc. were the two highest scoring bidders and are among the most experienced education service and test administration providers in the nation,” said State Superintendent Mike Flanagan. “This now allows Michigan schools and teachers to move forward and fully transition from the 40-year-old MEAP to M-STEP, a 21st Century assessment system.” DRC and Measurement, Inc. are the same vendors that are being used for the 2015 M-STEP statewide assessment, providing a seamless transition to the statewide assessments for the foreseeable future. “This fortunate outcome will give this year’s tests greater significance and be a foundation from which to build,” Flanagan said. To learn more, read the full MDE press release.

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