Search This Blog


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.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spring 2015 Testing Schedule

What will be assessed?
When will it be assessed?
What about the ACT?
Will they be paper-pencil or online?
What about make-ups?

Get all the latest news here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Paper-Pencil Administration of Michigan Student Assessments

On October 2nd, the MDE released a memo explaining the process and procedures for districts to request a waiver to administer a paper-pencil of the spring assessments. Key points to know:
  • Online assessment is now the default administration mode for Michigan general assessments and MI-Access FI assessments.
  • Schools that are not technology-ready, or have an instructional reason to not transition online, must submit an online waiver request for a paper-pencil administration.
  • A school (or building) is the smallest unit that may request a paper-pencil administration waiver, i.e., a school may not apply to have only certain grades or content areas take the paper-pencil assessments.
Check out the memo for information on how to apply for a waiver.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Spotlight: Michigan Assessment and Accountability Newsletter

To ensure you have quick access to timely and important assessment and accountability related information, today, MDE's Office of Assessment and Accountability launched the first weekly interactive e-publication delivered each Thursday called Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability. This new easy to read publication will ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest news and information. Check it out today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Time to collaborate: Math Workgroups

Work Group Schedule
Math Workgroup Picture▪ Are you feeling isolated as a math teacher?
▪ Would you like to collaborate with other teachers from your grade/course?
▪ Are you looking for a network of teachers with whom you can share ideas?
▪ Would you like to work with others to develop solutions to your current teaching challenges?
If your answer is “YES!,” then plan to come to Kalamazoo RESA’s FREE monthly Math Workgroups. These collaborative and supportive groups are scheduled for grade bands (K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8) and high school courses (Algebra and Geometry). The Math Workgroups have been designed to be peer-facilitated.
Registration is not required. Rooms have been reserved for a one hour block as indicated on the schedule, but end time is flexible. Please bring your own laptop and refreshment.
We will use the following standing agenda as a framework for the workgroup time. We will adapt the agenda to meet the group’s current needs.
1) Working: What's working well--come prepared to share out
2) Not working (challenges): What are the current challenges - sharing
3) Problem-solving and planning: Brainstorm resolutions to current challenges, if applicable
4) Try this: New endeavors--collaborate to encourage implementation of new ideas and figure out what data we should collect to see if it’s working
5) Rotating discussion topics: student engagement, grading, higher level tasks, positive learning environment, classroom management challenges, etc.
6) Collaborating (based on textbook): break into groups based on the textbooks and collaborate.

Please check out KRESA's other PD offerings

If you have any questions, please contact Danielle Seabold.