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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Classroom Strategies to Foster a Growth Mindset

Resources for Teachers

Research on the growth mindset shows that students who believe they can grow their basic abilities have greater motivation and higher achievement than do students who believe their abilities are fixed, and that teachers can influence students’ mindsets. 

Mindset Works has provided some free tools that you can use to lay a foundation for growth in your classroom:
1. Growth Mindset Framing Tool
2. Welcome Back letter for students
3. Effective Effort Rubric
4. Growth Mindset Feedback Tool
5. You Can Grow Your Intelligence article
6. Class Motto activity.
7. the Brainology® blended learning curriculum to bring a growth mindset to your students.
8. the Mindset Works® EducatorKit teacher professional development and tools.
9. Brainology® across Subject Domains.
10. Brainology® Classroom Posters to remind your students of growth mindset habits.

Sign up for the Growth Mindset Digest to receive monthly newsletter with tips, news and articles by experts and practitioners on putting the growth mindset into practice.

Join the Mindsetter Online Community to discuss and share ideas, experiences, and resources with your colleagues.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Every day, Wonderopolis® stimulates children's curiosity with a new Wonder of the Day®. Their mathematical wonderings have included
  • How Many Blocks Make an Igloo?
  • How Much Water Is in a Watermelon?
  • How Big Is the Bermuda Triangle?
  • What Is Compound Interest?
Wonders of the Day come with several paragraphs' overview (Did you know?), modeling suggestions (Try it out!), and a vocabulary list (Wonder Words). Share your wonderings, questions, and answers online — or nominate your own Fermi problem-like musings.

Sponsored by the National Center for Family Literacy, Wonderopolis also receives support from the Verizon Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, Better World Books, and Humana. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Free, online, interactive math games for K-5

Looking for resources to help give your students practice in using technology as they engage in mathematical thinking?
TES iboard has 100's of free, online, interactive math games for grades K-5. There are games for each of the K-5 content domains. They are all aligned to the Common Core State Standards for Math.
Check them out now! (Be sure to click through the grades. This link takes you to the Kindergarten math games)

Help write Michigan's K-2 and High School Interim Assessments for Math and ELA

MDE’s Bureau of Assessment and Accountability (BAA) is currently developing online K-2 interim assessments (pretest-posttest) in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  These are CCSS-aligned, and most (all for K and 1) of the items are technology enhanced items.  MDE will be conducting our first K-2 ELA and Mathematics item committee reviews in June (3-4 days during the week of June 10 for content review, and 3-4 days during the week of June 17 for bias/sensitivity/accessibility review).  MDE is in need of educators that would like to be part of these K-2 item reviews, especially in Mathematics. If you know of Michigan educators that would like to be part of these K-2 interim item reviews, please have them complete the BAACommittee Participation Application.
MDE will be sending invitations out for the June K-2 ELA and Mathematics item reviews late next week, so please encourage interested individuals to complete the application as soon as possible to ensure their application is received in time.
MDE will also be developing high school mathematics course-based interim assessments in the near future, so if you know of individuals that would be interested in participating in those committee reviews when they occur (likely some time during the 2013-14 school year), please also encourage them to complete the application
as well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Core Math Tools

Recently, NCTM members discussed the features of Core Math Tools -- a downloadable suite of interactive software tools for algebra and functions, geometry and trigonometry, and statistics and probability. Download the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied their session at the 2013 AMTE Conference. The tools are appropriate for use with any high school mathematics curriculum and compatible with content and practice standards in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.  Learn more.

General purpose tools

Advanced apps

Custom apps

Sample lessons

Data sets

How-to pages

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Upcoming Kalamazoo County Pre-K Recruitment Events


PD Opportunity: Smarter Balanced need-to-knows

Starting in Spring 2015, Michigan will implement the new assessment system from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. We will use these assessments for our federal accountability in Math and ELA for grades 3-8 and 11.

A successful implementation of the new assessment system requires planning on all levels: district, school, and classroom. Educational leaders should attend this one-day session to explore and become familiar with the new assessment framework and to begin to plan for a successful implementation on the district and school levels.

April 24, 2013
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Kalamazoo RESA Service Center
For Superintendents, Administrators, Dept. Chairs, Lead Teachers, and Coaches

Together, we will explore and answer
·    What opportunities will districts, schools, teachers, and students have to access and use the SBAC assessments before 2014-15?
·    To what extent will educational leaders and teachers be involved in the piloting and review phases of development?
·    What tools will be offered as part of the Balanced Assessment system? What type of PD will be provided?
·    What will happen to our students’ proficiency scores on these new assessments?
·    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?

Pair this session with “Smarter Balanced – ELA” on May 8 to ensure you are fully informed and ready to plan for implementation with fidelity.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Local District Common Core Professional Development Survey

MAISA and REMC have teamed up to gauge where educators are at in terms of transitioning to the Common Core State Standards in ELA and mathematics. Please consider completing this short survey so that they might determine your Professional Development needs over the next few years. They are hoping that Superintendents, Administrators, Teachers, and Support Staff will all complete the survey.
Communication + Teamwork = Success! 

Smarter Balanced Practice Test available in May

Smarter Balanced “Volunteer Pilot” to be Replaced by Practice Test

Due to the overwhelming demand for access to the Volunteer Pilot assessment from principals, teachers, parents, and the public, Smarter Balanced has decided to release a more complete and more broadly available “practice test.” Like the planned Volunteer Pilot, the Practice Test will allow students to experience items that look and function like those found on the Scientific Pilot. The Practice Test will also include performance tasks (not previously planned for the Volunteer Pilot), and will be constructed to follow a test blueprint similar to the blueprint intended for the operational test. With the Practice Test, teachers will be able to construct simulated assessment events for their students. Additionally, online access to the Practice Test will not require a unique username and password, meaning that schools and districts can use the Practice Test for professional development activities and for discussions with parents, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders.
The Practice Test will be available in late May

The Practice Test will provide
    • administrators and parents with access to items planned and designed for the new assessment;
    • students with access to the tests over the summer, with the Practice Test being accessible right up to the rollout of the operational assessment
    • a full array of item types, including performance tasks;
    • versions supporting several accommodations:
- Text-to-speech
- Item-level pop-up Spanish glossaries for construct-irrelevant terms (mathematics only)
- Braille
- American Sign Language (ASL)