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Thursday, February 27, 2014

What Principals Can Do To Relieve Anxiety Around Common Core Implementation

LearnZillionWe hear a lot about the anxiety caused by the Common Core, much of it focused on how to support teachers in implementing the new standards

This issue is particularly salient for principals, as they are the ones responsible for observing classrooms and debriefing lessons with teachers. The reality, though, is that it's nearly impossible for principals to have expertise in all the standards.

Join Eric Westendorf, cofounder of LearnZillion, for a jam-packed 30 minute conversation with Dr. Skip Fennell and Joan Tellish on Wednesday, March 5th at 3:00pm EST to explore the challenges principals face when it comes to teacher observation and the Common Core, the pros and cons of various current strategies, and ideas for what's possible in the years ahead.

Register Now

Friday, February 21, 2014

Blogs Come to NCTM Journals

Earlier this week, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) launched blogs for each of its school journals:
Each blog focuses on a particular theme and will feature guest mathematics educators.
Check them out today.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Free ratio and proportion lessons for Grades 6-7

Looking for some lessons to supplement your textbook?
Are some of your students struggling with ratio and proportions?
Download 3 free lessons from It's All Relative. These lessons have been designed to address key misconceptions sixth and seventh graders have about ratio and proportion and to help develop deep conceptual understanding.
Check them out today.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Smarter Balanced Training Tests Now Available

Are (you and) your students ready for the new Smarter Balanced assessments next school year?
Curious about what these tests will look like?
On January 30, Smarter Balanced released a set of Training Tests to provide a means for students and teachers to:
  • Quickly become familiar with the features of the Smarter Balanced assessment software interface.
  • Experience new item types that do not currently appear on the Practice Tests.
  • Preview universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations.
A Training Test is available for each of three grade bands:

  • grades three through five; 
  • grades six through eight; 
  • and high school. 
There are six to nine items per grade band per content area (i.e., English language arts and mathematics). The Training Tests contain the same item response types as the Practice Tests, but unlike the Practice Tests, there are no performance tasks or scoring guides for the Training Tests.

Additional Support
Smarter Balanced has now released 3 different sets of assessment items for us to use to prepare for the first Smarter Balanced tests in spring 2015.

Consider using each of the items released for your grade/course throughout the school year to better prepare your students for success in 2015.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Videos of Doing and Teaching Math

How can videos help us deepen inquiry into teaching math, and student inquiry into learning math? Find out now.
The videos include:
  • children inventing methods for doing double-digit arithmetic
  • a kid "thinking SO HARD about making change"
  • illustrations of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Mathematical Practices
  • podcasting combined with virtual manipulatives as a form of one-on-one assessment
  • Suzanne, the Forum's Director of Professional Development, problem-solving with middle-school students in Philadelphia