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Thursday, April 24, 2014

PD opportunity: Smarter Balanced & Michigan´s Balanced Assessment System for Mathematics

This one-day workshop will bring together teachers and administrators to explore Michigan’s new Balanced Assessment system slated for implementation next school year. The Smarter Balanced assessments will be part of our new Balanced Assessment system. 

Smarter Balanced summative assessments will be used for federal accountability. But, Smarter Balanced offers more than just the required summative assessments. Come explore the additional tools and resources that are being released for use starting this school year.

Together, we will explore and answer each of these questions
  • What will be included in Michigan’s new Balanced Assessment system? What role will Smarter Balanced play in this system?
  • What tools will be offered as part of the Balanced Assessment system? What type of PD will be provided?
  • What is included in the Smarter Balanced digital library of resources? When can we access these resources?
  • 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?
Friday, May 9, 2014
Kalamazoo RESA
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
6 SCECHs offered, pending approval

MEAP or SBAC: which will it be?

The legislature continues to haggle over which assessment system Michigan will use in the 2014-15 school year.
For the latest news on this topic, read the April 24, 2014 Bridge article from The Center for Michigan and then contact your legislator.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Share your idea and win $1,000

In a world increasingly shaped by science and technology, STEM education has never been more critical. If America is to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must STEMtheGAP™ in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical education.
Who better to turn to for new ideas than you—the teachers in America’s classrooms?
Share your best ideas for improving STEM education.
The Center for Science of Teaching and Learning (CSTL) and Dow have come together to support STEM education in our schools. STEM education is absolutely vital for our children and our future. We need to encourage children to pursue science, technology, engineering and math related fields. Our real challenge lies in how to achieve our goal of improving STEM education.
We would like to introduce the STEM THE GAP Teacher Challenge. Teachers of all fields are invited to submit their ideas for increasing STEM education in the classroom. The top 25 entries will earn a $1,000 grant to be used in the classroom!

Submit an entry by May 16, 2014.

Monday, April 14, 2014

FREE Stanford Online Course: How to learn math - for students


How to Learn Math is a class for learners of all levels of mathematics. It combines really important information on the brain and learning with new evidence on the best ways to approach and learn math effectively. Many people have had negative experiences with math, and end up disliking math or failing. This class will give learners of math the information they need to become powerful math learners, it will correct any misconceptions they have about what math is, and it will teach them about their own potential to succeed and the strategies needed to approach math effectively. If you have had past negative experiences with math this will help change your relationship to one that is positive and powerful.
The course will feature Jo Boaler and a team of undergraduates, as well as videos of math in action - in dance, juggling, snowflakes, soccer and many other applications. It is designed with a pedagogy of active engagement.The course will run from May/June to the end of December, 2014.


Part 1: The Brain and Math Learning.
  1. Knocking Down the Myths About Math.

    Everyone can learn math well. There is no such thing as a “math person”. This session give stunning new evidence on brain growth, and consider what it means for math learners.
  2. Math and Mindset

    When individuals change their mindset from fixed to growth their learning potential increases drastically. In this session participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset for math.
  3. Mistakes and Speed

    Recent brain evidence shows the value of students working on challenging work and even making mistakes. But many students are afraid of mistakes and think it means they are not a math person. This session will encourage students to think positively about mistakes. It will also help debunk myths about math and speed.
Part 2: Strategies for Success.
  1. Number Flexibility, Mathematical Reasoning, and Connections

    In this session participants will engage in a “number talk” and see different solutions of number problems to understand and learn ways to act on numbers flexibility. Number sense is critical to all levels of math and lack of number sense is the reason that many students fail courses in algebra and beyond. Participants will also learn about the value of talking, reasoning, and making connections in math.
  2. Number Patterns and Representations

    In this session participants will see that math is a subject that is made up of connected, big ideas. They will learn about the value of sense making, intuition, and mathematical drawing. A special section on fractions will help students learn the big ideas in fractions and the value of understanding big ideas in math more generally.
  3. Math in Life, Nature and Work

    In this session participants will see math as something valuable, exciting, and present throughout life. They will see mathematical patterns in nature and in different sports, exploring in depth the mathematics in dance and juggling. This session will review the key ideas from the course and help participants take the important strategies and ideas they have learned into their future.


There are no prerequisites for this course

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Michigan Statewide Assessments Transition

  • Want to find out about all of the educational assessments Michigan will be offering (and which will be required) starting in the 2014-15 school year?
  • Curious about how Michigan plans for us all to transition to new assessments and a new platform all at the same time?

Check out the April 2, 2014 release of "Michigan Statewide Assessments Transition" bulletin which outlines the transition to Michigan's Future Assessment System. This comprehensive system will provide accurate, in-depth and timely student performance and growth information to meet state and federal accountability requirements and provide educators and parents with the tools they need to help students graduate from high school, career- and college-ready.

If you're interested in finding out more while having an opportunity to ask questions and plan with your colleagues, register to attend "Smarter Balanced & Michigan´s Balanced Assessment System for Mathematics" at Kalamazoo RESA on May 9, 2014.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Need some cash?

Education Challenge Grant
The Entertainment Software Association Foundation’s (ESAF) Education Challenge Grant awards those who want to bring cutting-edge educational technology into their classrooms. The grant is open to any school that wants to leverage interactive entertainment software to strengthen its current curricular offerings or create new learning experiences for its students. Proposed lesson plans should reflect the significant impact that games can have on learning. Winners will receive funding to implement their projects in the classroom, grade, school, or district in the fall of 2014. The grant submission deadline is April 18.

Summer Travel Programs for Teachers
Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is offering professional development travel programs for teachers in 18 countries this summer. Educators have the option to earn graduate school or professional development credit while seeing the world. The trips are 8 to 24 days and are designed to be interesting and affordable for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials and the structure to help teachers bring their experiences back to the classroom. The program is available to K–12 and university educators and administrators of all nationalities, as well as retired educators. Register no later than June 1.

Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant Competition
The Department of Education announced the start of the $134 million 2014 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition on March 14 with the release of the program’s invitation for pre-applications for the i3 “Development” grants (up to $3,000,000 each). In its fifth round of competition, the i3 program continues to develop and expand practices that accelerate student achievement and prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers. The i3 program includes three grant categories: development, validation, and scale-up. The Department plans to announce applications for the validation and scale-up categories this spring.

repost from NCTM's Summing Up