Saturday, October 25, 2014

New MCU Grant Opportunity

Looking for an opportunity to strengthen alignment of curriculum to the MA Curriculum Frameworks? Look no more.  DESE is offering a new Model Curriculum Unit (MCU) grant! This non-competitive grant supports teams of teachers to adapt and implement selected MCU(s) and is available to district levels 3, 4, and 5.  The grant deadline is November 14th.  For further details and submission instructions, click here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

In the PARCC

Do you have questions about PARCC?  You are not alone.  This week's blog is devoted to getting you the information you need.

Let us begin with the twelve state-wide PARCC practice test regional sessions. DESE has teamed up with various Readiness Centers from across the Commonwealth to support stakeholders in exploring the online PARCC assessments.  For more information on where the sessions are taking place click here.

Planning to attend the Curriculum Summit on October 27th or 28th?  I will be leading a workshop on the Implications of PARCC Math Assessments for Math Instruction in Grades 3-8.  We will be categorizing Illustrative Mathematics tasks in order to better understand what a balanced math classroom looks like.

Did you know that PARCC has monthly Twitter Office Hours?  The first session on September 22nd was a tremendous success.  If you'd like to read the tweets from this session, you can check them out on Storify.  The next office hours session will be on October 23rd from 5:00-6:00pm.  Each month will focus on a different PARCC topic.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Early Numeracy

I have to step a bit out of my comfort zone for this blog post.  As a former middle and high school math teacher, exploring ratios, proportions, algebra and geometry has always been less daunting than early numeracy.  Kindergarten was not where I felt most at home, but I have learned a lot from my early numeracy peers and it has become a huge part of my job and my passion.

The picture above was taken yesterday at an elementary school in Somerville.  We explored the three-legged rigor stool that balances procedural, conceptual and application.  This kindergarten teacher wanted to create a poster that she could hang on her classroom wall that demonstrated this important balance.  The poster also does an excellent job of highlighting the three aspects of numbers: quantitative, verbal and symbolic.

The Center for American Progress has made an early numeracy video defending the Common Core State Standards.  Robert Hanna, the Senior Education Policy Analyst, has broken down a particular standard that's been under fire in the video, What Would Kindergarteners Learn?

Illustrative Mathematics, the website that brings us free standard aligned math tasks, has now begun a virtual lecture series.  One of the fall lecture series is titled, Working with Number in the Elementary School Classroom.  The series includes an hour long session each month and has excellent speakers lined up!