Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PARCC Practice Math Performance Based Assessments

PARCC has released the practice math performance based assessments (PBAs) starting from grade 3 up to Algebra II!  Although we've been able to access the practice math end of year assessments (EOYs) for months, we've been waiting very patiently to see what the performance based assessments look like.  Wait no further!  Feel free to access any of the PBAs here.

Wondering how to use this new resource?  The Teaching Channel has created an excellent video that uses PARCC's 'item analysis flow chart' as a planning procedure. The video, Planning Math Instruction with PARCC Tools, shows teachers collaboratively using sample assessment tasks to plan math instruction.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Equation Editor Resources

It was clear, after the 2013-2014 field test, that changes had to be made to the equation editor feature of PARCC’s on-line interface.  Many students, teachers and districts sent Pearson their constructive criticism and consequently Pearson made major changes.  This week’s blog post is dedicated to giving you some new resources to use when it comes to the equation editor tool.

If you haven’t already checked out PARCC’s Tips for Entering Math with the Equation Editor, I highly suggest you do so.  For those of us who have used Microsoft Word’s version of the equation editor, some of these buttons are familiar.  But for students who have not created a fraction or an exponent on the computer, the tips page is very valuable. 

The next resource is an additional website to practice creating different types of equations.  Although PARCC has released many math items, it’s nice to be able to practice on other sites as well.  Fast Fig lets users create different mathematical expressions and equations.  This site offers a wide array of symbols and functions and is free to use.

Our final resource is a teacher made video.  Miss Coseno is an 8th grade math teacher who wanted to show her students the step-by-step process of using the PARCC equation editor.  In Miss Coseno’s Video, students are introduced to each equation editor symbol as well as the 'exhibits' and the calculators available on the PARCC website.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WGBH STEM Teacher Video Challenge

Do you know about the video contest for Massachusetts educators seeking creative STEM teaching solutions? WGBH is looking for short videos (1-5 minutes) that demonstrate STEM concepts, experiments, or best practices. The challenge runs through midnight, February 1, 2015, and winners will be announced at the NSTA national conference in March.  If you'd like to see a few video examples, feel free to check them out here.

All participants in the Challenge will receive Google App cards. The winning teachers will also receive their choice of a document camera or an iPad. Funding for this challenge was provided by the Google Community Grants Fund of Tides Foundation.

Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, a blog, or other website (existing videos also accepted!) and send the link to with "STEM Video Challenge" in the subject line.