Region C1 Report - Spring 2015

 

News from the Central 1 Region
Gwen Zimmermann, Central 1 Regional Director
Spring 2015

Most everyone I talk to throughout Central 1 asks the same question, "When is this winter over!" A sure sign of spring is the NCSM Conference. While Boston will likely still have snow on the ground, we look forward to the warm, collegial conversations with other like-minded mathematics education professionals.

Below are some news items from Team Leaders in Central 1.

Upcoming events in Illinois - Steve Shadel

Complex Instruction Consortium

The Complex Instruction Consortium will be meeting March 5th, 2015 at Mundelein High School. The focus of this full day professional development is to provide an avenue for teachers to learn how to implement complex tasks in their classrooms. Teachers will also have time to write their own tasks and observe a class of students complete their task later in the day. The Complex Instruction Consortium website will provide more information about this professional development opportunity sites.google.com/site/complexinstruction/.

NSTA National Conference

The NSTA National Conference is in Chicago this year! The conference will take place March 12th - March 15th at McCormick place. This conference provides many sessions that illuminate the role of mathematics in the NGSS for leaders. The NSTA Conference website will provide more information www.nsta.org/conferences/national.aspx.

ICTM Conference

Jo Boaler will be presenting at the ICTM Conference next year in Tinley Park! The ICTM Conference Chairs are looking for presenters for the 2015 conference in October. The 2015 conference will combine both the ICTM and ISTA conferences at the same site for the first time. See the following link if you are interested www.ictm.org/SpeakerProposal.htm.

Recent and Upcoming events in Michigan- Dana Gosen and Gerri Devine

Michigan is beginning a new initiative focused on Early Literacy and Mathematics (K-3). Throughout March and April, consultants from the Michigan Department of Education will be holding regional events to engage mathematics educators across the state in this conversation. We are hoping to see many NCSM members participating in these regional sessions. Some topics addressed in these sessions will be: intentional instructional practices, integration, and MTSS through the lens of early literacy and mathematics.

The dates for the sessions are:

  • March 18 - Grand Rapids
  • March 25 - Saginaw
  • April 15 - Dearborn
  • April 27 - Marquette
  • April 29 - Boyne Mountain

In late February, many Michigan educators, some of which are NCSM members, attended the Michigan School Testing Conference (MSTC). One of the keynote speakers at the MSTC was Rick Stiggins. In his talk, Revolution Assessment: Helping Educators and Others Become Assessment Literate, Stiggins brought attention to the need to build assessment literacy throughout our profession and beyond. He prompted participants to consider the appropriate (and inappropriate) ways assessments are used in education and began to frame a new vision for assessment in education that is supportive of learning for both students and teachers.

We want to encourage NCSM members to attend the 66th Annual Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference in Traverse City in late July. There will be several sessions facilitated by NCSM members from our region. We look forward to seeing you there.

Testing Season

Having recently taken on primary responsibility of assessment at Stevenson High School, I am empathetic to the demands testing places on students, teachers, and parents. We are anxious to make the process as smooth and low-stress as can be possible. Illinois is a PARCC state, and at my school we have chosen to forgo anticipated challenges with technology and will be administering the paper and pencil version. For this inaugural year, Illinois gave high schools the choice of which grade to assess. We will be assessing students in Algebra 1 (as our juniors will be taking the ACT and sophomores, juniors and seniors take Advanced Placement exams in the spring.) Our test preparation has consisted of building in examples similar in style to the PARCC assessment items embedded within our curriculum. We will not stop instruction to do test prep, but we also want students to be familiar with the format of the questions and answer sheets.

I know there is has been a lot of press about standardized assessments. In the end, I hope we are able to do our best to temper the anxiety of all stakeholders. Good luck!

Please be sure to come to the Central 1 Caucus in Boston! I look forward to meeting you.

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