MDE Math Toolkit & Sarafied Standards

Hey Minnesota Friends:

Our State Education Commissioner, Brenda Cassellius, emailed all the state Superintendents the following email in December 2015 about Math.  Check out what is new in math at the state level!  Download this document to find links to new Math Toolkit items for you and your school.

One note on the documents above.  Don’t make the mistake I initially made when looking at these documents.  I was mistakenly though the color coding and the key given below were saying that the pink/orange color represented benchmarks that had questions that were very difficult compared to other questions on state assessments.  That is NOT entirely what this means.  If you read the entire document it says  “It is important to note that the benchmark-item difficulty levels reflect the characteristics of the items in the test bank, and not the inherent difficulty of the benchmarks themselves.”  After talking people from MDE I learned the orange colored items represent items that students did not do well on.  Perhaps it is because the questions were tough or it may have been something that was not taught well or….These documents represent state averages on each benchmark.

coding colors

In addition to the information above, make sure to ask your District’s DAC (district assessment coordinator) to get you access on Pearson to your district and school’s Benchmark Reports that look like the pictures below. I’m also including the document on how to read these reports.  Great stuff here.  The school reports are really informative.

Math Online Benchmark Reports Interpretative Guide

state benchmark reportsbenchmark reports

A reminder from me to you – the standards are our curriculum.  I highly recommend all MN math teachers read the grade level standards they teach 3-4 times per year.  It takes about 15 minutes to read a set of standards and I always get something out of it – something I can do better.  To make it easier for you, I’ve included all the MN standards below.  These are what I call the ‘sarafied’ version of the standards that also include example assessment items. I worked with my team to make these when I was at MPS’s district office.  Download and begin reading.

Sara VanDerWerf

I am Sara Van Der Werf, a 24-year mathematics teacher in Minneapolis Public Schools. I have taught math in grades 7-12 as well as spent several years leading mathematics at the district office. I currently teach Advanced Algebra at South High School and I'm also the current President of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM). I am passionate about encouraging and connecting with mathematics teachers. I'd love to connect via twitter.  Join the community.  Tweet me @saravdwerf.

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