Oregon Math Educator Update - January 2020

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Oregon Math Educator Update :: January 2020

Happy New Year image

Welcome to a brand new calendar year and lunar year! All through 2020 we will continue to bring you math news and opportunities from around the state.

In addition to informing you, we hope this newsletter will provide good conversations for your Professional Learning Team and keep you connected to other parts of the state.

Please forward this to other educators in your network!

Highlights this issue include . . .

  • nominations for Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching
  • another installment of our formative practices series
  • a math standards review update
  • professional learning and special student opportunities

::  Your ODE Math Team  ::

Andy Byerley, Math Assessment Specialist, andrew.byerley@state.or.us

Mark Freed, Math Education Specialist, mark.freed@state.or.us

Tom Thompson, STEM Education Specialist, tom.thompson@state.or.us 

Logo for Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

Nominations Open for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics & Science Teaching

The National Science Foundation is now accepting nominations and applications for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program! For more information on how to recognize an outstanding K-6 educator, please visit the PAEMST website.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mark Freed, Math Education Specialist, or Jamie Rumage, Science Education Specialist, if you have any additional questions.

Necessary Conditions front cover

Formative Assessment Practice Series:

Tasks that Elicit Evidence of Learning

In his 2018 book, Necessary Conditions: Teaching Secondary Math with Academic Safety, Quality Tasks, and Effective Facilitation, author Geoff Krall makes the point that quality tasks set the rest of an educator’s pedagogy in motion. He outlines five “hallmarks” of a quality task. They must:

  • Spark curiosity and foster engagement;
  • Yield creativity and lead to new ideas;
  • Promote access for all students in the classroom;
  • Require and convey deep, crucial mathematical content; and
  • Connect and extend content.

Additionally, one of the primary roles of a quality task is to elicit evidence of student learning and thinking. Many instructional materials have extensive sets of practice tasks, several of which are at a lower level of rigor that are designed to help students solidify a concept or skill through repetition. Choosing a task or activity that elicits evidence of student thinking emphasizes depth over quantity, and often requires educators to make crucial decisions prior to instruction. If the objective is to build conceptual understanding, a task that primarily focuses on the answer may not draw out enough student thinking to provide feedback to students and help them to connect with other content. A task that focuses on the reasoning needed to arrive at an answer has “hooks” on which educators -- and peers! -- can ask questions to clarify or probe further, to extend or connect the concept, and helps students process and solidify their thinking.

Many high-quality tasks, also referred to as “low-floor, high-ceiling” or “open,” are available on sites such as Youcubed, Open Middle, and Desmos. When adapting a task from a set of instructional materials, here are a few quick strategies:

  • Ask students to draw a picture as part of their solution.
  • Challenge students to find more than one way to solve a task, then compare and contrast their solutions.
  • Remove the question from the task and ask students to come up with their own question to answer.
  • Take a multiple-choice or multiple-select task and have students provide an explanation for each option, regardless of whether the option is correct or not (like this high school example).

The quality of a task or activity is important, but won’t get the job done without purposeful instructional moves. The remainder of this series will focus on instructional moves that are the backbone of the formative assessment process. Share out your quality task or a strategy to adapt a task to elicit more evidence on Twitter using the hashtag #OregonMath.

Krall, G. (2018). Necessary conditions: Teaching secondary math with academic safety, quality tasks, and effective facilitation. Portsmouth, NH: Stenhouse Publishers.

Oregon Math Standards Review Update 

The Oregon Math Content Panel reached a milestone this month by completing the first draft of the grade level reviews.  The January draft documents will be moved to a survey format and so that all teams can review and provide comments in the month of February.   

These draft documents and comments will be brought to an in-person March meeting in Portland.   The outcome of the March meeting will be to draft a second version that will be shared on the ODE website by April 1st.  Guest panelists from NCTM, Student Achievement Partners, and Achieve will also be there to provide feedback and guidance to the Oregon content panelists. 

Instructions about how to provide feedback between April-July 2020 will also be provided in early April.  Mark Freed is collaborating with ESDs and STEM Hubs to set up regional opportunities to learn about the standards and provide feedback in this time frame as well.  Look for dates and locations for these regional meeting in the upcoming newsletters as they are confirmed.   

If you have any questions about the review and revision process of the K-12 standards, please feel free to connect with Mark Freed, ODE Math Education Specialist, at any time.   

::  Math Opportunities  ::

2019 - 2020 Oregon Summative Assessment Item Writing Development

ELA 3rd - HS & Math 6th - 8th

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking educators interested in participating as item writers for the Oregon Summative Assessments in ELA and Mathematics. This commitment would include time for both onsite training and item review, as well as time for the independent development of items. Please complete the following application and submit by no later than Thursday, February 6, 2020. ODE will notify successful applicants for both ELA and math by Monday, February 10, 2020, of their inclusion in the project, along with information on the next steps.

For further information please refer to the complete recruitment letter, or contact Tony Bertrand, Language Arts Assessment Specialist, or Andy Byerley, Mathematics Assessment Specialist.

ELA and Mathematics Summative Assessment Scoring

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking educators interested in participating in the scoring of ELA and Mathematics test items for Oregon Statewide Summative Assessments. The initial training for this project will occur on April 13, 2020, in Salem. Following that training, qualified raters will then commit to scoring items remotely during their own off-contract time throughout the spring (receiving compensation at the standard ODE rate of $26.60 per hour). ODE will prioritize selection based on educator and regional diversity, active classroom educators and instructional coaches, grade band scoring needs, and a combination of both new and experienced scoring experience.

The deadline for submitting an application is Thursday, March 5, 2020, and ODE will notify successful applicants by March 9 along with information on the next steps.

For additional information, please review the Scoring Recruitment Notice, or contact Tony Bertrand, Language Arts Assessment Specialist, or Andy Byerley, Mathematics Assessment Specialist.

Perennial Math

You are invited to send unlimited teams to the Perennial Math Tournament at Molalla High School on April 11, 2020. The tournament has three separate levels for grades 3-8. The registration deadline is March 28th to make sure we have time to put the order in for T-shirts.

Registration must be done online on the tournaments page at www.perennialmath.com.  More information about the 2020 competition can be found with the link to this flyer

National Economics Challenge

The National Economics Challenge is the nation’s most prestigious high school economics competition. Each year over 10,500 students across the US participate in the competition. EconChallenge recognizes exceptional high school students for their knowledge of economic principles and their ability to apply problem solving and critical thinking skills to real world events. The online competition is from March 1 – 31st. The top performing OR teams will compete in a live competition on Tues, April 7th in Portland to determine the OR champions. For more information, please go to https://www.econoregon.org/, or contact contact@econoregon.org.

Additional Resources from can be found in link the OCEE January 2020 announcement which includes: 

  • Teacher of the Year Award
  • Stock Market Game Training
  • Supplement to the Stock Market Game
  • Economics Training

::  ODE Out and About  ::

In January, your ODE math team has been to Canby School District, Willamette ESD, Oregon State University, and Portland Public Schools.

Professional learning needs? Great math events to visit? Please contact us!!!

"Happy New Year" Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash