MCAS Changes in Math

REVISED MCAS English Language Arts Schedule

  • Grades 3 & 5: Tuesday, March 29 & Wednesday, March 30
  • Grades 6 & 8*:  Thursday, March 31 & Monday, April 4
  • Grades 4 & 7*: Tuesday, April 5 & Thursday, April 7

*Note change of dates for these grades.

PTO Meeting
Math in the Information Age
Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
8:00-9:00 am

Mathematical competence is no longer solely about finding the answers, but about applying the answers to new situations.  Today’s learners can easily access information but need to know how to interpret it, evaluate it, and communicate how they are using that information as they collaborate with others.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 1st at 8:00 am for a presentation by our Math Specialists Laura Koplow and Katy McGraw.  They will focus on the ways we learn to apply our mathematical knowledge and how application is assessed on the new MCAS and PARCC exams. They will also discuss how math competency relates to our work with Habits of Mind and the Massachusetts “Standards of Mathematical Practice.”

MCAS Changes in Math

In my January 25 column, I wrote about Massachusetts’ decision to develop a “next generation” MCAS (dubbed “MCAS 2.0”), rather than adopt the PARCC test created by a consortium of states.   The new test, which is expected to borrow heavily from PARCC, will not be ready until the 2016-17 school year.  This year’s MCAS test will include some trial PARCC items.  I described the changes coming in March’s English Language Arts test, which will include “evidence-based” multiple-choice questions and a narrative writing question.

In May, students will take an MCAS Math test that will include 6 items from PARCC covering three types of questions:

  • Type I (4 questions – 1 point each):  Tasks assessing concepts, skills and procedures
  • Type II (1 question – 3 points):  Tasks assessing mathematical reasoning including written arguments or justifications
  • Type III (1 question – 3 points): Tasks assessing modeling and applications in a real world context or scenario

Shown below is one Grade 5 example that will give you a sense of what these questions involve and what we mean by a new math competence:

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.06.48 AM

Please join us on March 1st to learn more!

Rick Rogers

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