The Mathematical

February 2019

IXL SmartScores

IXL's SmartScore is calculated based on a complex algorithm that measures student understanding of a skill. The main components being considered is right vs wrong, time spent on question, consistency, and difficulty level of the skill. It is not merely a percentage of correct answers.


SmartScore goals are recommended to be set in the 70-90 range depending on the student and skill being practiced. Be careful of the Challenge Zone (SmartScore 90-100). The difficulty level has increased and the Smart Score only increases 1 point per correct answer. Students must answer 10 questions in a row to reach 100. If they miss a question, it will start them back at the beginning of the challenge zone.

Big picture
Big picture

STAR Math Data Digs

STAR Math Data Dig sessions are being held for teachers to help them to go beyond the STAR Math screener data to target and guide instruction, remediation, and enrichment for all students. Plan to attend the appropriate grade level session being held this month after school to look at data and collaborate with fellow teachers. Sessions will include data analysis specific to standards and individual students, collaboration, and strategies to use based on this data. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level!


Session Dates and Times:

3rd Grade - Feb 12, 3:00 - 4:00

4th Grade - Feb 13, 3:00 - 4:00

5th Grade - Feb 14, 3:00 - 4:00

Middle School - Feb 25, 4:00 - 5:00

High School - Feb 26, 4:00 - 5:00


Sign up below to attend your session!

STAR Grade Equivalence

The Grade Equivalence that is reported by STAR can be confusing for some teachers and parents. According to STAR, this is how they determine the Grade Equivalence:


A Grade Equivalent (GE) indicates the normal grade placement of students for whom a particular score is typical. If a student receives a GE of 10.0, this means that the student scored as well on STAR Math as did the typical student at the beginning of grade 10. It does not necessarily mean that the student has mastered math objectives at a tenth-grade level, only that he or she obtained a Scaled Score as high as the average beginning tenth-grade student in the norms group.
Big picture

New Students in Pearson

If you have a new student or a student who transferred from another school in our district, please email me that student's information (name and student ID). I'll get them added/transferred in Pearson so you can add them to your roster.
Big picture

Enrichment Ideas

Is Depth of Knowledge Complex or Complicated?


Increasing depth of knowledge can be a challenging task as we strive to help our students achieve high academic success. How do I know the DOK level of the problems? How do I know which ones are appropriate and when? Understanding the difference between the different DOK levels can make this task seem not so daunting. Read more about this and hopefully come to have a greater understanding of Depth of Knowledge.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

7 Ways to Spark Engagement

Strengthening students’ sense of connectedness to their learning is a worthwhile goal, and there are some simple ways to do it.


A growing body of research in education and the social sciences suggests that students’ curiosity can be stimulated in ways that strengthen their connectedness to lessons, interactions with each other, and willingness to commit to learning goals. There are simple techniques that teachers can use during a lesson to boost curiosity, and thus engagement, among students—especially older ones, who are at greater risk for losing interest.


Click here for the full article.

Big picture

Encouraging Student Collaboration

Student collaboration, regardless of the grade level, is an important process that promotes student learning, better understanding, cooperation, and communication skills. These opportunities allow students to share ideas and let their thinking become visible. It's a powerful way for teachers to truly understand what their students are thinking and clarify any misconceptions. It also provides a way for other students to see how their peers solved the problem. Collaboration in your classroom can create a valuable culture of sharing and a positive learning environment.


These are 8 activities and tools listed in the article 8 Fun Ways to Help Your Students Collaborate in the Classroom. Click here to read more about them.


  1. Speak Up
  2. Dive into a Fishbowl
  3. Give Everyone a moment in the Spotlight
  4. Play Games
  5. Try Brainwriting
  6. Save the Last Word for Me
  7. Make Homework a Team Sport
  8. Zoom in on the Details
Big picture

Want Students to Remember What They Learn? Have Them Teach It.

Want to know more about the learning by teaching strategy? This article touches on this evidence-based strategy that has a high Hattie effect size and how it can improve student comprehension, confidence, and communication skills.


They found that when students actually teach the content of a lesson, they develop a deeper and longer-lasting understanding of the material than students who do not teach it. Interestingly, they found that the act of preparing to teach alone can lead to short-term gains, but the act of preparing to teach coupled with actually teaching another person is what leads to long-term retention and deeper learning.


Read more.

Big picture

Suggested Titles

  • Tests that Teach by Karen Tankersley
  • Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, K-2 by John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Kateri Thunder, John Hattie, and Nancy Frey
  • Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, 3-5 by John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Kateri Thunder, John Hattie, and Nancy Frey
  • Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, 6-8 by John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Kateri Thunder, John Hattie, and Nancy Frey
  • Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, High School by John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Kateri Thunder, John Hattie, and Nancy Frey
Big picture

Coweta STEM Recognition

Are you interested in obtaining or renewing your Coweta STEM Recognition? The process is simple!


1) Teach 5 STEM lessons. A STEM lesson typically includes some sort of design challenge for your students. Designing a poster or Google Slide presentation does not count as a design challenge. Teachers may collaborate on lessons together. For example, if your STEM lesson calls for writing (which it should!), partner with an ELA teacher to help!


2) Fill out the STEM Activity log. Briefly describe the 5 lessons on this form.


3) Post one exemplar lesson with student work samples. Pictures or videos of student work so other teachers and students can understand what the assignment leads to using this http://bit.ly/CCSSSTEMRecognition form.


4) That's it! Now sit back and enjoy the admiration of your colleagues and community.


If you have more questions or would like to discuss lesson plan ideas, contact donald.white@cowetaschools.net or michelle.clarke@cowetaschools.net. You can also find more info at www.cowetastemrecognition.weebly.com

STEM/STEAM Resources

Big picture
Big picture

More information is posted in the MS Google Classroom including a live link to register.

Big picture

Middle School Collaboration Meetings

Big picture
Big picture

Professional Learning

IXL Webinars (Analytics, Curriculum and Guidance, and Continuous Diagnostic)

Multiple February online sessions available

Want to learn more about different feataures in IXL? IXL is offering free 30-minute webinar sessions on one of the 3 categories: Analytics, Curriculum and Guidance, or Continuous Diagnostic. Dates and times vary allowing for flexibility.

Register here.


Empowered Problem Solving

February 11, 2019 - March 22, 2019, Online Workshop

This is a six-week online workshop to help educators learn how to incorporate exploration of problem-based lessons and increasing depth of knowledge. The workshop is over a 6-week period (one session a week) with all materials available for an additional 6 weeks. Cost for the workshop is $297. Click here for more information.

Register here.


NBC Learning Tutorial Session

February 11, 2019 - WERZ - SD2, 4:00

NBC Learn has provided our district with a semester-long free pilot. This resource provides over 90 years of video sources that can be used to make real world connections to specific content areas. All subjects are welcome to attend.

Register here.


STAR Math Data Dig - 3rd Grade

February 12, 2019 - WERZ - SD1, 3:00 - 4:00

Data Dig session digging deeper into the STAR Math data. Teachers will be shown how to look at individual standards to see how each student is performing. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.


STAR Math Data Dig - 4th Grade

February 13, 2019 - WERZ - SD1, 3:00 - 4:00

Data Dig session digging deeper into the STAR Math data. Teachers will be shown how to look at individual standards to see how each student is performing. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.


STAR Math Data Dig - 5th Grade

February 14, 2019 - WERZ - SD1, 3:00 - 4:00

Data Dig session digging deeper into the STAR Math data. Teachers will be shown how to look at individual standards to see how each student is performing. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.


STAR Math Data Dig - Middle School

February 25, 2019 - WERZ - SD2, 4:00 - 5:00

Data Dig session digging deeper into the STAR Math data. Teachers will be shown how to look at individual standards to see how each student is performing. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.


STAR Math Data Dig - High School

February 26, 2019 - WERZ - SD2, 4:00 - 5:00

Data Dig session digging deeper into the STAR Math data. Teachers will be shown how to look at individual standards to see how each student is performing. Discussions will also include how to use this data to target students to help them get to the next level. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.


Middle School Math Collaborative Meeting

Feb 27, 2019 - Madras Middle School, 4:00 - 5:00

Collaborative Meeting among 6-8 grade teachers. GMAS will be the main topic of the meeting. Please bring a charged chromebook to the meeting.


STAR Reports Training: Instructional Technology Training

Feb 28, 2019 - Werz - PLC, 4:00 - 5:00

Training session on using the STAR data to see where your students are and how to use it to adjust and target instruction. Join us on Feb 28th. Please bring a charged chromebook.

Register here.

Big picture

Request a Visit

As you continue to reach towards achieving your goals, please utilize me as a resource. I would love to spend time with teachers and admin during your planning or instructional periods. If interested in a meeting, a class visit, or modeling, please complete this form to request a time. You can also send me an email anytime!
Big picture

Resources

Alba, C. (Jan 22, 2019). 7 Ways to Spark Engagement. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/7-ways-spark-engagement


Kaplinsky, R. (Dec 14, 2015). Is Depth of Knowledge Complex or Complicated? Retrieved from http://robertkaplinsky.com/is-depth-of-knowledge-complex-or-complicated/


Mulvahill, E. (Sep 12, 2016). 8 Fun Ways to Help Your Students Collaborate in the Classroom. Retrieved from https://www.weareteachers.com/8-fun-ways-to-help-your-students-collaborate-in-the-classroom/


Stock, E. (Jan 24, 2019). Want Students to Remember What They Learn? Have Them Teach It. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-24-want-students-to-remember-what-they-learn-have-them-teach-it


Three Ways to Encourage Student Collaboration. Video retrieved from https://www.teachingchannel.org/video/encourage-student-collaboration

Big picture

Comments, Questions, or Concerns?

Please contact Michelle Clarke, Math Content Specialist, with any comments, questions or concerns.