The CIA Review

Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

Edition 4 October 30, 2015

Spotlight on Strategies

Six Word Story

Introduce this strategy by selecting an image related to the content you are currently teaching. Ask the students to describe what they see and then have them predict what they believe happened before and after the picture was taken. Have the students create a six word summary of the image and share out with the class.

Next, have students read an article, examine an image, or view a video segment. Have students work individually in creating their six word story to summarize the media your provided. Then have students work in groups to select a final version of their group's six word story. Have each group share out with the class.

By writing a summary with a limited number of words, students must focus on the important ideas and become thoughtful in their word choice. The purpose of the strategy is for students to discern the most important ideas and summarize information for any topic by studying an image, video, or reading passage.

Download the PDF version of the strategy or watch the strategy in action below.
Six Word Story

AdvancED External Review

Thank you to everyone involved in the AdvancED external review that took place last week. The team recommended that Berrien Springs Public Schools earn the distinction of accreditation for the next five years. Congratulations to all employees for working at the only district in Berrien County to receive AdvancED accreditation!

AdvancED is the global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation
services to over 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. Accreditation has two goals:
  • build capacity of the system and its schools to increase and sustain student learning
  • stimulate and improve effectiveness and efficiency throughout the system

Powerful practices noted by the external visit team:

  • Berrien Springs Public Schools staff have fostered an amazing culture (The Shamrock Way) that is inclusive for all students.
  • Berrien Springs Public Schools has been “on the cutting edge” for its efforts in strategic and innovative resource management to accomplish financial stability.
  • Berrien Springs Public Schools should be commended for developing a technology
    infrastructure that supports existing and future programs.

Improvement priorities:

  • Maximize the potential of the existing data management system by using the analysis
    of student achievement results for the purpose of improving instruction.
  • Institute a continuous and systemic district/school process to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of all initiatives and programs.
  • Utilize the continuous improvement process that includes dynamic improvement plans, protocols and documentation of overall performance to give focus to the work of the buildings/district.

The district improvement team will design a plan to address the improvement priorities listed in the report. In two years, the district will complete a progress report on the team's improvement priorities.

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From cave paintings to selfies, artists have always found creative ways of expressing themselves. Now, with the Google homepage as their canvas, Google is asking students to do the same. Young artists can doodle with any materials to show what makes them unique, and the winner’s artwork will be featured on the Google homepage for a day.

For this year’s contest, students can create a doodle that tells the world “What makes me…me.” Kids have all kinds of things that make them unique, so they can use all kinds of materials to create their doodles, from crayons, to clay, to graphic design, even food and video games.

Students in grades K-12 are invited to take part in the 2015 Doodle 4 Google contest. Like all Google Doodles, each doodle must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. One national winner will also receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The contest is open for entries from October 19, 2015 to December 7, 2015.

Doodle4Google - How It Works site

Grade level lesson plans

Doodle Gallery for inspiration

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The Redesigned SAT

All Michigan juniors will be taking the new SAT in April instead of the ACT as a piece of the Michigan Merit Exam (MME). The test is 3 hours and 50 minutes in length and consists of 4 sections: Writing and Language (35 minutes), Reading (65 minutes), Math (80 minutes, and Essay (50 minutes).

Question Types:
Writing and Language, Reading - 100% passage-based multiple choice
Math - 78% multiple choice, 22% produced response
Essay - writing prompt

Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Command of evidence
  • Relevant words in context
  • Revising and editing skills applied to text and data
  • Analysis of sources in Social Studies, Science, and Literature
  • Founding documents and great global conversation


  • Math focused on three key areas: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advance Math
  • Problems grounded in real-world contexts
  • Multi-step and extended-thinking problems


  • Common prompt applied to different sources.
  • As you read the passage, consider how the author uses: evidence such as facts or examples, reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence, stylistic or persuasive elements to add power to the ideas expressed.
  • Write an essay in which you explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience.

Scoring structure is explained here

Practice questions

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Quizizz is a fun multiplayer classroom activity, that allows all your students to practice together. Think Kahoot, but on steroids!

How does it work?

  1. Select one of the public quizzes or create your own.
  2. Click "Play" to generate your unique game code.
  3. Ask your students to open and enter the game code.
  4. See students joining on the live dashboard, and launch when ready.
  5. The game begins!
  6. Track live progress of your class on your dashboard.

View the walkthrough video below.

Quizizz Walkthrough

New Materials Available

The district received a grant for Maker materials. If you are not familiar with the Maker Movement, please visit this site.

3D Printers
The district has two 3D printers located in STEM Central. Students can create 3D models using free software such as Tinkercad, upload the file to the printer and watch the creation print to scale. If you are unfamiliar with 3D printing, here is a quick video that explains the technology.

MaKey MaKey
MaKey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. Click here for classroom project ideas.


If you can imagine it, you can invent it with littleBits easy-to-use electronic building blocks. Snap ‘em together to spark endless creativity and fun! Your inventions will blink, beep, buzz, crawl, communicate, and come alive before your eyes. Click here for classroom project ideas.

Please contact Emma if you would like to check out the equipment for your classroom or if you would like her to teach a lesson using the tools in your classroom.
MaKey MaKey - An Invention Kit for Everyone
Welcome To littleBits