What Will PARCC Math Assessments Look Like?

The PARCC Math assessment will focus on assessing students in applying skills, concepts, and understanding. Students will demonstrate a deeper understanding of multi-step and real world problems involving abstract reasoning, strategic use of math tools, precision, and perseverance. Each test … Continue reading

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Beating the Brain Drain Through Computing: Webinar Recap with Printable Activity Sheet – by Julie C. Lyons

Beat the brain drain through computing

This past week, Lumos Learning hosted its second webinar in the “Beating the Brain Drain” series. During this interactive workshop, students were given many practical ideas and tips for keeping their math skills sharp in the summertime.
To review the webinar content, use this chart with your child to reinforce his or her math skills. Work together to select ideas that appeal to your son or daughter.
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Webinar “Cliff Notes” for Beating Summer Academic Loss: An Informative Guide to Parents Julie C. Lyons

Webinar Video

The three areas that suffer most from summer learning loss are in the areas of vocabulary/reading, spelling, and math. In Stop! In the Name of Education: Prevent Summer Learning Loss With 7 Simple Steps, we discussed some activities parents could use with children to prevent summer slide. Let’s add to that list with even more ways to keep children engaged and learning – all summer long.
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NJ ASK 2014: A Short Guide For Math Teachers

Math Teacher's Guide

Though the current iteration of the NJ ASK will not fully measure the Common Core State Standards in 2014, this “transitional” version of NJ ASK will be the bridge between the “old” assessment and the “next generation” PARCC assessment, which will be administered in the 2014-15 school year.
Last week, we looked at some of the changes between the 2013 and 2014 NJ ASK for English Language Arts – and while there are definite shifts and changes, the NJ Department of Education recognizes that these changes are of a more “subtle” nature (since many of the previously-tested skills will continue with the PARCC). Likewise, the 4th and 8th grade NJ ASK test for Science “will continue to measure the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and therefore will not change in any significant way.” However, for Mathematics, “the CCSS shifts are significant because new content will appear [in each] grade level.
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A Review of Sample Questions Released by PARCC: Implications for Mathematics

Though the questions themselves may look similar to the questions teachers and students are familiar with on the current NJ ASK, the new PARCC assessment will introduce some novel formatting and response techniques that will increase the rigor of standardized testing.
PARCC Math sample question review
This week we will investigate sample questions for Mathematics to highlight the major differences between the NJ ASK and PARCC. Please note that while the questions below are based on sample questions for Grade 3, this discussion applies to all grade levels, as the test format, computer skills that students will need, and the philosophy in creating the questions are similar — regardless of grade level, mathematical content, or task complexity… Continue reading

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NJ ASK Scores for 2012-2013: Information for Parents – by Julie C. Lyons

What’s in the Press Release and Reports

As of November 13, the New Jersey Department of Education released the NJ ASK results for the 2012-2013 school year. The State’s press release explains that this year, many of these assessments have been aligned to the Common Core State Standards (in grades 3-8 for ELA and in grades 3-5 for math). Next year, ELA and math will be Common Core-aligned in both subject areas for grades 3-8. The good news is that New Jersey, typically a top-performing state in these assessments, has shown a strong performance yet again.
NJ ASK Test Scores - A guide for Parents
In “The Nation’s Report Card”, a comparison of states across the country (performed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP)… Continue reading

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Lumos StepUp Mobile App for iOS is now available!

ISCATAWAY, NJ, November 12, 2013 – Lumos Learning has launched the Lumos StepUp™ Mobile App for iOS. It is available on iPod, iPhone & iPad. The iOS version of the app follows the successful reception of the Lumos StepUp Android app. Lumos StepUp™ is an educational app that helps students learn and master grade-level skills in both Math and English Language Arts. Continue reading

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PARCC Assessment: What Resources Exist?

In past blog posts, we detailed the implications of the PARCC Assessment on professional development, classroom practice, and instructional strategies. At this point, it is helpful to consider the numerous resources that exist for educators:

• Task Prototypes and Sample Items

First, this page details the purpose of the PARCC and explains the various components of the assessment by grade levels (K-2, 3-8, and High School)… Continue reading

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Keeping PARCC in Mind for Math… Without Teaching to the Test

Last week we looked at ways to prepare students for the PARCC assessment without falling prey to simply “teaching to the test”. With the following recommendations, math teachers will not only prepare their students for the new assessment but also continue to motivate them to enhance their mathematical proficiency.
Keeping PARCC in Mind for Math… Without Teaching to the Test - Infographic

Be aware of the “core” differences.

The PARCC test will reflect the Common Core Content standards, and those who have been teaching math for years must now adjust:… Continue reading

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PARCC Implementation: Discussion and Implications for Math – Julie Lyons

With the implementation of the Common Core, teachers and administrators alike have made changes in their curriculum and instructional practices. To ease the transition between the old and new, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) has devised suggestions and a structure that will not only support the Common Core but also prepare students adequately for state assessments.

In the area of mathematics, there are many important distinctions between the previous NJ State Standards and the Common Core. For curriculum supervisors, administrators, and teachers to make well-informed decisions, it is important to take the following information into account. The items below reflect some of the major emphases of the model content framework, along with important differences between the Common Core and the former state standards:

Focus and Coherence:

The Common Core calls for students to not simply “cover” a topic, but to investigate, understand, and apply that content with deep, enduring understanding… Continue reading

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