Algebra 1 Update

Informational materials for the Regents Exam in Algebra I (Common Core), including the Educator Guide,  3 webcasts, and additional Sample Items have been posted on EngageNY at:

The materials and their individuals links are as follows:

Educator Guide to the Regents Examination in Algebra I (Common Core)

The Guide was designed to support educators by providing an overview of the new test design.  Information about how the assessment shifts informed test development and how the CCLS will be measured on the new Regents Exam in Algebra I (CC) is specified.

Algebra I Webcasts

The three webcasts provide: (1) background on the Common Core State Standards along with teaching principles and tools that are crucial for implementing changes in pedagogy and a mathematics curriculum (2) information for teachers on the test design of the Regents Exam in Algebra I (Common Core) and how it measures the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) and (3) background information on the sample questions for Algebra I (Common Core).

Algebra I Sample Questions Fall 2013

Additional sample questions have been provided to help students, parents, and educators understand the instructional shifts under by the Common Core.


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High School Calculator Guidelines

It has come to my attention that not everyone knows that there is a calculator guidance document out for high school. Calculator Guidelines

A couple of things to note, power regression in Algebra 1 is limited to quadratics, so you really only have to do linear, exponential and quadratic regressions.

Rounding should not be done until the end of a problem.(I would be teaching my students to use the store function on the calculator)

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New Test Guides

The New Test guides have been posted.  Not too many major changes.  Here is the info from the state.

  • fewer questions on the 2014 Grades 3–8 Mathematics Tests than the 2013 tests;
  • shorter administration times for the 2014 Grade 3–8 Mathematics Tests than in 2013;
  • clarifications to the Mathematics rubrics and scoring policies; and
  • a change in content emphasis in Grade 8

Test Guides

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As NY guidance documents have indicated we must simplify radicals as we solve quadratics using the quadratic formula.  Anyone using the modules will have to add this supplement to module 4 as they care covering the quadratic formula.  You do not need to do extensive work around this, but enough so that students can utilize it as they solve quadratics.


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Middle school update

Module 2 for 6th and 8th grade are up.  Hopefully 7th is coming soon.

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Word files are posted for Module 1 for grades 6-9.

Modules 3 and 4 are out for Algebra 1.

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Module 2 for Algebra is out!!

Module 2 for Algebra has been released, it is posted on my blog and engageny.

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Module Overviews

Here a 3 more module overviews for Algebra 1 that won’t be on engageny for awhile as well as a draft of a new curriculum map.


Module 2: Descriptive Statistics

Module 3: Linear and Exponential

Module 4: Polynomials and quadratics

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Albany Update

New modules are posted for most grade levels.  The full Module 1 is up for 6-10 and most module 2′s at the k-5 level.  I have a busy week, but will work on getting everything up next week.  Until then here is the link to engageny.

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More Albany Details

Thanks to Eric Blask for the detailed write-up below!!!!

In the past 20 months of attending training events in Albany this was the best one that I have attended so far.  The biggest reason for this is that they had information to share with us and it looks like they will meet their deadline of having Algebra I Modules (units) ready by July 31.

For grades 6 – pre-calculus, we were provided a quick look at the first module of every grade level.  This quick look included the table of contents for the unit, the standards addressed in that module, a mid-module assessment, and an end of unit assessment.  During the presentation we did get some informal looks at actual lessons, but there were none included in the actual module overviews at this time.  Direct links to each grade level’s module 1 overview and the overall view for 6-8 and 9-12 can be found on this page on EngageNY.

The Algebra 1 modules looked like they are in line with our current thoughts on Algebra and the Common Core.  We will need to look at them in more detail when they come out this summer.

The Geometry modules place a large emphasis on transformational geometry and make it the foundation for the course.  The first two modules of the year are transformational geometry and they use transformations to define and prove congruence, similarity, and triangle congruence theorems.  This is a significant shift for us in geometry and is one that we don’t have to make.  We will have to have a conversation as a PLC and a department about this shift as we look at the Geometry modules next year.

The Algebra 2 and pre-calculus modules were not a focus as they did not have the same importance for us, or them, at this point as they are a couple of years away.  I did ask if they had talked with the community colleges about the pre-calculus module due to the number of schools that utilize dual credit.  They did not have an answer of me.

Below is the schedule that they have published for when the modules will be ready and published.

Algebra I Common Core Regents Exam

The state shared quite a bit of information regarding the Common Core Algebra I exam scheduled to be given next June.  Kate Gerson and Ken Slentz both stated that they are unsure of whether the Regents will continue to be public tests or will become secure assessments with limited items released similar to the AP exams and the NYS 3-8 assessments.  They did state that either way the tests will continue to be written by NYS teachers as they have been in the past.

Kate and two of the psychometricians working on the Algebra I assessment shared the test construction and blueprint information in the assessment packet that I emailed out last Wednesday.  These can be found at the beginning of the document and lay out how the test will be constructed.  It appears to be in line with their philosophy on the 3-8 exams of assessing more of the major standards and significantly less on the supporting and additional standards.  They provide additional details on how they will assess some of the standards in the Standards Clarification section and said that this section will be a living document that will get added to as they continue to construct items and the assessment.  They also laid out the number and types of items for the Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II exams.


This same assessment packet also includes the guiding documents that they use when constructing and reviewing items.  These documents can be found in the middle of the document and provide a great insight into how the state is constructing their items to assess standards in a variety of ways.  I also asked what they did with their questions that they discard throughout the process and was told that they just sit in their offices.  I then suggested that they share those discarded items with a brief rationale as to why it was discarded – too difficult, too easy, bad wording, not appropriate for a regents, etc. We could then take these questions and use them in our own assessment and instruction.  They thought this was a great idea and said that they are going to see how they can share them in this manner.

At the end of the same assessment packet, you will find some sample items for the Common Core Algebra I regents exam.  These sample items are somewhat hidden after the previous regents exam questions that are provided for comparison.  It is important to note, that not only do they provide sample items, but also standards, item review information, and scoring guides for each item.

We did not get any information on when we can expect to see a similar document for Geometry or Algebra II.

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