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.