What is required by the K-2 Assessment mandate?
There is not now and has never been a state-suggested pacing guide for mathematics. Collaborative creation of such a guide using your districts resources by experienced teachers is an excellent staff development activity that not only draws upon the expertise of teachers but also serves as an affirmation of their experience.
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What is the purpose of the K-2 Assessment program?
The intended purpose of these assessments is fourfold:
How can teachers possibly do all those K-2 assessments and still teach the Standard Course of Study?
They can't and shouldn't try if they want to remain sane. What they need to do is produce a pacing guide to map out which objectives will be taught when, and when assessment of those objectives is appropriate. Then they can consult the wealth of materials presented for assessment and choose those parts that meet their needs. This on-going assessment needs to be documented and at the conclusion of the academic year a summative assessment needs to be administered and shared with each student's next-year's teacher.
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I am concerned about the use of calculators in the classroom. Shouldn't students learn the basics first before being allowed to use calculators?
It is definitely important for all students to acquire the fundamental concepts of mathematics early in school, including operational fluency with numbers (basic facts), and then build on those ideas to learn more advanced content. In the past, much of mathematics was learned through rote memorization; however, we now know that memorization is not an effective strategy of learning for understanding. Educational research indicates that conceptual understanding occurs when students learn concepts through applied problems prior to or concurrent with emphasis on skills. Approaching these applied problems with calculators enables students to concentrate on the problem rather than the computation, which will often be messy as are many real problems. Sound instructional practice recommends that students have access to calculators for both instruction and testing, and they should be instructed in thoughtful and appropriate uses of this powerful mathematical tool.
Should Algebra be offered in the Middle School?
Many folks are definitely evaluating the practice of offering Algebra 1 in the Middle School in light of the mathematics content that is now included in the grades 6-8 North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCS). As you look at the middle grades curriculum, you will note a rich curriculum that includes a significant amount of algebra and geometry in addition to the material from the Number & Operation, Measurement, and Data Analysis & Probability strands. Much of what had been in the former Algebra 1 curriculum is now moved to the middle school. There are some middle school students who could master the 6-8 curriculum in conjunction with the North Carolina Math I Standards for assessment. However, we must be cautious when screening and placing students in such situations, because many students need additional time to master these foundational skills and develop conceptual understanding in order to succeed in higher levels of mathematics. In fact, many researchers say that it would be better to err on the side of more students later and fewer students earlier.
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Where can I find information regarding EOG/EOC testing policies and procedures?
The DPI Accountability section has a wealth of information available on EOG and EOC tests including test specifications, sample test items, and calculator requirements.
You can access this information at the following web sites:
www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/eog
www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/eoc
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Can Introductory Mathematics be offered in middle school for accelerated students?
Introductory Mathematics (2020) is NOT an accelerated course for middle school students. It is a review of middle school mathematics for high school students who are not ready for Algebra 1.
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How many mathematics courses are required for graduation?
Effective for Freshman entering High School in 2012-2013 and Beyond, four Mathematics credits are required for graduation. Math I, Math II, Math III, plus a fourth mathematics course equate to the four mathematics credits. Four math credits do not have to include a fourth level math, but it is highly recommended that all students be given access to the highest levels of math. More information can be found on the Math Options Chart (pdf, 38kb).
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Do courses completed in middle school count for high school graduation?
Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, students who pass mathematics or foreign language courses taken during grades 6-8 that are described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Grades 9-12 must achieve a Level III or IV on the end-of-course assessment, if available, to meet the high school graduation requirement.