Posted on

eMath December 2018 Newsletter

Ah, its the last week of classes here in New York before the big break. Kids and teachers here are restive, but happy that one of the longer break is on the horizon. Just last minute tests, office parties, and school concerts to get through. Maybe our hypercube logo in a Santa hat is just what you need:

Or maybe you also just need that vacation. I know I do.

We’ve got the typical add-ons to discuss but first I wanted to update all of you on the latest timeline for New York State switching to the Next Generation Math Standards. If you are not teaching in New York, you may want to skip to the add-ons. However, if you have been confused about when the Next Generation standards are going to be implemented, read on.

As most teachers in New York know, these standards are very close to the Common Core Standards. But, like many states, the political backlash against those standards, earned or not, has made them untenable, at least in name. The timeline for adoption of these standards, of course, is dictated on when they will be assessed. That timeline has been fairly transparent for quite some time at the K-8 level. Here’s the graphic and link from the NYSED.gov website:

http://www.nysed.gov/curriculum-instruction/next-generation-learning-standards-and-assessment-implementation-timeline

The most important part of this graphic is the final piece (with my horrible highlighting):

At eMath we have been working under the assumption that the changes due to the Next Generation Standards in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II would all go into effect in the Fall of 2020 and then assessed for the first time in June 2021. NYSED hasn’t updated that graphic on their website for quite some time (at least 6 months) and to my knowledge has not made any solid decision. But, NYSED is speaking to math teachers, especially in the form of responding to question from the Association of Math Teachers of New York State (AMTNYS). Here is the relevant question (from AMTNYS) and the reply (from NYSED):

I love the fact that “new” is in quotes. Here is the full document:

2018 AMTNYS Math Questions

So, it looks like at the very earliest the changes at the high school level will be assessed in June of 2022 (which seems like a century away to me). And it seems like that will only be for Algebra I. So, those of you holding your breath for 3 by 3 systems to be taken off the New York State Algebra II Regents exam could be waiting until the 2023-2024 school year. Let that sink in for a minute (or more).That’s five years and countless numbers of Regents exams between now and then.

The upshot of all of this for users of eMathInstruction courses is that we will not introduce these changes to our texts until at least the Fall of 2021. This, of course, is subject to change should NYSED decide to implement changes to the assessments earlier, but that would be disastrous for them.

O.k. Onto the add-ons for the month.

In Common Core Algebra I Add-Ons, we bring you two Form C assessments, one for Unit 5 (Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities) and one for Unit 6 (Exponents, Exponents, Exponents). We will continue to put our these additional assessments year in and year out since we get a lot of positive feedback on them. Of course, it never hurts to have makeups and alternate exams.

In Common Core Geometry Add-Ons this month we have two sets of practice problems. First, we have a Unit 5 Coordinate Geometry Formula practice sheet. This is a short set of problems that give students a chance to practice what they’ve learned about the three fundamental coordinate geometry formulas (slope, midpoint, and distance). This is a good extra assignment for the average student. For Unit 6 we bring you a nice set of quadrilateral practice problems. These aren’t proofs, just algebraic and numerical problems that ask kids to use facts about the various quadrilaterals they’ve been studying.

For Common Core Algebra II Add-Ons we again bring you two Form C Assessments. We bring you the third version of the Unit Assessment for Unit 5 (Sequences and Series) and the third for Unit 6 (Quadratic Functions and Their Algebra).

Finally, for Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Add-Ons we have an assessment and a practice set of problems. We bring you the Form B Assessment for Unit 6 (Polynomials and Rational Functions). We also have another resource for Unit 7 (The Circular Functions). We created a set of fairly basic trigonometric graphs (no horizontal shifts) and ask the students to create their equations based on either the sine or cosine functions. This is a nice sheet to give kids to practice immediately after they have learned all of the basic sinusoidal graph parameters.

So, in other eMathInstruction news, we will be paying a visit to Edward R. Murrow high school in Brooklyn, New York this spring for our annual school visit. I’m excited to meet the students and teachers at Edward R. Murrow and amaze and awe them with some math that’s more fun than serious. Next month we will have some exciting news regarding new courses coming to eMath just in time for those Next Gen Standards I was talking about before. So, I’ll leave you with this teaser of an image:

Have a great holiday season! Enjoy the break, the rest, your family, and your friends. 2019 here we come!