Improving Students’ Mathematical Understanding
A Five Session Workshop Series
Sponsored by MDTP and the UCLA Math Department*
MDTP at UCLA is offering a five week workshop designed to support secondary math teachers in their efforts to improve their students’ mathematical understandings. In this collaborative effort, we will:
- Administer an MDTP diagnostic to establish a baseline understanding of student thinking.
- Set goals and evaluate progress.
- Explore, customize, and administer math activities that: fill-in gaps; remediate misconceptions; weave into current instruction; engage all students; support the math practices; and deepen understanding.
- Analyze and respond to student work.
The five Saturday session will be held in the UCLA Math Sciences Building on February 10, 24, March 10, 24, and April 7 – typically from 9 to 12. Enrollment is limited with preference given to educators that can attend all sessions.
A certificate of completion will be awarded to teachers attending all sessions.
Register for Saturdays at UCLA
A light breakfast and snack will be provided.
* This opportunity is provided at no cost to participants
This three hour workshop will introduce you to MDTP diagnostics tests and the free, online testing platform. We will learn how to navigate the online platform; set up schools, teachers, and classes; add enrollment; and assign and administer tests. We will explore how to use the online platform to analyze your results and set instructional goals. We will discuss math activities that support and improve student thinking and get students communicating mathematically.
The next session is Saturday, January 20, 2018, from 9-12 at UCLA in the Mathematical Science Building. Sign up here
This session is offered at no charge to participants. A light breakfast and snack will be served.
September 9 has been added for the online training workshop:
This three hour workshop will introduce you to MDTP diagnostics tests and the new, free, online testing platform. We will learn how to navigate the online platform; set up schools, teachers, and classes; add enrollment; and assign and administer tests. We will explore how to use the online platform to analyze your results and set instructional goals. We will discuss math activities that support and improve student thinking and get students communicating mathematically.
The next sessions are offered on Saturday August 19, and Saturday, September 9. They will be held at UCLA in the math building from 9-12. Sign up here
New Integrated Math 2 and Math 3 diagnostic assessments have been released. These assessments are currently available on the online testing platform. For paper testers, we expect booklets from the printers soon, hopefully early next week.
This year MDTP is field testing four readiness tests as shown in the table below. Note the Geometry, Second Year Algebra, and the High School Supplemental Test, are in the second year of field testing. We are excited to introduce a new test for students entering middle school, available in September.
|Common Core Aligned Readiness Tests*
||Field Test Year
|Middle School Skills Test
(intended for use near the end of grade 5, through grade 6)
|High School Readiness Supplemental (Algebra1/Math1. Online only.)
|Ready for online testing. Paper tests expected week of 8/14/17.
|Ready for online testing. Paper tests expected week of 8/14/17.
If appropriate, we recommend that you use the field test versions, however to participate in the field test, teachers also agree to administer a post test and brief end of course survey in the spring. Field testing is vital to maintaining the reliability and high quality of MDTP assessments and results, so we encourage and appreciate your participation.
Order paper field tests here; online users sign-up here.
The new online testing is now in wide-release. The new platform is free, easy to use, and gives expanded reporting capabilities. You may register for access here.
After registration, you will be sent an email with log-in instructions and a link to set-up your password. After you set up your password, you will be ready to learn how to set up other users, classes, enrollment, assign, and administer tests. There are five learning tools available for you to choose from:
- MDTP Online Video Tutorials (self-guided)
- MDTP Online PDF Tutorials (self-guided)
- UCLA based morning sessions. Two workshops are currently scheduled and if needed, more sections will be scheduled.
- Online virtual meeting with the site director (contact us below with your request)
- In-person meeting at your school (contact us below with your request)
Topics include accessing the online platform, registering your school, setting up classes so you’re ready to test in the fall; using the online platform to analyze your results and set goals; math activities to support and improve student thinking and get students talking math. This is one morning session tentatively scheduled Saturday June 10, Friday August 11, or Saturday August 19. Sign up here
Six new readiness tests are expected this summer, probably in early August.
- HS30D16, which is a special thirty item assessment, available only on the new online platform, intended to field test new high school readiness items that are more tightly aligned with common core curricular expectations. At this time of year, it would be a good assessment for Math 8 students. (This is available now on the online platform)
- Common Core aligned Integrated Math 2 Readiness and Integrated Math 3 Readiness tests will have completed three years of field testing and be readied for final publishing.
- Second year field test versions for Common Core aligned Geometry Readiness and Second Year Algebra Readiness will be prepared.
- First year Math 6 Readiness field test is expected – very exciting!!!!
MDTP has released assessments specifically designed for placement of incoming ninth graders and compliance with California Senate Bill 359 mandates. There are three tests available, free of charge, in either English or Spanish:
- High School Assessment (HSA) for students currently in Math 8 and who are entering either Algebra 1 or Integrated Math 1
- Geometry Placement Test (GP) for students currently in Algebra 1
- Integrated Second Year Placement Test (ISP) for students currently in Integrated Math 1
Unlike MDTP diagnostic tests, these are high stakes tests and will not be released for review. Moreover, to enable better security, the test will only be offered on the new MDTP online testing platform. (For placement into courses other than Algebra 1, Geometry, Integrated Math 1 or Integrated Math 2, you may want to use our published diagnostic tests.)
This is a pilot program and the MDTP testing protocol calls for schools/districts to attend a virtual training (approximately 90 minutes); administer the placement test in late spring; follow-up in the fall with administration of the appropriate course readiness test (as a placement checkpoint); complete a post placement survey in the fall; and a post course survey at the end of 9th grade. (See below for further details *)
If you are interested in participating, please register here. For questions and more information, please contact the MDTP Director’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
———————————– * Placement Testing Protocol Details * ———————————-
- Placement tests are only available on the free MDTP online testing platform
- A pre-testing training is required prior to receiving access to the platform. This is a virtual training for teachers, proctors, and or administrators lasting up to 90 minutes.
- Schools and districts will agree to administer the Placement Test(s) in late spring, prior to placing students as per SB-359 Sec. 2.7 (1):
“Systematically takes multiple objective academic measures of pupil performance into consideration. For purposes of this paragraph, “objective academic measures” means measures, such as statewide mathematics assessments, including interim and summative assessments authorized pursuant to Section 60640, placement tests that are aligned to state-adopted content standards in mathematics, classroom assignment and grades, and report cards.”
- Schools and districts will agree to administer the course-appropriate readiness test in the fall, after students are placed into their courses, as per SB-359 SB-359 Sec. 2.7 (2):
“Includes at least one placement checkpoint within the first month of the school year to ensure accurate placement and permit reevaluation of individual pupil progress.”
- Schools and districts joining the placement pilot will agree to complete two surveys at the end the assessment cycle for a testing cohort:
- Post Placement Testing Survey: will ask the following:
- Describe how you used the placement tool to aid in placement decisions (such as but not limited to cut scores, topic scores, in combination with, etc.)
- A breakdown of the total number of students and the total numbers for the courses they placed into (such as: 100 students took the GP with 80 students placed into Geometry and 20 students placed into Algebra 1)
- Post Course Survey: will ask for a breakdown of grades at the end of each course (such as: of the 80 students placed into Geometry, 20 = A, 20 = B, 20 = C, 10 = D, 10 = F)
- The survey data is not student-specific, so identifiers are not needed but, the data is important for our ability to determine test reliability during pilot/field-testing.
The MDTP online testing and reporting platform is nearing completion of the pilot phase and is scheduled for general release statewide release this summer. Features include quick set-up, an intuitive interface, and robust, immediate reporting capabilities. All current diagnostic tests are available online.
During the pilot phase, there are two required trainings. A pre-test training to learn how to set-up and navigate the online platform (approximately 1 hour). After testing, there is a training to learn how to analyze the results and plan appropriate instructional responses. This training is for teachers and optionally administrators, and lasts two to three hours.
Participation in the pilot phase is open, but subject to scheduling constraints.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com
MDTP Online Testing Workshops: Topics include accessing the online platform, registering your school, setting up classes so you’re ready to test in the fall; using the online platform to analyze your results and set goals; math activities to support and improve student thinking and get students talking math. This is one morning session tentatively scheduled Saturday June 10, Friday August 11, or Saturday August 19. Sign up here
Note: MDTP has just released, HS30D16, a new high school readiness assessment available only on the online platform. HS30D16 is a special thirty item assessment intended to field test new high school readiness items that are more tightly align with common core curricular expectations.
MDTP diagnostic testing at the end of the school year provides great information to reflect on the closing school year and plan for the upcoming year.
The results reports returned to teachers can help them identify the critical math topics learned well and those that students still struggle with. Teachers can use the reports to think about their work with particular students and use that info to develop ways to better support next year’s students. It can help them dig deeper into the conceptual foundations of the math topics essential for moving forward in future math courses.
- the teacher can distribute individualized letters to students to help them identify their accomplishments and plan for summer study.
- groups of math teachers and departments can use the results as part of a professional development plan that uses formative assessment to improve instruction.
- schools can use the results to inform placement into next year’s courses and support articulation between schools.
- Note: at this time of year, teachers typically administer the MDTP test for readiness for the following year’s course e.g. an Algebra 1 teacher will administer the Geometry Readiness test.