Time Line for NeSA-M revisions 2014-15 Power Point

Preparing for the NeSA-M at the bottom of this page.
A nice series of videos about NeSA developed by ESU #10 can be found at http://blog.esu10.org/nesa/

A video created by ESU #6 that explains the format of the Nebraska Math Standards

Conversion charts, raw score to scale score for NeSA http://www.education.ne.gov/Assessment/NeSA_Scoring.htm

C4L Check For Learning

C4L documents http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/C4L_September_Training_Materials.html
Chris Good from ESU #1 has created two videos designed to assist school districts with the technical aspect of submitting items for the C4L interim assessment system.
  • item creation (2 videos)
  • item submission (2 videos)
Both videos can be found in 3 locations:

SIT Standards Instruction Tool

http://www.education.ne.gov/academicstandards/sit/ Nebraska Department of Education has just released a web based standards tool for Mathematics and Language Arts. The goal of the site is to support teachers as they implement the new state standards in the two content areas. A variety of resources are located under selected indicators. In most cases the files posted for mathematics are in the older word document format so teachers may copy and use them in their present form or easily modify them. It is a work in progress, so if you spot errors or have suggestions, please let Deb Romanek (Deb.Romanek@nebraska.gov) know.


Statewide NeSA data can be analyzed and disaggregated at http://drs.education.ne.gov A similar site exist with data for each school which is accessible through the portal.

Samples of NeSA reports that are available http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Reporting.htm


Hint to find information about NeSA assessments. Go to their web page http://www.education.ne.gov/Assessment/ and click on the A-Z list in the top left hand corner.
The majority of NeSA-M related documents are found at http://www.education.ne.gov/Assessment/NeSA_Math.htm

Reporting to NDE for student achievement in mathematics this year will done with the NeSAM. This assessment will be given between March 28 and May 6, 2010.
The Mathematics Standards which were approved in October 2009 for mathematics are available in vertical and horizontal format
· Deb Romanek's NDE page at http://www.education.ne.gov/math/
· Also found at http://www.education.ne.gov/AcademicStandards/index.html
· These standards should be aligned to the local curriculum.
The “Table of Specs” (TOS)for the NeSA-M for each grade level is available at http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Math.htm
· This provides information on which indicators will be assessed on NeSA-M.
· Standards that are assessed at the local level as shown on the table of specs will be the responsibility of the local school district. No reporting will be required at this time. All of the standards will need to be aligned to the local curriculum
· The PLDs for the NeSA-M and NeSA-AAM are located at http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Math.htm
NeSA-M information
· The test may be taken pencil and paper or online. The format used is a school decision and must be made in the fall.
· Four concepts will be measured: number sense, geometric/measurement, algebraic, and data analysis/probability.
· All students in grades 3 through 8, and 11 must take the regular assessment, regular assessment with approved accommodations, or the alternate assessment.
o Approved accommodations found at http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Accommodations.htm
· Approximately 48-60 multiple-choice items some of which are field-test items for future assessments.
· Test will be multiple-choice with 4 options.
· Levels for the NeSA test will be Below the Standard, Meets the Standard, and Exceeds the Standard.
· Scratch paper, graph paper, and the reference sheet are allowed.
· No calculator is allowed unless specified on IEP.
· There is no time limit on the test.
· The test will given be in two sessions. The sessions may be administered over two days or during a single day with a break.
Webbs Depth of Knowledge
· Webb’s DOK was used to determine the level of the questions. Level 1 (Recall), Level 2 (Skills/Concept), Level 3 (Strategic Thinking), Level 4 (Extended Thinking)
· Webb's Depth of Knowledge description and list of appropriate verbs [[file/view/Webb DOK.pdf|Webb DOK.pdf]]
· NDE has a document which explains the levels and provides examples of questions at each level. The document can be found by going to http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/Webbs_Depth_of_Knowledge.htm
  • Webbs Video from New York Department of Education
Reference Sheet
· Can be downloaded, printed and used now.
· Paper and pencil test will have an insert within the test booklet.
· Can be seen with a pull down menu on the online assessment
· Can be printed and used with the online assessment
· No reference sheet was created for grade 3
· Are available at http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Math.htm
Practice test—can be used at anytime
· The practice tests are Nebraska questions and contain around 25 items.
· The questions are matched to the NeSA-M through the Table of Specs but contain fewer questions than the actual assessment.
· Are available online or paper and pencil.
· Paper and pencil test along with the reference sheet can be downloaded at http://www.education.ne.gov/assessment/NeSA_Math.htm
· To access the online math practice tests you need to down load the software which is located at this link Download the CAL software (link)
· Once the software is installed, a NeSA program icon will appear on your desktop
· Clicking the NeSA icon will provide access to reading and math practice tests as well as the actual test during the testing window.
· The purpose is to have students practice the online testing process, the technology of the math test, the tools, etc.
· Anyone include parents can download the software and complete the practice test.
Tutorial—can be used at anytime
· Available through the NeSA icon after software is downloaded to your computer
· Demonstrates how the computer software can be used to help students taking the test
· Take time to go through this with your students before doing online test
· Online tools include
· Highlighter, a tool to highlight a word or phrase
· Striker, a red line to cross out options
· Eraser, a tool to erase the highlights or striker marks
· Mark for Review, a tool that turns items yellow as a reminder to return
· Some charts and graphs can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Common Core Standards are available in Mathematics and Language Arts


NCTM comments on Common Core Standards which includes a power point. http://www.nctm.org/news/highlights.aspx?id=26084&blogid=6806 Another NCTM resource "Making it Happen" can be found at http://www.nctm.org/standards/content.aspx?id=27524
NWEA is working to align their assessment to the common core standards. http://www.nwea.org/common- core-standards

Preparing for the NeSA-M

NeSA-M Prep
Preparing Students for the NeSA-M
· Be careful not to narrow what you teach in your classes. Research shows those students who do well in problem solving and higher-level thinking skills also do well in lower-level skills. An effort was made to measure application of mathematics rather than just computation. Questions that target application will not be complicated by difficult computation.

Make sure students realize:
· Test will be multiple-choice with 4 options. Each distracter is a possible solution. During test development each distracter had to have a rationale why students would select this answer. Make sure that students realize that just because the answer they found is one of the selections does not guarantee it as the correct response.
· Encourage students to solve problem in more than one way.
· Eliminating impossible answers increases the chance of getting the question correct. The test software does allow possible answers to be crossed off.
· Sometimes it easier to plug possible answers into the equations and find which one makes the equation true rather than to solve the problem.
Preparing for the test:
· Vocabulary plays a large role in students understanding the questions and doing well on the assessment.
o Identify vocabulary from the standards and practice test that students will need to know.
o Develop strategies (more than write the word down with its definition) so that students understand the word and how to use it.
o Suggestions for vocabulary strategies can be found at http://esu6vocabulary.wikispaces.com/ especially look at the page “reinforcing words taught.”
· Have students take the NeSA-M practice test, do an item analysis of the questions and use the data to determine where to create learning opportunities.
· Probability and statistics will be an area of concern. Create a one-week window where all teachers will do probability and stats activities with their students. High schools should consider a similar opportunity to review for geometry.
· Provide students an indicator from the standards and have them create a multiple-choice question with distracters. I think this would be a great way to help develop student ownership of their education.
· NeSA-M reference sheet for your grade level.
o Make this available when students are taking test to help the students become familiar with what is on the sheet and where it is located.
o Laminate the sheet to have available for students
o Create a poster size and have it in your room.
o Make sure students understand the way the formulas are written on the reference sheet if they are different that what you typically use.
· Spend short amount of time on a regular basis, maybe weekly. This would be much better than waiting until just before the test.
o Use L to J to review on regular basis and check progress.
o This review would benefit all students even those in upper level math courses.
· Look at the “Table of Specs” and standards for your grade level.
· Identify students who are likely to not do well and provide a more practice on a regular schedule.
o One school is using NWEA to identify these students and then uses a common study hall to have a math teacher work with them weekly.
o Many schools had a math course for juniors with the goal of working on the STAR standards. This same strategy could be used to prepare for the NeSA-M.
· Practice test (are available paper and pencil or online)
o These are Nebraska created items and are similar to what is on the NeSA-M
o Give the practice test, do an item analysis and look for indicators that need additional practice.
o Create additional items similar to the item for practice.
o Go over test questions and discuss strategies to solve the problem.
o If taking the NeSA-M online take the practice test online.
· When doing problems in class ask students, “What mistakes would other students (not you) make on this problem and what answer would they get?” This will help to make students aware of common mistakes and also answers that may appear as distracters on a multiple choice test.
· Work to make sure students utilize scratch paper, graph paper, and reference sheets when taking either the online or paper and pencil test. Take the practice test using the method your school will use. Model strategies used to get the correct answer.
o Have students get in the habit of folding a paper in half and then in half two more times to create 8 areas that could be numbers and work shown for that problem.
· 24 day countdown—model solving a problem each day from the practice test.

Student motivation:
· Remember that a positive attitude on the part of the teachers, administration and school is important.
· Discuss why the NeSA-M is being given and how the results will be used. Provide students information about what this test means for the school and district. Students who have been told why they are being tested are likely to concentrate and try harder than those who have no idea how their scores will be used.
· Set goals with your students even though results will be delayed until next fall.
· Mild competition between classes (7th grade to 8th grade), last year’s class score, other content areas. Remember that the results will not be available until the fall after the test.
· Make NeSA-M a big event. Consider a breakfast or snacks.
· Develop a sense of school pride similar to athletics and other extra-curricular activities.
· Celebrations of Knowledge or Academic Pep Rally
· Consider how the scheduling of the assessment will impact students. Take this into consideration, plan accordingly and after the assessment analyze the schedule and adjust for next year.
· Students who do are not proficient on the test will be identified and be provided extra support to help them become proficient. This would apply even to juniors who would not be taking the test again.

From NCTM:
Preparing for Tests from Day One!
Don’t wait to prepare your students for high-stakes testing. Incorporate problems from past state tests into the first five minutes of every day as warm-up exercises for the brain.
These tips include–
  • focusing on solutions instead of answers;
  • learning what is covered ahead of time;
  • involving students in creating reviews;
  • using similar grading in your assessments; and
  • becoming involved in writing the tests.
Go to this site to see more ideas and recommendations for preparing for the test.
From NCTM: These tips are found at http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=2147483737