MDC Tod Gilmore's class eSTEM Modeling Conditional Probabilities pot

Why use the Mathematics Design Collaborative (MDC) tools?

Students are engaged

“I learn the concepts a lot better in a group setting rather than just sitting idle in a classroom listening to a teacher.”
— High school math student

 “Students were very engaged in discussion and work.  You could not be passive in this.”
— Margie Belair, STEM Middle, Reynoldsburg City Schools

“There were kids who on the pre-assessment literally missed everything and about half way through the lesson the light bulb went off and all of a sudden they are the leaders, they are the ones telling them, ‘this is what you need to work on, this is the mistake that you are making, I was doing that before’.”
— Ben Wagner, 7th grade math teacher

Improved instruction in the classroom

“It’s [MDC] about formative assessment, it’s about thinking about the ways you are grouping your students, it’s about identifying misconceptions, learning from what they do or don’t know, building on that, and then re-assessing to see if you have made the gains you want to make.”
— Krista Miller, high school math and science teacher

 “I believe it has the power to change the instruction of teachers every single day in the classroom whether they are implementing an MDC lesson or not.”
— Aimee Kennedy, Principal

MDC graph

Mathematics Assessment Project. Formative Assessment. An Overview for Teachers. Rtvd. July 1, 2013, from http://map.mathshell.org

Research-based approach

Research shows that formative assessment teaching results in more long-term learning for students. MDC Classroom Challenges have been developed, researched and refined by Researchers at the Shell Centre at the University of Nottingham, England and UC Berkeley.

Common Core

Each classroom challenge is directly aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics.

What is MDC?

The MDC College Ready Tool is designed to improve student mathematics skills and to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.  Classroom Challenges (also known as Formative Assessment Lessons) embed formative assessment strategies and serve as the central focus of the MDC professional development. The professional development is designed to help mathematics teachers (grades 6 through Algebra II) to enact the challenges and shift instructional practices to incorporate formative assessment techniques in their everyday classrooms.

What is Formative Assessment?

The central idea of formative assessment, or assessment for learning, is that evidence of student learning is used to adjust instruction to better meet student learning needs (Dylan & Wiliam, 2007).”

MDC graphic2

Adapted from Foster, David and Poppers, Audrey (November 2009). Using Formative Assessment to Drive Learning The Silicon Valley Mathematics Initiative: A Twelve-year Research and Development Project Retrieved July 1, 2013 from http://www.svmimac.org

According to the Math Assessments Project, formative assessment teaching differs from “regular” teaching by requiring students to take more responsibility for their work and to engage in a “productive struggle” with challenging tasks.  The teacher’s role shifts from providing answers and solutions to encouraging students to reflect and reason through their ideas and asking questions to support students’ thinking. The MDC Classroom Challenges are designed to support teachers in making this shift in instruction.

What does an MDC Classroom Challenge look like?

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MDC trainee

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