Comparison of Illinois mathematics content test to other states.
Michigan Mathematics content exam
The first thing I noticed on the Michigan content test was the lack of emphasis on instructional/ pedagogical techniques. While the Illinois test framework test mention as a part of each and every category that you should essentially have knowledge of how to teach or demonstrate each concept the Michigan test framework almost completely leaves it out. The exam seems to have a much smaller range of topics in comparison to the Illinois test, for example the framework doesn’t say much about the use of technology or instructional methods in the classroom as well as a seemingly small emphasis on calculus. In that respect this may not be a very good resource for studying for the Illinois exam. What I can say is that the majority of the topics remaining are almost identical and they do a very good job in describing what exactly they expect you to understand which can be a positive in understanding and preparing for the Illinois exam.
The following question is an example from their review questions that I believe can do an equally good job in helping a student in Illinois prepare for the 208 exam.
9. A wildlife biologist discovers that a bird population in a certain area is being reduced by half every 6.3 years. The population will be unable to sustain itself if it drops below its lower limit of viability, which is 1,500. If the original population of birds is 5,000, how long will it take for the population to reach its lower limit of viability?
A. 6.3 years
B. 8.8 years
C. 10.9 years
D. 11.3 years
New York Mathematics content exam
The New York content exam initially reminds me a lot of the 115 Illinois content exam in the way that the frameworks are very similar. The New York test has almost identical subareas to the 208 although the difference comes in that they have a separate category for pedagogical content knowledge. The pedagogical content knowledge is incorporated into every subarea of the 208 which I think is a better way to organize it. These similarities make the New York content test a valuable resource for Illinois students because you will find many problems and ideas to be the same with similar emphasis as well. The review questions also proved to be quite useful and this one I found specifically is a good question in practicing for statistics and probability.
6. A bottling company uses a machine to fill juice bottles. The quantity of juice that goes into each bottle is normally distributed, with a mean of 471.5 mL and a standard deviation of 1.75 mL. Approximately what percentage of the bottles receives less than 468 mL?
Julie Nowak, Principal
James B. Conant High School
Hoffman Estates, IL
Dear Mrs. Nowak,
I would like to reach out to you and propose to you an idea that could benefit our students as well as the teaching staff in our school. I believe that would should push to get entire classroom sets of IPad’s. In today’s society many of our students are already very much wrapped up in technology, they have smart phones and play video games and even complete much of their school work using technology. So for some students who don’t have the means of accessing such technology they can be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to learning. Many students may not have to the funds to have a personal computer or maybe they don’t have a way to gain access to one outside of school. A classroom set of IPad’s would fix this problem as well as benefiting the students in a plethora of other ways. The classroom is perfectly primed for integrating IPads they would make all of our daily lives easier and increase the comprehension and excitement about learning in our schools.
IPads have the ability to consolidate the materials a student needs to be successful on a daily basis all the notebooks as well as many of the educational books students need can be all in one place. The students can take notes on the iPads whether they would like to type or write it out with a stylist and using airdrop if needed they can show their work to the class or provide answers up on the projector with the click of a button. This feature can also be used to quickly share information from students to teacher or between students in class.
Students who may not have the economic means to access a computer or get online to complete an assignment. These IPads would be issued to the students at the beginning of the semester and they would be free to bring them home and use them as the need to. Students often times aren’t able to drive to the library of even stay at school late because they wouldn’t have any other way to get home due to having working family members. This would provide students with a reliable way to access the internet as well as a way to write papers and communicate with their teacher via email. This would absolutely increase the amount of on time assignments as well as the expectations and performance of the students. This would also make the lives of teacher much easier by being able to so easily share notes and power points with students they can spend a great deal of time more explaining concepts and reviewing topics students struggle with because they can save time on note taking.
Many people may argue that it is just another thing to distract the students but there are programs that can be easily put in place to force students only to use academic tools during school hours. The next biggest drawback some may say is the cost, well the IPads will pay for themselves in less than 2 years’ time. The average school spends about 50,000 dollars annually on paper alone which is an extremely high number. School’s will be able to cut that number in half because their won’t be such a need for paper all assignments and handouts can now be shared electronically. As well as helping the environment IPads are can save trees and be a part of the school starting or continuing a go green initiative. The average school consumes 74 trees annually and cutting that number down significantly will make many of us feel better and most likely spark more interest on the topic from our students. Once students become aware of the good they are starting to do they will be inspired to go one step further and one step further from all of our students is a great distance to travel.
These benefits are also multiplied by the huge amount of excitement students will have to use them. They will be more engaged because technology is more “fun” and interesting to the students and that is the most important part of these IPads. The increased motivation will do more for these students than any feature on the tablet, Homework isn’t a chore any longer but a great excuse to use their shiny new IPads. This motivation will ultimately end up increasing test scores across the board and at the end of the day furthering the ease and quality of education is my main objective so I don’t see any alternative that has the ability to impact that aspect in such a way, so this is the only way to do our jobs as educators to the fullest.
Thank you, Jordan Hughes
I am Jordan Kekoa Hughes and I am a Basketball player at Western Illinois University in my junior year. I am a Math Education major and I have always been interested cars and sports. I am the youngest of 3 siblings, I am the son or Garland and Chris Hughes and I spent most of my life growing up in Schaumburg, Illinois.
I am creating this website to facilitate my career as an educator in assisting students with my curriculum goals as well as sharing educational and or mathematical information with other educators or anyone interested in learning something.