The post Bloom’s Taxonomy in the Common Core Math Standards appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>*In this 3-part series, BrainPOP’s Assessment Specialist, Kevin Miklasz, shares his analysis of the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in relation to the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.*

Recently, Dan Meyer posted an analysis of what kinds of tasks are expected of students on Khan Academy and how it compared to the demands of the Common Core State Standards. Dan used a recently released sample test from the SBAC to describe what the Common Core required, but we were inspired to take Dan’s analysis one step further. Instead of interpreting SBAC’s interpretation of the Common Core’s interpretation of what students should do, we decided to go right to the core, the Common Core. What exact kind of tasks is the Common Core requiring of students? And how do those requirements change across grades?

But, we needed a categorization system to group different kinds of student tasks. Dan used verbs to categorize tasks, but some verbs actually call for similar mental processes, and so probably should be grouped together rather than separated. Additionally some verbs in the standards, like “understand” can have loaded meanings and depending on their context refer to higher or lower order cognitive tasks. To accommodate both of these issues, we grouped tasks using everyone’s favorite categorization system, Bloom’s taxonomy.

So, this lead to a relatively large task, of going through every standard in every grade and tagging it with one or more levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. Our hope is that by doing this kind of work, we can better understand what kind of tasks the Common Core is emphasizing. In this blog post, I’ll look at the Common Core Math standards, look for the CCELA and NGSS in followup posts!

First up, Common Core Math! The results are shown in the two figures below. The top figure shows the percentage of tasks in each level of Bloom’s taxonomy, where the lower graph shows pure numbers. The first column in the top graph codes the “Mathematical Practices,” which are intended to span across all standards, across all grades.

The first two things to notice are that the **number of tasks required of students increases with each grade level**, and that **the distribution of tasks does not change much across grade levels**. There is a transition between grades 3-4, in which there are less Understand and more Apply tasks. But in general, there is very little trend across grades. Additionally, for most grades the highest three levels of the taxonomy comprise only 10-35% of the total tasks. **For the majority of mathematics tasks students are being asked to do, those tasks are at a relatively low level on Blooms.** To be fair, the higher level tasks do take more time than low level tasks, so the allotment of classroom time will be more weighted towards higher level tasks than these standards indicate. But the majority of the standards text actually describe relatively low level tasks.

Another qualification- the Mathematical Practices are much more weighted towards high level tasks than the standards themselves as can be seen in the top figure, and these practices are meant to be infused across the grade level standards. Exactly how this infusing should occur is not clear, but that certainly would weight the scale towards higher level tasks.

*In case you are curious how I did this analysis, here some details.*** **

*Some grade-specific standards contained multiple parts, or multiple tasks that they required from students. I coded each “task” required from students, which usually was one per standard, but sometimes was multiple tasks per standard.*

*The standards themselves note that they are overlapping, in that the same content is emphasized and described in different ways in multiple standards. By my analysis, this would give those kinds of semi-repeated tasks more weight, as they would be counted multiple times for each of the various places they appeared. I decided this was ok- things that were more crucial tended to be more often repeated, and therefore should get more weight.*

*The high school Math standards were not broken up by grade, they were broken up by subject. I felt they confused the graph more than added useful info, so I did not show them here. But I can say that the high school standards were similar to the middle school standards in mostly emphasizing lower order skills in similar percentages.*

** To refer back to the original point of Dan’s article- the sample test released by the SBAC seems to be testing at a much, much higher level than the 8th grade Common Core standards seem to be calling for, potentially indicating that they had selectively released their best test items, and that the sample test is not a representative example of the test as a whole. Also, the Khan Academy is actually doing quite well compared to the standards themselves! If anything, the Khan Academy tasks were at a higher average level of Bloom’s taxonomy than the tasks described in 8th grade Common Core Math standards.**

**About Kevin:** Kevin entered education as a trained scientist- he has a PhD in Biology from Stanford University. Both during and after his graduate studies, he has spent his time gaining a smattering of diverse experiences in education: designing science curriculum, teaching after-school science programs, designing science games, running a “cooking as science” blog, designing online learning platforms, running professional development for teachers and professional engineers, and analyzing educational assessment data. Kevin is currently the Assessment Specialist at BrainPOP where he is designing new, playful and meaningful assessments on BrainPOP’s website.

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]]>The post Which Math Topic Should BrainPOP Produce Next? You Decide! appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>Now is your chance to choose the next BrainPOP math topic! We plan to create **one** of the following math topics:

- Multiplying and Dividing Fractions,
- Displaying Data,
- Surface Area,
- Quadratic Equation
- Ordering Fractions

But we don’t know which topic to start with! Participate in our poll below and vote for the math topic that we you would like us to produce first! After selecting the topic of choice, spread the word and get your educator peers to vote too! After closing the poll on March 21st, the most popular topic will go to the top of our math production queue! So what are you waiting for? Vote!

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]]>The post Making Change and Other Money Skills with BrainPOP Jr. appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>Did you know that BrainPOP Jr. now offers a new movie called Making Change Under a Dollar?

You can have students use the interactive game to practice making change, or complete the printable activity to count out change for Moby. In the Draw About It feature, students can draw the coins Moby would receive after buying an item, or for a bigger challenge, they can solve Mia’s problem in the Write About It feature.

Check out our lesson ideas page for more school and family activities for making change under a dollar, or view the entire Money notebook and explore our movies on related math topics.

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]]>The post BrainPOP Refinements and the Common Core State Standards appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>Like all educational content providers, BrainPOP has been adjusting to the curricular demands of the Common Core State Standards. We’ve addressed the changes by creating new content, making alignments for relevant movies, games and lesson plans. We’re also refining and adjusting some of our movies to address the specific wording of the standards.

For example, recently we made a change on our BrainPOP Jr. movie Arrays. Though our explanation of an array was accurate, it was stated differently from how the 2nd grade OA standard expect students to express understanding. Check out the change in this video. Do you notice the change in Annie’s explanation of counting rows?

We’re doing small changes, like the one above, for dozens of our BrainPOP and BrainPOP jr. movies. You can visit our BrainPOP and the Common Core page to learn about our approaches in general, but if you ever notice a tweak that could improve our animated content, please let us know! BrainPOP content is designed to help you and your students achieve, so we’re always happy to hear your feedback.

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]]>The post STEM Lesson Plans appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>BrainPOP’s STEM spotlight highlights topics from Energy Sources and Digital Animation to Electric Circuits and Statistics. Lesson plans for these topics and more are all included in this STEM spotlight lesson plan collection. Use these lesson plans and take children to the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!

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]]>The post Practical Math Spotlight Lesson Plans appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>BrainPOP’s Practical Math spotlight highlights topics from Comparing Prices and Estimating Distance to Graphs and Statistics. Lesson plans for these topics and more are all included in this Practical Math spotlight lesson plan collection. Use these lesson plans and help children utilize their knowledge in Math in practical situations!

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]]>The post Project T.R.I.G. Math Game appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>Visit the lesson ideas page to find more resources for the Project T.R.I.G., a free online math game.

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]]>The post Projectile Motion Lesson Plan: The Project T.R.I.G. Game appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

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]]>The post New on GameUp: Carpenter’s Cut appeared first on BrainPOP Educators.

]]>BrainPOP is excited to include Carpenter’s Cut in our collection of Math, Engineering and Technology games on GameUp! Developed by our partner Hooda Math, the Carpenter’s Cut game allows students to take on the role of a carpenter who needs to cut planks of wood. Younger students will practice equal grouping in early levels of the game, while older students practice measurement, factoring, division, and algebra as they cut slabs of wood in the advanced game levels.

This is a good game to play with paper and a pencil alongside so that students don’t have to do all the calculations in their heads. Encourage students to reference their scratch paper after game play when they’re reflecting on what they learned.

You can use our lesson plan entitled Real World Measurement Lesson Ideas: Carpenter’s Cut Game, which is adaptable for grades 2-7, to learn how this game can be incorporated into your classroom instruction. Through the lesson, students will explore authentic contexts for measurement skills, then work collaboratively to create math word problems that include real world measurement scenarios. The lesson includes game-specific teaching strategy tips and differentiation strategies to help you meet the needs of all learners.

If you like Carpenter’s Cut, be sure to check out Dublox, another terrific math game from Hooda Math which allows students to test their spatial and transformation skills. Hooda Math games are all created by a former math teacher in the Minneapolis Public School system, and we’re proud to feature them!

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