Looking for a different way to get information about school testing out to the public? Try putting it on a McDonald's™ tray liner!
The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) in Bennington was trying to help its local community gain a better understanding of what students need to demonstrate in order to be successful on their math assessments. One of the most difficult sections of the exam is problem solving. Here, students are not only expected to determine the correct strategy, but also to explain their answers in writing, using math language and representation. For four years SVSU has used Exemplars as a curriculum tool in teaching its students how to solve these types of problems.
In an effort to share with its community examples of the types of problems students are expected to solve, SVSU contacted the McDonald's Corporation for assistance in distributing information. The result was Exemplars tasks went out to lunch! Typical sample problems were recreated on the McDonald's™ tray liners allowing the community to see the kinds of problem-solving tasks their students were doing. Both McDonald's™ and Exemplars were glad to be part of this of this community effort. Exemplars was pleased to give permission for its problems to be displayed and McDonald's™ funded the printing and production of the tray liners. Exemplars problems will be featured in the Bennington McDonald's™ over a three-month period of time on five different sets of tray liners.
The public's response was amazing, with both local and regional media picking up the story! Two television stations broadcast the news. The Bennington Banner ran an article and editorial that commended the district for, "developing a unique way to let the community know the nature of the important test their children are taking." The Vermont School Boards Association and other districts have contacted SVSU to learn how they too can help broaden the community understanding by using Bennington's success as a model.Steve Cleveland, Information Technology Coordinator, VT