Superintendent’s Memo #032-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 27, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Supports for Implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning

The following is an annotated listing of curriculum, instruction, and assessment supports and guidance provided to school divisions since 2009 to assist with the implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning.  It may be useful to have all this information in one place in the final preparation for the new Mathematics Standards of Learning assessments this spring.

Standards of Learning and Curriculum Framework Documents

In February 2009, the Board of Education approved the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) and they were subsequently posted on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Web site with their supporting Curriculum Framework documents.  The Curriculum Framework, approved in October 2009, provide guidance for instruction and assessment of the 2009 Mathematics SOL.  The Mathematics Crosswalk between the 2009 and 2001 Standards provides detail on additions, deletions, and changes included in the 2009 Mathematics SOL.

SOL Testing Blueprints

Posted SOL testing blueprints indicate the reporting categories for each SOL test, the SOL assessed in each reporting category, the number of test items for each reporting category and for the test as a whole, and the number of field test items for the test.

Mathematics SOL Institutes

Over the past three years, the VDOE held statewide K-12 Mathematics SOL Institutes that provided targeted professional development for representatives from each of Virginia’s school divisions in support of the implementation of the 2009 Mathematics SOL. Professional development resources from each institute were posted online to facilitate ongoing professional development in school divisions.

Instructional Videos for Teachers

New instructional videos were developed and posted to assist teachers in addressing areas of instructional challenge identified by participants of the 2010 Mathematics SOL Institutes.  Instructional videos that were originally housed on the “Middle School Online Strategies” Web site are included and have been correlated to the appropriate grade levels, based on the 2009 Mathematics SOL.

Enhanced Scope and Sequence (ESS) Sample Lesson Plans

Mathematics ESS Sample Lesson Plans were developed to help teachers align instruction with the 2009 Mathematics SOL by providing examples of how the knowledge and skills found in the SOL and Curriculum Framework can be presented to students in the classroom. The lesson plans are accessible using a keyword search, or by selecting specific SOL objectives organized by grade level and reporting category.  Sample lesson plans are currently provided for grades K through 8 and will be posted for Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis; and Algebra II in spring 2012.

Technical Assistance Documents

Technical assistance documents were developed and posted to assist in instruction of statistics content included in the Algebra I (SOL A.9) and Algebra II (SOL AII.11) SOL that may not be included in mathematics textbooks previously adopted by school divisions.

SOL Practice Items

To support student preparation for test questions that assess the 2009 Mathematics SOL, a set of practice items delivered via electronic Practice Assessment Tools (ePAT) were developed and posted for each SOL mathematics test.  SOL Practice Items provide students an opportunity to become familiar with new types of items that reflect the increased rigor and new content found in the 2009 Mathematics SOL.  SOL Practice items contain technology enhanced items (TEI) that require students to demonstrate their learning in ways other than multiple choice.

An SOL Practice Item Guide, which may be used by teachers or other adults to guide students through the practice items, was developed for each SOL ePAT.  The use of the guide with the ePAT is strongly encouraged, as it will help to ensure that students are familiar with the types of items and tools they may encounter in the new online assessments.

SOL practice items are currently available for the grades 3 through 8 mathematics tests as well as for the Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II tests.  Additional and updated SOL practice items for these tests will be available in spring 2012.  School divisions will be notified when the updated practice items have been posted.

TestNav Tools Practice

To assist in familiarizing students with the tools available within TestNav, the online testing software used in Virginia, two practice sites will be available in spring 2012.  One site is geared toward students in grades 3 through 8 mathematics, while the other site is geared towards students taking Algebra I, Geometry, or Algebra II.  These sites will provide students opportunities to practice using the online tools such as the ruler, straightedge, protractor and compass. School divisions will be notified when these practice sites are available on the VDOE Web site.

Ancillary Test Materials: Formula Sheets and the Table of Standard Normal Probabilities

Formula sheets for mathematics tests in grades 6 through 8, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II were developed for use on the new tests.  Algebra II (SOL AII.11) requires students to analyze properties of normal distributions and apply those properties to determine probabilities associated with areas under the standard normal curve. The table of Standard Normal Probabilities (z-table) is provided for use with this SOL.

Approved Calculators

The posted listing of state-approved calculators for mathematics and science SOL assessments includes the addition of newly approved graphing calculators.

Approved Textbooks

The VDOE posted the list of textbooks for K-12 mathematics that was approved by the Board of Education in July 2011.  Included are SOL correlations for each approved textbook to assist school divisions in the local textbook adoption process.

K-3 Mathematics Achievement Records

The Standards of Accreditation require schools to maintain an early skills and knowledge achievement record in reading and mathematics for each student in grades kindergarten through grade 3 to monitor student progress and to promote successful achievement on the third-grade Standards of Learning tests.  Sample achievement records, aligned with the 2009 Mathematics SOL, were posted for school divisions.

Questions regarding instructional resources should be directed to Michael Bolling, mathematics coordinator, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 786-6418; or Deborah Wickham, mathematics specialist K-5, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 786-7986.  Questions regarding assessment resources should be directed to assessment staff via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2102.