The Enhanced Learning Maps (ELM) project currently provides instructional resources in mathematics and English language arts to teachers of grades 2–8 in Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
Participating teachers will receive access to all the resources produced by the ELM project for implementing a robust formative assessment process. These teachers’ implementation of ELM ideas into the classroom will help bridge the gap between teaching theory and practice, and their use of ELM resources in instruction will serve to test these resources in a real-world environment. By participating in the ELM project, teachers may benefit from the professional learning opportunities the project provides.
The participating teachers’ feedback will inform edits to ELM materials and provide the ELM research team with invaluable insight into the connection between an appropriately implemented formative assessment process and true achievement gains among students.
The initial group of participating teachers for the 2016–17 school year was comprised of approximately 50 teachers, and that number will increase for each of the project’s four years, expanding to a total of 400 teachers in the final year.
Participants receive access to
- Interactive maps, useful for identifying where students are in the learning process;
- Specially designed activities for eliciting evidence of student learning;
- Tools for interpreting student work and adjusting instruction accordingly; and
- Dedicated support staff, who can assist in using the ELM software, implementing lessons and activities in the classroom, and evaluating student work in light of the learning map model.
Other benefits for participants include
- The opportunity to help advance instruction by bridging the gap between educational research and practice;
- A three-day summer workshop in Kansas City, where training will be provided on accessing ELM’s digital library of materials and using those materials with students; and
- Year-round webinars and online discussions focused on specific instructional units.
Participants will be expected to invest approximately 2–3 hours per instructional unit to implement ELM’s ideas and materials in their classroom instruction, with each instructional unit intended to be taught over a two-to-four-day period. This time will be more specifically divided among the following activities:
- Exploring ELM’s resources through the ELM digital library
- Reading and considering each unit’s notes and activities when planning instruction
- Reading and considering the solution guide when evaluating student work
- Completing feedback surveys at the conclusion of each instructional unit
At the conclusion of the ELM project in 2019, the project team intends to release the final revision of all project materials for free, non-commercial use by all teachers in all participating states. By becoming a participant in the project ahead of that date, then, teachers have the exciting opportunity to shape the instructional materials that may eventually guide the education of millions of students for years to come.