New training modules are available to help prepare review teams to use the Instructional Materials Evaluation Tool for Mathematics (IMET). The IMET was designed to facilitate a new kind of instructional materials review process, one that requires reviewers to have deep understanding of what Common Core alignment means and how to identify it. The IMET is only as powerful as the knowledge embodied by its users, so it’s critical that before diving into the review process, teams spend time learning to use the tool.
The scoring in the IMET is contingent on two categories of criteria: the Non-Negotiable Criteria which must be met completely in order for content to be considered Common Core-aligned, and the Alignment Criteria for which a certain threshold of criteria must be met for content to be considered aligned.
Each criterion includes a set of metrics to help reviewers identify evidence; recognizing metrics in the materials is easier said than done, however, and reviewers have noted that training ahead of time can help smooth the path during the review process. In previous Aligned posts (found here and here), reviewers shared the challenges they faced in finding evidence and understanding the differences between criteria. In both posts, you’ll see the authors (each of whom were experienced educators with content expertise) found that time spent on collaborative learning with fellow reviewers, along with opportunities to practice identifying evidence of the metrics, helped them feel more confident in their reviews. These kinds of activities are embedded in the training modules.
The modules below are designed to help groups collaboratively build a deep understanding of the IMET alignment criteria and metrics and how they reflect the expectations of the Standards. Through the use of examples and non-examples, participants will gain a solid understanding of what alignment looks like in instructional materials.
The modules include PowerPoints, Facilitators’ Guides, and Participant Handouts for the following topics:
- Non-Negotiables: Focus and Coherence: This module is designed to lead a group of reviewers using the IMET through the Non-Negotiables of the resource.
- Alignment Criteria: Rigor and Balance: This module is designed to lead a group of reviewers using the IMET through the Alignment Criteria pertaining to rigor and balance.
- Alignment Criteria: Standards for Mathematical Practice and Access for All Students: This module is designed to lead a group of reviewers using the IMET through the Alignment Criteria pertaining to the Standards for Mathematical Practice and access for all students.
After completing the modules, reviewers will be able to articulate the connection between aligned materials and the Common Core Shifts, understand deeply what each IMET metric calls for, and recognize examples and non-examples related to each metric.
Investing time in developing these competencies ahead of performing high-stakes reviews will allow the review team members to perform more efficient and accurate reviews from the beginning. Spending time on training will not only result in stronger reviews, but also in stronger practitioners who can bring their deep knowledge of the Common Core back to their schools and help facilitate the implementation of new instructional materials.
These modules have been adapted from the ones used with the Instructional Materials Taskforce; to learn more about the work of the Taskforce, read this blog post.