Virginia Success Stories
I have used Exemplars for the past 15 years, and I have yet to find any other resource that compares to it.
With the increasing rigorous demand of high-stakes testing, Exemplars is a "must have" component to any mathematics program. I have been in education for over 18 years and have seen programs come and go. Exemplars is one of the few initiatives that has proved effective time and time again!
From Norfolk Public Schools
Norfolk is an urban district that is experiencing success because we've been focused on not only improving student achievement, but doing it for the long-haul.
We see the benefits of writing in mathematics; of using performance assessments in mathematics rather than simply relying on a multiple-choice assessment. Since we stress having students illustrate their thinking in words, pictures and numbers, Exemplars is a wonderful tool. Because it's written for and by teachers, our teachers understand what they are looking for as a result of the assessments.
We started using Exemplars with a small group of teachers that we felt would "run" with them. These teachers became our ambassadors and have worked to infuse Exemplars within our program. We even identified specific Exemplars tasks for use in our curriculum.
We use Exemplars as a professional development tool to get our teachers to look critically at what students know and illustrate for us. Last year we even had an Exemplars Study Group that met quarterly. Teachers were grouped by grade levels and worked on a task (to discuss the mathematics, the curriculum objectives embedded within the lesson, and to consider the rubric that would be used). The task was then given to their students and the teachers returned the next time to discuss the results. Teachers shared samples of student work and talked about strategies for improving all of their students' performance.
We are also using Exemplars at the K-5 level specifically as an assessment tool. One of the things that our elementary schools are doing is to chart the percent of students scoring at the different levels periodically so that as a grade level you can determine/describe student success (overall).
Norfolk Public Schools