Need Help On Math Homework?


Students are often sitting stuck on a question outside of the classroom.

Here is a site to help!

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The Adolescent Brain

Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically “teenage” behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

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Are you looking for school options outside of brick and mortar high schools?

Do you want to find and pursue new opportunities?

Ready to continue your education at a community college, university, or technical school?

Want to get into the work force?

The CHSPE (California High School Proficiency Exam) could open up a variety of options for you.

Educate yourself about the CHSPE and provide registration information and instructions for taking the test in your area.

Important Notice: As of April 1, 2014, the California Department of Education (CDE) has decided to postpone the scheduled change in test series for the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE). This test series change is dependent on the approval of a one-year contract for the 2014-15 school year. All portions of the CHSPE that were passed since 2004 remain valid and will count toward earning a Certificate of Proficiency. The CHSPE test series will not change until after the March 21, 2015 test administration. At that time, examinees who have not yet earned a Certificate of Proficiency by May 1, 2015 may need to begin the testing process again in the new test series. Sections and subtests previously passed in the current test series may cease to be valid.


Registration for the October 18, 2014 administration of the CHSPE is now open. The regular registration deadline for the October administration is September 19, 2014. Registration materials including printed Registration Form, proof of eligibility, and appropriate payment, must be received in the CHSPE Office by 5 p.m. on that date to avoid late registration fees.

FRI - SEP 19   Fall 2014 Regular Registration Ends 5 p.m. Accommodations Deadline
FRI - OCT 03Fall 2014 Late Registration Ends 5 p.m. Non-emergency sites close
TUE - OCT 14Fall 2014 All Registration Closed

Introducing a new feature: Google Translate
The CHSPE Web site is currently published in English. For those who speak other languages, we’ve made it easy to use Google’s translation service to translate our information into other languages. To translate the entire CHSPE Web Site, just choose a language from the dropdown menu at the bottom left of the English pages. We hope easy access to this free service is helpful. Because Google Translate is an automated service, content may contain mistranslations of difficult or obscure words and phrases. The Sacramento County Office of Education and the California Department of Education take no responsibility for any mistranslations due to use of the third-party Google Translate function.

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Lessons In Manhood: A Boys’ School Turns Work Into Wonders

Listen to the Story  All Things Considered

At East Bay School for Boys, sometimes the sparks of inspiration result in, well, actual sparks.

This summer, All Things Considered has been taking a look at the changing lives of men in America. And that means talking about how the country educates boys.

In Berkeley, Calif., a private, non-profit middle school called the East Bay School for Boys is trying to reimagine what it means to build confident young men. In some ways, the school’s different approach starts with directing, not stifling, boys’ frenetic energy.

“I think boy energy has been misunderstood,” says Lisa Hayle, a language arts teacher at the East Bay School. “Instead of squelching their enthusiasm for things, at our school we channel it and work with it.”

The East Bay School is not a traditional boys school, aimed at reinforcing typical ideas of what it means to “be a man.” The school’s director, Jason Baeten, says that the goal is instead to create an educational space where boys can make mistakes, be vulnerable and learn to be self-reliant.

Baeten says, “We all came together and decided what we wanted our graduates to look like, what qualities we wanted them to have. So, things like: respects women, flexible, resilient — all of these.”

One of the ways that the school is trying to upend tradition is by re-inventing shop class for the 21st century. In fact, they don’t even call it “shop.” At the East Bay School for Boys, it goes by a different name: “work.”

David Clifford, the school’s director of innovation, explains why: “We moved away from the language of shop because it has a history behind it, where for decades now, shop has been considered second or third tier in education, where first tier is academics.”

Shop classes have dropped off the curriculum at high schools nationwide. In Los Angeles, for instance, around 90 percent of traditional shop classes have been eliminated.

Now, something called “career and technical education” still exists. In fact, this week President Obama signed a law encouraging the expansion of such programs. But the most popular classes nationwide are health science, information technology and business — not vocational, blue-collar training like carpentry or auto shop.

At East Bay, “work” is one of the six main classes all boys take, right alongside math and language arts. Boys build their own cubbies, desks and benches. One student, Jaden Yu, is building a massive metal hammer as part of a larger project in which boys imagine themselves as superheroes.

Yu says that his superhero mission is to fight poverty, and the hammer is his weapon. “What this is for is destroying old buildings so that new ones can be rebuilt. Old buildings that aren’t being used, so that new ones can be built for homeless people, people who need it.”

And they tie this work into a larger curriculum, too. In one instance, boys built replica Civil War officers’ chairs which were paired with biographies of the officers who sat in them.

Clifford says teaching these kinds of hard skills is vital, for boys and girls. Not only do they graduate knowing how to use a table saw and welder, but Baeten says the work fosters creativity and resilience.

Those tools are sometimes dismissed as “soft skills” by educators pushing a greater emphasis on hard academics. But Baeten says those kinds of skills, including empathy, are central to the school’s mission. “The real important part about being a man is taking accountability for your actions, living your life really fully in a really present way and loving people fully.”

As a private school in the Bay Area, though, East Bay is not cheap. Families pay more than $21,000 a year to send their sons here. But they’ve also made an effort to make sure their vision of masculinity isn’t just for the privileged. More than half of students here get some type of tuition assistance. More than 70 percent come here from public schools. And nearly half of the boys here identify as non-white or mixed race.

The East Bay School’s program is new, having only opened classes in the fall of 2010. The school’s holistic view of boyhood — spanning academic to social development — is still evolving.

The big question is: Can aspects of East Bay’s more holistic approach to educating boys work elsewhere, especially in America’s public middle schools? The statistics can be sobering for a boy in public school. Boys drop out of school and get suspended at much higher rates than their female counterparts. Federal statistics show that among those who are suspended multiple times and expelled, 75 percent are boys.

In one of the waiting rooms of the Chicago Civic Opera House, Urban Prep graduates dance and let off some steam before the school's commencement ceremony begins.

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August Calendar – Interesting!

Calendar August 2014
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat

1  2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

August will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  This happens only once every 823 years.  The Chinese call it ‘Silver pockets full.

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The Russian Educational System

A Visit to a Russian School


Amongst the many views of extravagant buildings,  crisp landscapes, lovely waterways, systems of locks and dams, clean cities, twenty-hour days and gorgeous sunsets, we were allowed to spend a few moments at the sweetest little school in a quiet quaint town in Russia.  In a simple building, a day of summer school was adjourning.  I was so excited to meet the Russian children.  I couldn’t wait to find out how this meek little school ticked.  The group of 30 tourists were lead into a classroom where a lovely Russian teenage girl read her practiced speech in English.  The room was small but fit all of us in the seats quite nicely and we listened intently.   Many questions followed about the daily regime of the children as well as their parents.  Everyone was interested in education as we are all a part of it.


After we left the classroom, we were shown to the even more minute multipurpose room to watch a skit and learn about the arts that children of this school learn.  The art teacher spoke in Russian so an interpreter was needed.  Children are learning to make items from their rich history to continue traditions.  The school is located in Kirillov where one of the oldest museums of Russia exists.  Visitors were allowed to purchase the art of students.  We purchased a green and white lace  piece created by a young boy in the school.


What did I learn about the Russian Educational System?   The system is set up by the state and is free to everyone.  Private schools have been established in the last few years.  Compulsory education begins at age 6 in kindergarten, then primary school for four years,  general education for five years and then secondary education for two to three years.  Russian general education is aimed at the moral, emotional, intellectual and physical development of the student.  Students are in school about 34 weeks with breaks similar to the American School System.  School is in session from September 1 to beginning of June.  The system aims to develop abilities that will help students make good life decisions.  There is a state test in June after general education is completed to determine whether the student will be admitted to secondary general education, vocational education or to non-university level higher education.  Students have access to iPads daily at all levels.

Students that make the best grades in secondary education get to continue into college for free and it continues to be free while their grades stay good!

Kirillov, City in Russia

The Kirillo-Belozersky Museum of History, Archi- tecture & Fine Arts (31735; Sobornaya pl 1; admission R50; 9am-5pm Tue-Sun), occupying a nonworking 14th-century monastery of the same name, is the reason to visit the small town of Kirillov, 130km northwest of Vologda. Legend has it that the monastery’s founder, Kirill, was living at Moscow’s Simonovsky monastery when he had a vision of the Virgin Mary showing him the towers of a new monastery. One of Kirillov’s many marvellous icons depicts this vision. Massive walls surround four main areas: the large Assumption Monastery, the small Ivanov Monastery, the Stockaded Town and the New Town. The regular admission ticket includes the churches and cathedrals and exhibits on regional history and the history of the monastery. In the tranquil village of Ferapontovo, 20km northeast of Kirillov, is another well-preserved monastery(49161; admission R60; 9.30am-5pm). The great Dionysius came here in 1502 to paint frescoes on the church’s interior (he did it in an amazing 34 days) and Ivan the Terrible is said to have frequented and enjoyed this church. The frescoes are a highpoint of Russian mural art and were the main reason Ferapontovo received World Heritage listing in 2000. Don’t come on wet or very humid days as the museum may be closed to protect the artworks.

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GED Practice $100 Summer Special


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Changing The Paradigm

The idea of getting away from high stakes testing is extremely important.  Testing tied to monies for schools or even grades creates cheating, lying and often little learning.  Our focus needs to be on processing, thinking, creating and solving problems.  What are we teaching in schools and why?  Educators need to answer that for their own sanity as well as for our children’s sake.  Why are we continuing to jump through unnecessary hoops to get students to be the highest students in their courses that lead to what?  What do students need to know and why?  I totally believe in what Sir Ken Robinson believes which was so greatly expressed at the Ted Talks several years back.  This is what we need to consider as teachers and parents.


Changing Education Paradigms - click here to enjoy a new mind set on education.


Please watch and send any thoughts or comments to

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ACT Student Guide

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Math Teacher Opportunity

If you are looking to earn your Single Subject Foundational-Level Math Credential, please take advantage of this offer. Jon

Jonathan R. Dueck
Director, STEM Education
Fresno County Office of Education

Greetings All Interested CI 161/FLM Course Teachers,

REGISTER NOW for the CI 161/FLM Summer Course!

MSTI is offering CI 161/FLM during June/July 2014 as a Fresno State extension course and will provide a $700 fee scholarship to non-matriculated students (who will pay only $75 a unit). Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

CI 161/FLM – Required 3-unit methods class for individuals who hope to earn a Single Subject Foundational-Level Mathematics (FLM) Credential
- Course #50667
- Instructor of CI 161/FLGS: Dr. Lance Burger (
- Dates/Times: Summer 2014: Monday – Friday, July 16 – August 1, 2014; 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM (time listed on the registration form is NOT the correct time)
- Location: Fresno State’s Science II Building, Room 207 (S2 207)

REGISTRATION Information/Process:

(*Please use Adobe Reader, if possible, when opening up the attached document.)

1. Please completely fill out the registration form.

2. Please make checks or money order payable to Fresno State. The Continuing and Global Education (CGE) office cannot accept check/money order payments made out in any other way. If you wish to make a payment using a credit card or cash, the Continuing and Global Education staff will explain the payment process when participants arrive in their office. Participants may also call the CGE main office for additional information at (559) 278-0333.

3. For your convenience, I can submit your payment and registration forms to the CGE office. In order for me to do this please submit the required items to me by Monday, June 30 to room ED 250 and have the student assistant place it in my “MSTI” box. Otherwise, the registration form and payment deadline, for CI 161 – Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching is Monday, July 21. The CGE office will accept registration forms/payments after the deadlines but a $10 late fee will apply. Registration forms and payments will NOT be accepted after the conclusion of each course.

4. The CGE office summer office hours will begin on Monday, May 19, 2014. Offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CGE is located in the Education Building on the far lefthand side, first floor in Room 130.

Additional Information:

You will be responsible for purchasing your own parking permit. A summer parking permit is $44 and is valid from 5/19/14 to 8/8/14. You can purchase the summer pass from the Police Department Service Center (campus map link: Here is a direct link to the Fresno State Parking Permit website for more information:

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please fill out the MSTI information form by clicking on this link:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

May Lee
Administrative Assistant and Career Counselor
Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
5005 North Maple Avenue, M/S ED2
Fresno, CA 93740-8025
Office: 559-278-1082
Fax: 559-278-0107
MSTI Website:

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Why Mentorship Matters

Posted by Ariel Sacks on Thursday, 05/01/2014Center for Teaching Quality CTQ

It’s spring: I feel alternately exhausted from the year that’s moving quickly to a close, and a sense of renewal that takes its cue from the seasonal weather and the end of winter.  It was a perfect time to visit my mentor, Madeleine Ray, who advised me during and beyond my time as a graduate student at Bank Street College. Seeing her teach, and being reminded of her values and sensibilities, always feels a bit like going home. And that makes me want to share some advice, especially meant for beginning teachers who plan to stay in teaching for a substantial amount of time.

Try to find a true mentor, and keep in touch.

There will be many educators who will help you learn things, big and small, deliberately or unknowingly, about teaching.  An eye for picking up on these lessons and techniques when they come your way is very important. But to find a mentor, you have to find someone whose teaching you deeply respect, whose methods help you fulfill the higher purpose you have for being an educator. A mentor inspires and equips you to be the educator you set out to be.

I believe that all teachers want the best for their students, but we do not all value the same things in our students.  Values are a part of teaching and teaching methods derive from a combination of the needs of students, the values of the teacher, and the values and conditions of the larger organizations and systems in which we carry out our work.  If teaching is a calling, then we must take time to understand what we feel called to do and why.

A mentor should be someone who understands why you teach and who helps you connect your teaching methods with this purpose. If you are lucky enough to find someone who helps you do this, talk to this person a much as you can! Keep in touch. It’s okay to take the initiative and let someone know you want to learn from them.  It’s a good skill.

In addition to all of the opportunities you’ll have to learn from colleagues in the teaching field, you’ll also have many pressures that come from outside your classroom and collegial networks. These pressures may or may not move you in the direction of your goals as a teacher; they may or may not be in line with your educational values. If you succumb to every pressure, you surely won’t meet your goals, because these pressures are almost always shifting and competing with one another, for reasons that have little to do with students, and everything to do with the adult world.

When the pressure becomes at odds with your values and goals, as an educator who came to the profession to stay a while, to humble yourself and learn to make a difference for students and their communities–that is when you’ll appreciate the opportunity to talk with someone you consider a mentor.  You’ll appeciate being in the presence of a teacher who has weathered the storms longer than you have, and who has stayed true.

Then you can quote Isaac Newton and say, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

[photo: Madeleine Ray teaching her Children's Literature course at Bank Street College. She always makes students form a circle, and she always begins class sharing unusually neat books].

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Ed Tech Is Poised to Go Mainstream

By Sari Factor

Six hours a day. That’s how much time the average teenager spends online, according to a June 2013 study by McAfee. These are “digital natives,” a generation that has grown up online and connected.

Just think about it: students born in 2007, the year the iPhone was launched, are already in first grade. Students born during the dot-com boom of the late ’90s are in high school.  These students have never known a world without the Internet. They’re communicating 140 characters at a time, establishing completely new ways of consuming news and information.

Clearly, dictating to digital natives that they “power down” in school is a huge turn-off. Yet many adults express concern that students won’t be able to learn as effectively in classrooms that are fundamentally different from their own experiences. Educators are increasingly breaking through that resistance to create a learning experience using technology to engage today’s learners and improve outcomes, with benefits that include:

Personalizing the learning experience – Digital natives have grown up surrounded and stimulated by media, and they consume information very differently from the previous generation of students. Netflix NFLX -0.05%, playlists and DVRs have fueled their personalized entertainment, and technology makes personalized learning possible too. Any teacher can tell you how difficult it is to customize instruction for every student. Inevitably, they end up “teaching to the middle,” leaving some learners behind and failing to challenge those who have already mastered a concept. Technology allows teachers to tailor instruction to meet individual student needs, making learning more accessible and enabling all students to maximize their potential.

Learning how to learn – Being a lifelong learner is the most important attribute for success, and will grow in importance in our dynamic and competitive world. Today’s students will change careers multiple times throughout their lives – many studies suggest Americans will hold between fifteen and twenty jobs over the course of their careers – and the jobs these graduates will hold may not even exist yet. Knowing one’s own learning style and developing the self-discipline and grit to grasp new skills throughout a lifetime will be critical for digital natives – especially in the fast-paced, distracting information landscape that is their natural habitat. Using technology to conduct research and acquire new skills can help these students develop the most essential capability in the information economy: how to learn.

Putting students in charge –Technology-based platforms and tools can provide students constant feedback so they understand how they’re progressing relative to their own goals, their peers, and their teachers’ and parents’ expectations. A clear road map of progress can be motivating for the student and immensely valuable for the teacher, who can intervene early or help a student advance more quickly. By empowering students and making them directly responsible for their progress, online learning encourages habits of resourcefulness that will serve students well once they leave the classroom.

Helping students disconnect from the Twitter-verse and spend more time on task – The more time students spend focused on their course work, the better their academic performance. With online learning, no one can hide in the back of the classroom, so every student is accountable. Rich multimedia content and interactive activities in many of today’s technology-based curricula offer familiar, friendly terrain for digital natives and can keep students more engaged and focused on their work. Over time, students get better at shutting out distractions and staying on task, even when they’re not in school – an extremely valuable skill in this media-saturated age.

Encouraging constructive communication – Digital natives are growing up in a social media landscape where multi-directional dialogue is commonplace. Yet the classroom too often remains a one-way street where the teacher imparts knowledge and students are expected to absorb it. Technology can help broaden the discussion by connecting students and teachers, and by opening the doors to outside voices that can lend additional knowledge and expertise to the classroom.

The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation forecasts that 50% of high school classes will be online by 2019. For some, this may sound worrisome, but resistance to education technology will begin to break down as people see how eagerly today’s digital natives embrace learning online. The use of technology presents an undeniably radical shift in the business of education, but skeptical and concerned adults alike should take comfort in the fact that in many ways, ed tech also embodies a return to the basics. The skills that technology-based instruction can impart to today’s digital natives – self-reliance, perseverance and resourcefulness among them – have a distinctly retro feel. In an increasingly distracted, text and tweet-addled, short attention span world, these skills will be indispensable for the students of today and tomorrow.

Sari Factor is CEO of Edgenuity, an online and blended learning company based in Scottsdale, Ariz., currently used by nine of the 15 largest school districts in the U.S. Follow on Twitter @Edgenuityinc



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