Thursday, February 2, 2012

NWEA Testing

If you are unfamiliar with the NWEA tests, google them. They are a fantastic tracking system used around the country. Coupled with the fact that it is the same test taken across the grades, you can really see grade averages and student percentiles. At my school, we take the tests three times a year: fall, winter, and spring. The percentiles are judged on each term of where students should be at the beginning of the year, middle of the year, and end of the year.

My class is almost done with them. I have two left for math and four left for reading. I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for this to be over again. I am incredibly nervous! Yet, I'm enjoying it too. I love tests and assessments. I believe that is key to teaching to the test.

Right now, my predominately free and reduced priced, english as a second language, and minority ethnic group students have almost all improved. There was one that dropped a point in reading and one that stayed the same there too. Other than that, my math scores have rocketed!

I still have a few left that could add to these numbers- one of which that was not with us in the fall. 

There are a few kids that have a far way to go till they are proficient. That leads to this: who do you focus the most attention on?

I have read supporting evidence that for raising test scores, you should focus on the "bubble" students. These are the students who are just barely under the bar line. Of mine, that would be two in math and thee in reading. If they could manage to just catch onto a few more things fluently, they will be proficient and thus keep classes and schools with more students passing state testing.

But, there are also the students on the lowest levels. With a high-level of Level 1 ELL students, this is a harder task. These is one in particular that I am very concerned about. I try to set up a conference soon with the family and work on progress monitoring, additional comprehension assignments, and, hopefully, strong support system at home. 

Any other ideas, to keep students raising scores, please shout out ideas here! I'll share my own in the next future post. 

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