Using MAP as a Student Centric Tool

Catherine Healy, Title 1 Literacy Coach, Blue Valley School DistrictWhy do I love using the MAP assessment?

I love MAP data because it helps students to see their learning. Students can use their MAP data to see their growth, and take pride and ownership in their learning throughout the school year.

Three years ago I worked with the Elementary Math Title 1 Coach, and together we started helping students use their MAP data to chart their personal learning. We began by going into every classroom and explaining what the MAP Test was and how the test measured learning. We had students graph their fall score in Reading and Math, then set goals for themselves on where they wanted to grow.

The students took the test again in the winter, and then they would graph their growth and reflect on setting new goals, or stick to their original goals if they wanted. The classroom teacher or one of us coaches conferenced with each student as they reflected and worked on their personal learning goals. The process was finished when we celebrated growth after the spring test, with completing their graphs in Math and Reading and reflecting on their learning. We then would love to hear students discuss what goals they wanted to set for over the summer to continue their growth. The pride and personal ownership this process has created with the students has been amazing! I love when students see me and tell me how excited they are with how they see their goals working, or when students reflect on why they felt they didn’t make the growth they wanted to. The MAP Test has been an amazing tool to help students focus on how their efforts can lead to their individual progress and fosters a growth mindset that is unique to their learning needs.

As you presented MAP 3 years ago to classrooms, how was it received then and now?  

When we first started 3 years ago it seemed that both students and teachers felt it was just another test given in the fall and spring.  The first lesson we did in every classroom from Kindergarten to Grade 5 discussed how MAP worked, and what a RIT score was.  We really focused on how the test was geared to each student and showing what they knew, and how it would show their growth.  This helped both teachers and students in seeing the test as more of a way to look at student growth and learning in a more individualized light.  One school we started this process in 3 years ago no longer qualifies as a Title 1 school, and the first thing the principal and teachers asked was for the goal setting resources so they could continue the process of having students look at their scores and set goals for their learning using their MAP scores.

Using MAP as a Student Centric ToolIt appears students have really taken a liking to the value of MAP. Do you have any general stats about how this improved student outcomes?  Whether with engagement, grades, class tests, teachers seeing the benefits via engagement, etc.

I know that we have data that shows growth at the schools we did our goal setting in, as we look at growth from the last 3 years the data shows growth in percentage of students reaching their goals every year! Students have shown that they have become more responsible for their learning by the goals they set, such as spending time at home practicing reading and or math, and learning skills they want to improve while at school (i.e., being a better listener, finishing work, following directions).  Many teachers incorporated a time in their schedule to review goals with their students to help students “keep their eye on the prize” of learning.  It was amazing to me how both students and teachers saw the positive affect it had on students’ motivation and learning.  What was so incredible was how students’ test taking behaviors changed when they realized how important it was for them to show what they had learned!  We would send their goal-setting card into the test with them, and to watch them pause, think about their goal, and take their time to reflect on their answers was truly incredible.  Did everyone make their goal, no, but the fact that they could see their growth was important!