With the winter testing season upon us, we’d like to offer some tips to help you make the most out of this assessment season. These tips are for teachers and school leaders for the upcoming winter MAP® Reading Fluency™ testing window.
- Set aside adequate time for assessing. Depending on your school resources, decide when and where to assess students. You might sign up for one to two sessions in the computer lab or dedicate time from your reading block to assess in your classroom. Don’t forget to plan a testing session for absent students or those unable to test the first time around. Also, add “coordinate with colleagues” to your checklist if devices and headsets are shared across classrooms.
- Test your equipment. MAP Reading Fluency utilizes a headset with a boom microphone to capture student audio. Review Setting Up for Testing for a refresher on preparing equipment and devices. Remember, MAP Reading Fluency is accessible via the Chrome™ browser, so ensuring the latest browser version is installed (and the latest MAP Reading Fluency app version is installed for iPad® devices) also helps alleviate any testing issues.
- Prepare students for assessment. Set aside a 10–15 minute block of time a day or two before testing to remind students of the general purpose of assessments and the specific purpose of MAP Reading Fluency. Letting students know that assessments help us understand what we already know and what we are ready to learn next allows students to take ownership over their learning and reduces any anxiety an assessment may cause. Engage students in this conversation before testing to give them an opportunity to digest the information, express concerns, and ask questions.
- Prepare to analyze assessment data. Discuss how to compile and analyze student assessment data during your grade team meeting, staff meeting, or other shared planning time one to two weeks prior to testing. That way, you and your colleagues can collaborate on best practices. Your school or a colleague may use data analysis templates that all teachers can benefit from. Engaging in professional conversation about student data helps surface grade-wide trends, allows teachers to share what they know, and creates a community of collaboration. For teachers in smaller districts or without grade-level colleagues, review this post on how to analyze reading data.
- Share results with families. Finding time to meet and communicate with students’ families can be challenging, given everyone’s schedules. Sharing assessment results does not have to come in the form of a sit-down meeting. If you can’t meet with families in person, think of ways to share assessment results via email or phone or send information home with the student. Creating and maintaining a communicative relationship with families helps ensure students are receiving similar support at home and school.
School Leader tips
- Set aside a testing window. Using district or school guidelines, communicate the testing window with staff ahead of time. Providing staff adequate time to prepare themselves, students, and equipment for testing ensures a smoother process. Any arrangements that need to be made with special education or other instructional staff can also happen in advance.
- Communicate best practices. As with any assessment, following established best practices lead to more valid and reliable test events. Communicating these practices, along with any district or school assessment guidelines, ensures consistency and objective results. This also allows all staff to be on the same page across the school or district with assessment practices.
- Make use of available data. MAP Reading Fluency has reports available specifically for school leaders and administrators to help analyze school-wide data and track progress. Review Reports for Administrators for a refresher on the Testing Progress report and an introduction to the new Term Summary report.
- Engage teachers in school or district goals. Use a staff meeting to communicate or remind staff of the district or school goals for student reading achievement. Facilitating a conversation about goals—and progress toward those goals—helps build ownership. Additionally, visibility and honest discussion about student achievement can help educators more easily weave larger district and school goals into their daily instruction.
For more tips on using MAP Reading Fluency and the results, check out the MAP Reading Fluency section here on Teach. Learn. Grow.