Happy Teacher Appreciation week, everyone! During the month of April, we’ve been running a contest on our online partner community, NWEA Connection. We asked members to share how they’ve witnessed teachers engaging students with MAP Growth, and keeping students motivated to grow—and nominations came flooding in. Teachers, principals, administrators, and other educators came out of the woodwork to tell us about the creative and innovative ways they’re inspiring their students, and the growth they’re seeing as a result.
Each entry was unique, and really reflected the dedication, commitment, and creativity these teachers bring to their classrooms each day. It was hard for our team to select winners when every entry was so meaningful!
We’ll be sharing more stories from our entrants soon in the community, but today, it’s time to meet the winners.
Whitney Wilson, East Jackson Elementary School, Jackson County, Georgia
Whitney Wilson shared how she works with students to set goals, and then creates fun ways to help students develop their knowledge:
I created a Reading and Math Goal Sheet, and I worked with my students to analyze their RIT scores and Percentile Rank, as well as their growth from the Fall to Spring Administration. We met and discussed what they felt were their strongest and weakest areas, and we made a plan for how we would work to improve their scores and show more growth.
Then, I created a plan to enrich and remediate small groups based on the Learning Continuum and Student Profile. We set up a Milestones Boot Camp with Digital Escape Rooms to practice math concepts, and we played Reading jeopardy games to review. The students have even been working on their specific skills by practicing online and at home!
I’ve seen a motivation mindset ever since we set the goals. Students have—without me telling them to—written their goals on their desks with markers, they’ve discussed it with their parents, and because I tied in the ability to “Rank up” with our Boot Camp theme, they have been working harder and showing more effort while also holding each other accountable for practicing their skills!
Debrice Hill, Trinity Christian Academy, Deltona, Florida
Debrice Hill inspired us with how she engaged her students through what she calls “Classroom Transformations.”
I inspire my students Map Testing Growth through the Power of ENGAGEMENT! After looking at their test scores and seeing where their weaknesses are, I transform my classroom to fit that lesson.
Recently, I transformed my classroom to look like an emergency room for Contraction Surgery. We hung up white sheets, and each table became an “operating room” where there were worksheets so the kids could practice contractions. We even all dressed up in scrubs! The students worked on all things contractions for the entire day.
I’ve also done a Fraction Pizzeria and Punctuation Pirates. Engagement is so very important—if the students are not engaged it makes it hard for them to learn! Classroom Transformations have definitely improved my classroom scores!
Marykate Casaletto, Cedar Creek Elementary School, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
Marykate Casaletto shared a unique take on the time-honored tradition of getting kids excited about growth with the promise of food.
Last year, we made a list of different incentives that the students would be interested in. The ideas ranged from extra outdoor recess time to a slime party! I took some of their ideas, and put them inside balloons that hung up in my classroom. The balloons were labeled by combined RIT growth points and went up in increments of 50 points, starting at 100.
As the class was taking their MAP Growth assessments, I kept track of their overall RIT growth and tallied up the points for total growth. They ended up growing a significant amount and we were able to pop all six reward balloons! I chose students who showed exceptional growth to be the ones to pop the balloons. The students were thrilled! They knew it had to be a team effort to get the most points, and everyone’s test counted to get the most RIT growth/rewards!
Please join us in congratulating the winners!