What to Do AFTER Winter Testing? 5 Tips from Teachers

What to Do AFTER Winter Testing? 5 Tips from Teachers - TLG-IMG-021919Done with your winter MAP Growth tests? If not, check out these posts first: Top 6 Test Prep Tips from Teachers on Instagram and 5 More Testing Season Tips from Teachers on Instagram.

And if you DO already have your winter MAP Growth data, below are practical recommendations for next steps, courtesy of fellow teachers. If you enjoy content like this, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we connect with teachers daily. Tag @nwea or send us a DM when you have an idea you want to share. We love highlighting the amazing work you’re doing in your classrooms.

And now, onward to those practical teacher tips!

1. Know where to find your MAP Growth data

Many teachers tell us the winter MAP Growth assessment is their favorite. It’s a good time to check if students are on track to meet their academic goals, and course-correct if necessary… But it can be hard to remember where to find your data, if you haven’t logged into your reports since fall. Refresh your memory using the Teacher’s Survival Guide to MAP Growth Reports, which links to the Top 10 MAP Growth Reports for Teachers.

2. Celebrate mid-year growth

Before you jump into using your MAP Growth test data to group students and plan interventions, take a moment to celebrate how far students have come.

If students can meet a growth goal as a class, consider letting the group choose their reward. @StantzJamie says her class voted for a movie and popcorn, and @learningandsofourth says “post-test doughnuts are our fave.”

Celebrate mid-year growth

Prefer to go BIG? This’ll do the trick. @missdowling told her class that if 80% met or exceeded their MAP Growth goals, she’d dress up as T-rex. This reward was so motivating that 90% met or exceeded the goal. According to our Instagram poll, 100% of teacher responders would be willing to do the same… Time to look for a dinosaur costume? Read more about this idea here.

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Want to do something extra for students who show amazing effort? @HuffLarry shares, “Our Eastbrook Scholars are recognized for outstanding growth with wristbands. Kids love to show their earned bands to their families. This is done K-5. Pushing hard all year long.” For a cheaper alternative, consider paper bands or brag tags students can wear for a day.

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3. Empower learners with personal data folders

Data folders help students of all ages get started with not only setting goals, but also making specific and attainable plans to meet those goals.

@teachingwithmrslongshore explains her process: “Each student has their own data folder. They use it to collect academic data, set their own goals, and track their growth! They’ll be using their folder for conference day.” Beyond simply tracking their assessment scores and goals, students specify HOW exactly they’ll work toward meeting them. One prompt says, “I am going to focus on _______,” while a follow-up specifies, “To meet my goal, I will _______.” Learn more about this idea.

Empower learners with personal data folders

@stephanielongshore’s data folders include a sheet that says, “I am a star!!! Things I can do to reach my goals.” Another sheet lists students’ scores throughout the year, plus a bar chart that helps them visually track their academic growth. Learn more about this idea.

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@UrsulaNMendoza shares: “Academic vocabulary based on RIT band has been a great addition to our data folders and is helping us utilize our NWEA MAP Growth data to personalize instruction for each student!”

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4. Schedule skill practice time and accountability meetings

Once students feel empowered to set and track their goals, a bit more guidance can help them systematically work on the skills in which they need the most practice, whether that’s through using the Khan Academy Mappers tool, one of the many instructional programs that can prescribe personalized learning content based on MAP Growth RIT scores, or any other resources available at your school.

@rdngdevelopment couples “self-directed learner pages” with accountability meetings and scheduled skill practice sessions. She says, “We’re going to start meeting every Friday in accountability groups to check in on our work habits and digital assignment accomplishments each week. We met today to review [students’] spring goals and show how these digital activities help them in addition to our other class work.” Learn more about this idea.

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@enlighteningells uses a quarterly data reflection sheet with her students. She says it “helps students understand the data and what their scores actually mean.” In addition to setting and reviewing their own academic growth goals, students list what THEY, their TEACHER, their FAMILY and CLASSMATES can all do to help them meet those goals. This is a great way to highlight the home-school connection. Learn more about this idea here.

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Based on your classroom data, you can also tell which skills students should practice on their own, and where you have groups who can work together. Collaboration can make the practice more fun! @TrussellMiss schedules time for students to work with their “RIT band buddies” to solve problems.

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5. Keep goals and progress visible with data walls

Lastly, keeping goals and progress visually prominent can help everyone stay motivated, if done right. Teachers caution against using data displays that visually call out students who are ahead or behind the majority of the group. Even if you only use student numbers to identify each child, peers may know each other’s numbers, and those who are behind may be demotivated by the display. Check out this article for more data wall do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

We’ll share another post soon with teacher examples of data walls done right. Tag us in your versions on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to be featured, and remember to follow and connect with us there (and on Pinterest) for many more ideas!