How to make reading assessment fun and easy

How to make reading assessment fun and easy - TLG-IMG-01302020

MAP® Reading Fluency™ has been a game changer for students and teachers. Why? Because it makes learning fun and lets teachers assess oral reading fluency, literal comprehension, and foundational reading skills for an entire class in just 20 minutes.

I sat down with Stephanie Cardella, executive director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Distinctive Schools, based in Chicago, to learn more about the difference MAP Reading Fluency is making there—and what she hopes to cover in our February 26 webinar, A Time-Saving Tale: MAP Reading Fluency. Her answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How did you get started using MAP Reading Fluency?

As a MAP® Growth™ and MAP® Skills™ partner, we were already familiar with NWEA. In the spring of 2018, we were invited to visit a neighboring school that was part of the MAP Reading Fluency early adopter program to see them administering the test.

[W]e were excited about the time savings and potential of MAP Reading Fluency right away.”

While we weren’t looking for a new assessment, we were frustrated with the amount of instructional time we were losing with our one-to-one adminstered test. We were excited about the time savings and potential of MAP Reading Fluency right away. When we got a look at the data, we were sold. We started using it in two schools that fall and expanded from there.

How was buy-in? Were teachers curious or cautious about trying something new?

There was certainly some apprehension from teachers, especially around the group administration and technology piece. It represented a big change from what they were used to doing and the tools they had been using for over a decade.

At Distinctive, we believe in teacher leadership and bringing teacher voice to everything we do. With that in mind, we started by getting a small group trained. That group then worked with teachers at two schools to support the first round of test administration.

Once teachers saw kids taking the test plus the reports and individualized data they received, they were on board and took it from there. After our initial K–3 testing at two schools in the fall of 2018, we had other schools asking to join for winter testing because they had heard such great things from the teachers and instructional coaches involved. As of this last fall, we have expanded further and now have seven schools using MAP Reading Fluency in kindergarten through fifth grade.

[O]nce you see a kid taking the test and then experience a teacher analyzing the data, you will start to understand the time savings and the impact.”

Teachers also loved the recording and playback feature. They now often go back and listen to a child’s audio recording by themselves or with colleagues so they can really understand where a student may be struggling.

What has the experience been like for students?

Students love it! They’re really engaged and think the interface is fun. When kids log on, they follow what the worm says, and in a few clicks they’re ready to go. Even our youngest kindergarteners are self sufficient when working their way through the test.

Why do you think the experience has been so positive across your schools?

I think I would sum it up with these four points:

  1. It’s fast and easy to administer
  2. Teachers get instant results
  3. Reports include easy-to-understand and actionable data
  4. It’s kid friendly
Tweet: How to make reading assessment fun and easy #edchat #assessment #MAPGrowth #MAPReadingFluency

What would you say to someone thinking about implementing MAP Reading Fluency?

I would tell them to just give it a try and see the power and the difference it makes for students and teachers. I think once you see a kid taking the test and then experience a teacher analyzing the data, you will start to understand the time savings and the impact.

What can attendees expect at the webinar?

Attendees will learn more about how the assessment works and how it provides a more complete view of early readers. They’ll get a chance to see some of the reporting and hear more about how we implemented MAP Reading Fluency at Distinctive and the difference it’s making for our teachers and students.

Hear more from Stephanie Cardella and NWEA early literacy expert, Dr. Lynne Kulich, during our webinar. Save your spot for A Time-Saving Tale: MAP Reading Fluency on February 26. Read our case study on Distinctive Schools, too. 


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