As we embark on the next phase of MAP testing at St. Martha today, we wanted to explore a bit more of what the new MAP test is and the ways we’re using the data to create more personalized approaches to instruction, tailored to student’s needs.
This school year, the Archdiocese of Louisville has moved away from utilizing the Terra Nova test that was given for many years, to the NWEA MAP as the standardized test for continuous improvement. In the first few weeks of school, each St. Martha student took part in our first-ever, very successful round of MAP testing!
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to the child’s level of learning. If a child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. We are utilizing MAP tests to determine each student’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and year to year as we move forward with MAP. Areas tested by MAP are as follows within the Archdiocese of Louisville:
- Kindergarten through 2nd grade – MAP Reading Fluency
- 3rd through 8th grades – MAP Growth Math, Reading, and Language
- 8th grade – MAP Algebra I
MAP results provide teachers with a detailed picture of what each child knows and is ready to learn – whether it is on, above, or below their grade level. Since MAP tests are given online, they provide immediate and accurate information about a child’s learning. It’s easy for teachers to identify students with similar scores who are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics, and then plan accordingly.
Teachers are collaborating to provide instruction that will individualize and address the needs of all students and empower our students to take ownership of their learning through goal setting. The information gained from these assessments is invaluable to the work at St. Martha!
This fall, our primary (K-2), intermediate (3-5), and middle school (6-8) Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) have spent countless hours reviewing and analyzing data, planning collaboratively, and hosting various intervention groups to help address academic needs. While intervention activities are planned by teachers, our intervention groups are utilizing every adult in the school to make sure the needs of each student are met. We’ve even got a grandmother volunteer who is working with students on needed skills!
As new readers, our primary students are working in what we call M&M (MAP and Martha) groups weekly to strengthen their reading skills. In these groups, students are working on skills that range from phonics, to rhyming, to comprehension and inferencing. It is our goal to have each student grow from learning to read to reading to learn before they move into intermediate grades at St. Martha. Based on progress monitoring, it appears that our M&M groups are making some headway on meeting this goal!
In our intermediate grades, teachers are providing time in the schedule for WIN-days! WIN time stands for What I Need and the kids love their WIN time! Wednesday WINdays are providing students with small group reading instruction based on skills that need to be developed. The teachers have created fun themes surrounding each unit of study using informational nonfiction, fiction, plays, etc. Each “round” of WIN groups has ended with a celebration of their growth and a re-evaluation of student skills for tweaking of the instructional groupings.
Our middle school is taking a similar approach to meeting student needs. Their WIN groups are assigned by need as well and students are working to increase their skill sets.
Other ways teachers at St. Martha are utilizing MAP data include individual instruction through tutoring sessions before/after school and throughout other times in the school day. (It’s important to note that students never miss their regular classroom instruction in their core content areas though.) Teachers are also using online programs like Lexia, Moby Max, and Khan Academy to assign more targeted work to support student growth.
To monitor student growth, students will take another MAP assessment this month and again at the end of the year.
We are excited to see how our utilization of MAP data and student goal setting will propel our Shamrocks to new academic heights! With this series of assessments, it is all about about GROWTH and how teachers and parents can support students in growing in their content knowledge.”
Thank you to our teachers, students, and parents for their continued support as we work to provide a quality educational experience for each child!
For more information on NWEA MAP, take second to review this resource!