Students enter the classroom silently and see computers and goal setting sheets on their desks. I ask all students not to touch their computers and instead look at the paper on their desk. Since students have taken this test before they already understand what it looks like and the fact that they will be doing it on computers.
For the past two weeks, students have been discussing their MAP scores from the fall with their afternoon advisors. Advisors have been responsible for facilitating conversations where students share some of the most frustrating parts of this test. One piece shared by many is that the test “keeps getting harder”.
Advisories are held on Tuesdays from 3:30 – 4:30 and have proven very valuable in having conversations about achievement, and specifically in the last two weeks, about the MAP test. We have shared with our students the research which shows high growth is largely correlated with more options in college and a brighter future. It’s important for students to understand that this test isn’t about getting a high score, but instead it’s about showing growth. When the questions get harder, it’s because the test is pushing you as far as it can, so it is a good sign if the questions get harder. It means they’re doing so well the test keeps pushing them up!
Although this test may not be available to some schools, the points we reviewed in each of these advisories are points I feel can be used for any test taking situation, including state tests. Attached to this lesson are some resources we used for goal setting.
Students are expected to make 1.5 – 2 years of growth each year as measured by this test. We calculated the midpoint of this growth for each student to come up with a Winter RIT goal. These sheets will be waiting for students when they take a seat so that they may record their RIT scores when the test ends and see for themselves if they made the growth expected. This resource can be molded to fit any other form of assessment or benchmark. It can also be modified for use with unit testing and goal setting.