Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Importance of MAP Testing


Why take standardized tests?

Standardized tests are nationally normed. This means that thousands of students take the test and are ranked based on their performance on this test. When your child takes the test, the results indicate where your child is in relation to the thousands of students who were in the norm group. If your child is in the 85th percentile, this means that your child scored higher than 84% of the students in the norm group. This score gives the parents an accurate picture of where their child is in relation to other children of the same age and grade group.
Standardized tests can also be used to track student growth. The MAP test utilizes a RIT score. When your child takes the test in the fall, he receives a RIT score. The goal then is to improve the RIT score by 5 points when taking the test in the spring. Parents who keep the achievement test scores and compare them from test to test will see a legitimate record of student progress.

The MAP results share specifically which concepts in each subject area were mastered and shows the level of mastery. This allows the parent and the teacher to focus specifically on areas of weakness.
How should I have my child prepare for this test?

You should not have your child study for this test. This test is not a part of the child’s grades and should simply be used to indicate where the child is academically at a given point in time. Spending time in preparation may skew the results and prevent the parent and the school from seeing an accurate picture of the child’s academic progress. The student who over-studies in the fall but does not put forth the same effort in the spring may appear to lose ground by scoring lower on the second test. The most accurate picture of where your child ranks against the norm group is taken when the child does not study for the test. The best way to prepare your child for the test is to monitor their schoolwork year round and ensure that they are reaching out for help when their understanding is not certain.
You should also ensure that your child get a good night’s rest. The night(s) prior to taking the MAP test should be pleasant evenings for the child. They should eat a healthy meal, enjoy their evening, and go to bed early. It is essential that a student be fully rested in order to perform at a maximum level when taking the test. Students should eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the test. When taking the test, the student should take a minimum of a fifteen minute break between sections of the test.

Ms. Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Coordinator

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Importance of Parent-Teacher Conferences


Parent-teacher conferences are an opportunity to establish better communication between parents and teachers. Since children are different at home and in school, parent-teacher conferences enable both the parent and the teacher to gain a better understanding of the child, enabling them to be more effective in helping him or her. A teacher, for example, may be very surprised to learn that what she thought was a humorous way of dealing with a child actually makes the child feel belittled. A parent may learn that the teacher feels the child is not giving school his best effort. During a parent-teacher conference, a teacher may learn that the child is distracted because the family is going through a difficult time. Many parents are also pleasantly surprised during parent-teacher conferences to hear how much better behaved their child is in school than at home.
Before the conference 
Preparing for the conference can make the experience more rewarding. Ask your child if he has concerns or anything that he would like you to communicate to his teacher. Depending on the child's age, discuss whether or not family problems should be mentioned. If you are concerned about your child's work, keep copies of material that illustrate your concerns. If only one parent of a two-parent household can attend the conference, it is helpful to take notes or bring a tape recorder to share the findings with the absent partner. In order to gain information about your child's behavior and progress, you might prepare some questions. Here are some possible examples:
Early Childhood 
·         Does he share and take turns?
·         Does he focus during large-group activities? Small-group activities?
·         Is he self-directed in choosing activities during free time or does he need your help?
·         What are his favorite activities?
·         Is he willing to take risks?
·         Is he able to settle conflicts verbally?
·         Does he prefer working alone or with other children?

·         Is he a leader or follower or combination?

April 20, 2018

Wrapping Up the School Year The end of the school year brings the expected joy at finishing another year, and perhaps some sadne...