A friend of mine had a designated space on her mudroom wall where she marked her children’s growth in height from year to year. Each height-mark was color-coded and dated to identify each child’s rising stature from preschool thru adulthood.
Measuring our children’s learning advancement isn’t quite as easy. Each child is so unique in his, or her, aptitudes, developmental timing, and knowledge acquisition. We can never just assume what our child knows.
There was a teenage boy who grew up as the youngest child of six in a very musical family. His mother taught all of the kids basic music skills as she orchestrated schedules for daily practice, lessons, and performances. The young man was fourteen years old and heading to an audition for his High School Madrigals, when he discovered that he didn’t know that there are four different voice-melodies happening simultaneously in four-part choral harmony. Time for a crash course in S.A.T.B. sight-reading and ear-training.
No matter how well we teach and support our child’s learning, there are bound to be academic holes. We can aid in finding and filling these gaps by using regular informal and formal assessments.
Here at Canyon Grove Academy, we specialize in using data to support student learning. (e.g. Math Power Standards, NWEA MAP Growth, RAPID, ST Math, Lexia, Acadience). There is no “one-size fits all” method for evaluating our children’s proficiency, abilities, or learning retention. The purpose of assessment is to show individual growth and to identify individual needs. It is not to compare to others. To track ongoing progress, we can use a variety of informal and formal evaluating methods.
With consistent weekly use, programs such as ST Math and Lexia help us see student mastery and also pinpoint concepts in which students need more instruction. Our Power Standards are the 15 math concepts per grade level that a student must master to have a solid mathematical foundation so they are prepared for future math learning.
Canyon Grove Academy administers the NWEA MAP Growth assessment several times per year to measure achievement and growth in K-12 math and reading. This test provides a trusted measure of student achievement and shows how they compare with their peers across the nation. It also provides actionable information to teachers and parents to target instruction for each student regardless of how far below or above they are from their grade level. You can ask your teacher for the extended NWEA report if you want a multi-page list of what your student is ready to learn next.
As the parent, you get to have an up-close view of every aspect of your child’s development. By providing consistent informal and formal progress tracking and support, your child will be able to clearly comprehend what he/she needs to improve upon, how he/she can improve, and the strategies that will be used in the process. This will boost his, and her, confidence and personal accountability in their educational journey.
Formal Assessment Prep: We use the NWEA MAPS Growth assessments at CGA to track individual student progress. Here is a listing of the RIT Scale vocabulary associated with the subjects and concepts tested. (This vocabulary list applies to K-9th learning. The #100 RIT score applies to the earliest curriculum ladder levels and goes up numerically from there, as children build upon their knowledge base.)