I don’t have a classroom, per say. I teach in the gym and have reading intervention groups that have not even started yet. We use MAP test scores, DIEBELS next scores, and Core Phonics testing scores to place students who are struggling into small reading groups. So, I have been testing students for the past few weeks and we just met yesterday and today to place students into groups. I would be interested in evaluating the MAP tests. MAP stands for “Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level. You’ll have assessment data—and essential information about what each student knows and is ready to learn within 24 hours” (Measures of Academic Progress, 2014).
I searched online and found many sites for schools that gave parent friendly summaries of what this testing is for and how it is measured.
It is important to understand that the MAP test is one test at one point in time. It does not measure intelligence or a student’s capacity for learning. When making important decisions about students, school staff will consider the MAP test results along with other data such as classroom performance, other test scores, and input from parents and teachers. (Alken County, n.d.)
I found this to be the heart of what is believed in our building as well. Even though we are looking at three different scores for these students, we are also taking into account the classroom teacher’s observations on the child’s academic performance within the classroom. Our goal is to place students in groups that have similar needs, to progress monitor them (also checking in with the MAP tests at the middle of the year and end) and change their groups as the students needs change.
By collaborating with other members in the building, those who will also be taking small groups and others who have observation knowledge from the classroom, we are best meeting their needs. Collaborating gives us that dialog that can create ideas the other members may not have thought of. Today, we were able to include the classroom teachers in our discussion and decided on creating six small groups and a larger group with the teachers that are involved. This made most of the groups as small as 5 students. In a recent study, Vaughn, Cirino and their colleagues looked at small-group interventions and found that in comparison to another group (that was receiving no extra focus in phonological awareness, word attack, word reading and spelling) the intervention group outperformed them. (Huebner, 2009) With this heavy focus and continual progress monitoring we have been able to increase our students’ tests scores in past years.
Alken County Public Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Huebner, T. A. (2009, April). What Research Says About…/Small-Group
Intervention for ELLs. Supporting English Language Learners, 66, 90-91. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/apr09/vol66/num07/Small-Group_Intervention_for_ELLs.aspx
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), (2014), Retrieved from NWEA
Shaw, L. (2013, March 30). Educators Debate Validity of MAP Testing. The
Seattle Times, Retrieved from http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020678255_maptestswebxml.html