Yesterday we had our first regular math test. I haven’t finished grading them yet, actually, but I expect to have them done either tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, we have started moving forward with our math curriculum, working now on comparing numbers.
But yesterday’s math test wasn’t the end of our beginning-of-the-year mathematics assessment. My district uses AIMSweb to use some pretty awesome benchmarks to see where the students are at in the computational skills and their understanding of concepts and applications. The two benchmarks we use are called the M-COMP and the M-CAP. Most of the teachers did theirs last week, but, due to my absence on Monday, I missed the meeting about them. So I got them taken care of today.
The benchmark assessments are actually pretty straightforward: the students have 8 minutes to complete each, so it only takes about about 20 minutes to complete the entire assessment battery. I was able to get them graded and loaded into the AIMSweb database this afternoon, and now have a fairly decent baseline understanding of what my students know, what they should know, and where I need to go from here.
In the meantime, I should be having some America Reads tutors coming to the class soon, and I’ll be able to have them help out with some of the students who need extra support in class. Also, I have one parent who is going to be coming in once a week to help out as well. This is not only going to make my job easier, it is also going to help my students progress at a much faster rate than if I was working with them on my own.
Now that the major benchmark testing is done (we’ve already done the DIBELS testing on all of the students), we are ready for the next step: creating more differentiated lesson plans that meet the needs of each student. Some may claim that that is just a bunch of meaningless buzzword nonsense, but, really, it is what I am all about doing. It is pretty cool stuff, and I am glad to finally be a part of it!