Category Archives: assessment

Does Practice Make Better for the SAT?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Practice Makes Better?”  The results are in, and official SAT practice pays off.  A study of 250,000 students, from the class of 2017, showed that a little practice goes a long way—regardless of gender, race, income, or high school GPA. In fact, 20 hours on Khan Academy® was associated with an average 115-point increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT. Continue reading Does Practice Make Better for the SAT?

Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Written by Steve Seward, Associate Director, MASSP

“Teaching is complex work. You don’t have to be bad to get better!”  Candi B. McKay

Regardless of age or role, we all deserve formative feedback for growth that is centered on clearly specified areas of focus and success criteria. Those that are most effective as leaders, in all educational capacities, consistently engage in the process inquiry through the gathering and gaining feedback for growth.

There are multiple ways to give and receive feedback and multiple uses of feedback. Most important is that feedback is provided based on a strengths-based approach. As John Hattie explains, “Feedback must be timely, relevant, and action-oriented”. The goal with formative feedback is to provide feedback that moves learning forward by causing the learner to think, and at the same time be the owner of their learning. Continue reading Observation and Formative Feedback: Best Practices

Prepare Your Students for PSAT and SAT…and Analyze the Results!

Your PSAT and SAT scores are in…now how do you get the most out of them? 

You may find yourself asking questions like…what do these results indicate? Should I be proud or concerned? Are there patterns to watch for?

Help is here! Cross disciplinary district teams will have the opportunity to participate in a highly interactive Data Analysis Protocol Workshop presented by Wendy Zdeb, Ed.S., Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP).

Participants will be taught a data protocol and will participate in hands-on activities to break down their school’s PSAT 10 and SAT data.   Continue reading Prepare Your Students for PSAT and SAT…and Analyze the Results!

Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” — President Barack Obama

New Education Law

In 2002, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was put into effect to help educators identify when students were making progress and recognize when they needed additional supports without discriminating based on race, income, language, etc.  Over time, we found this act was not helping us all reach the goals of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  This new law reauthorizes the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is a national law that gives equal opportunity to all students. The new law will build upon NCLB and ESEA to fully prepare ALL students for success in college and careers.

But the real question is, how will these changes impact us as teachers, administrators and students? And exactly how will it impact the classrooms and schools? Continue reading Will ESSA Impact You? Yes!

Educational Chiropractic Care: Getting Our Work in Alignment

Alignment. When we think about this word we probably most often connect it to what a mechanic does to the front end of our cars or what we might need for our backs after a few too many twists and turns on the dance floor at a friend’s wedding reception. Yet, alignment plays a very important role in education and is crucial for student learning.

The idea is simple, really. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment need to be aligned. In other words, what we are supposed to teach (curriculum), what we actually teach (instruction), and what our students are tested on (assessment) need to be connected. Continue reading Educational Chiropractic Care: Getting Our Work in Alignment

PBIS: Thornapple Kellogg’s Success Story

Please read and think about the statements below:

  • If a child doesn’t know how to read…we ______ .
  • If a child doesn’t know how to multiply…we _____ .
  • If a child doesn’t know how to swim…we_____.
  • If a child doesn’t know how to behave…we _____.

How did you answer the questions? Continue reading PBIS: Thornapple Kellogg’s Success Story

Parents, Community Members Gather to “Take the Test”

Kent ISD staff recently hosted a group of people interested in learning more about the M-Step and SAT tests. Maranda from WOTV joined them and filmed an entire show about this important topic, called “Taking the Test: Sampling New Standardized Tests”. CLICK HERE to watch.

Every year, thousands of students across Michigan take standardized tests as a way to gauge their learning and to get into college. This April, instead of the MEAP and ACT, students will take the M-STEP and the SAT. And after years of familiar paper and pencil tests, students are now learning to take them online.

The M-STEP tests are new to our students (introduced last year), and in most schools will be administered completely online. In addition, Continue reading Parents, Community Members Gather to “Take the Test”