This year, MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) tests will be administered again to first through seventh graders in the Fall and Spring semesters. New to the bi-annual MAP testing at NLA in 2014 is a Learning Continuum that will help teachers more effectively apply students’ score data in the classroom.
MAP testing is unique in that it tracks students’ individual academic progress each year, much like a growth chart. Becky Wallerick, NLA’s Academic Dean, explained, “We’re not comparing students to others in their grade, but comparing the student to him or herself.”
On December 1, a representative from the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association, who designs the tests), will be visiting New Life to train teachers how to use the Learning Continuum to personalize test results even further.
According to NWEA, the Continuum’s “easy-to-understand learning statements provide an instructional starting point for teachers by describing the skills and concepts that need to be introduced, developed, or reinforced.”
Using this data, teachers will have the opportunity to apply test results uniquely to every student, tracking progress on a “learning ladder” and tailoring classroom activities to each student or group of students based on skill level. “The Learning Continuum gives teachers a way to look even more closely at student progress and personalize learning opportunities,” said Wallerick.
Teachers and parents will communicate about test scores and opportunities for at-home enrichment. “NWEA’s site gives parents the opportunity to continue working with their students at home,” Wallerick said.
In addition, New Life Academy offers both enrichment and intervention programs; the Learning Continuum will help teachers better direct students to a relevant program if needed.
“All of our teachers are so invested in our students’ lives and their academic, emotional, and spiritual growth,” Wallerick said. “This resource digs even deeper.”