Closing the Gap

I am excited for my kids to take our yearly state assessment this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still stressed.  I could use two more weeks before testing to fully give the Open Up Resources IM Curriculum Units 7 and 8 a bit more time to develop conceptually with my students but I also know that my kids know what we have gotten to very well.  From proportional reasoning to solving equations they truly own the math they’ve learned this year.  Unfortunately, it takes quite a while into next school year before we get that state assessment data back so for now I get to be really excited about how my kids performed on NWEA’s MAP test this year.

If you aren’t familiar with MAP,  it is norm-referenced by grade level and my district gives it 3 times per year to monitor growth.  Typically in 7th grade a year’s growth is considered 6 points.  I started the year with kids in my collaborative class that ranged in score from a 1st grade level to an 8th grade level…no easy task to differentiate for.  Even still, I couldn’t hide my excitement as my kids begin to report their scores to me and see their excited faces when they realized they reach their goal.  I give each of my students a note on the day of MAP testing.  One side features a motivational quote and the other side has a had written note from me along with their goal for the test.  I like for them to have a frame of reference so that as they finish they don’t have to ask me if “they did good”.  Instead, they can evaluate their performance against their goal themselves.

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To summarize how they did…they killed it.  Our principal challenged us to have each child grow one and half years this year and on average my class more than did that with 1.7 years of growth.  While it did make me happy that all kids grew, it made me more excited that the Open Up Resources IM curriculum helped close the achievement gap with my English Language Learners showing 2.3 years of growth while my Students with Disabilities grew an average of 2.5 years.

Average MAP GrowthYears Growth

The same kids that came into the class ranging from 1st grade level to 8th grade level ended the year with on levels that ranged from 3rd grade to high school, proving that the curriculum can both challenge advanced learners and foster their growth while still helping to catch up our most struggling students.  I knew before the MAP test that my GAP students had grown considerably just by observing their confidence level and reasoning ability but seeing the quantitative date prove the qualitative data I had observed further deepened my belief that this curriculum truly does work for all learners.  With three weeks to go before our state assessment I am more confident than ever in the work we have done in my classroom this year.  We did more than “prep” for a test.  Instead my students turned into real mathematicians that reason, struggle, and think to make sense of difficult problems rather than just rushing to “do math”.

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3 thoughts on “Closing the Gap

  1. Hi Brooke. Just realized i could email you by replying to the blog email.

    The other day when we were talking,about a faq blog post, you offered to zoom in for a brief chat. This wed morning i meet with a math dept that contains some of my most fearful and dubious teachers. The rest of the dept ranges from nervous but willing to really excited. Two higher performing teachers are very concerned. Their 2 biggest concerns are: 1. That is not how i teach. 2. The kids need more practice on procedure as it is. How can i possibly spend all that time on conceptual level? Bottom line is they need to do it. In their heart of hearts is the root -i am not sure this is best for my kids.

    I realize chances you are available are slim. We meet 7:15 to 7:45 am calif time, so i think that is 10:15am to you?? Any chance you can spare 10 minutes then to chat? It is hard to argue with experience.

    Feel free to dm or email reply, whichever is easier.

  2. Pingback: All in with IM – Materials Prep | More Fertile Ground

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