Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Teachers as Students: Measuring Learning

“I thought they already knew everything!”

This was the response last week when I wished a student well on Thursday at the start of a long weekend. He was a little confused and disappointed that we were not having school on Friday, because he wanted to continue on with some of the activities his class had underway. I explained to him that the teachers were going to switch and become students for the day, learning how to do something they hadn’t done before. Obviously it was a surprise to him that teachers too have to continue to learn.

Last Friday all of our teachers were at school for the first PD day of the year. That day was invaluable as we move forward with the next step of a new venture at LCES. A long-standing pattern for decades has been that every other year students in grades three through eight at our school participated in the Canadian Test of Basic Skills in the areas of Math, Science, Language Arts, and Information management students. Some may recall this test by association with the white and green pages and filled in dots on an answer page that are sent away to be processed by a computer.

We are replacing that aging test with something we believe offers significant advantages to our school as a whole, as well as each teacher as they work with individual students. We are quite excited about beginning MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) and are preparing to administer this test twice this school year, once in January, and then again in May. Expect to receive more specific details early in January about how this will work with students in grades one through eight and how we see it shaping future instruction and learning at LCES. It is valuable to us to have an outside organization verify the good things that happen in our classrooms each day.

I can recall once having to pass an orientation test proving I could navigate successfully with a compass and find my way to a particular goal. Our new MAP testing tool will be very much like that compass; a valuable tool (one of many) that helps to guide our progress towards quality, Christian education at our school.


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