As I continue to investigate what it means to assess conceptual standards, I feel like I also need to understand where and what I’m starting with. I really need to look at my students from the perspective of the end in mind. Where do I want them and how can I get them there. With my newly found knowledge, I developed a chart to get me started. With the chart, I will record what data I have, right from the beginning. I will want to know both their level and their scale score. The level is important, because this is what a parent understands. However, by looking at the chart from yesterday, the scale score is more important to the teacher. This scale score will help me determine how much they need to grow. I will take their score and subtract it from the next level of scores given by the state. That will help me know what number of points they need to have to jump to the next level. (Ex. A student with a level 3, having 200 points, will need to gain at least 10 points to become a level 4!) I will also record their vocabulary, reading application, literature analysis, and informational reading scores from third grade.
Again, however, what will this mean for the huge jump from skill based to conceptual standards based understanding. It goes back, yet again, to O’Meara’s book. First, I need to know whom I need to remediate. Yes, because that’s all these scores tell me. The district and school based goals are to remediate these kids, but they label it with the term RTI. I now understand that is the wrong term for these students. These students did not understand the skills presented in 3rd grade and need to be caught up on these skills. It does not come from data I’ve gotten, but that from the previous year. Once I get them going in remediation, then I can collect data from the work we are doing THIS YEAR for my RTI. Will many of these kids end up with RTI needs, most definitely. Will they need to go back to basics, possibly. Can they surprise me with understanding a skill but just didn’t get it on a test-MOST DEFINITELY! That always needs to be part of the consideration when looking at test scores and class work.
So, with that being said, I have one more thought to share tomorrow, with a link to where I am going and what I am going to do with it. I think it is the basic idea of what and how I’m going to assess these conceptual standards. For any old timers out there like me, you will find it rather familiar!
Oh, and here’s the charts: