Assessments play a large role in the process of educating students. Not only do appropriate assessments measure the amount of learning given a particular concept, they also allow for teachers to gain an understanding in how to instruct students.
Of course, there are many formal and informal assessments. Below is a group of assessments that Caledonia Elementary School personnel utilize throughout a school year. Keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive.
Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP)
The State of Michigan has developed a new assessment system, the M-STEP, to replace the MEAP test. The M-STEP will include summative assessments designed to measure student growth effectively for today's students. English language arts and mathematics will be assessed in grades 3-8, science in grade 4, and social studies in grade 5. Each assessment will include both open-ended response and multiple-choice questions. Open-ended questions challenge students to explain their answers by providing written responses.
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)
DIBELS are given three times per year to all kindergarten through fifth grade students. This group of tests helps to determine a student's reading aptitude. The concepts tested range from fluency to comprehension. Each test is short, but they yield valuable information.
Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI)
The SRI tests a student's ability to comprehend text as well as their ability to understand vocabulary. This test is given in grades two through five and is rooted in selected response. The measure is given three to four times per year. Results are given through a number referred to as the Lexile score. (This number is said to calculate a student's reading ability at the time of the test.)
Reading Counts, a quiz-based program, is tied to Scholastic. Here, students read books and take comprehension quizzes to amass points. Through this sort of activity, coupled with other reading practices, students are able to increase their reading performance, thus advancing their Lexile scores.
Phonological Awareness Screener for Intervention & Phonics Screener for Intervention (PASI & PSI)
The phonics screeners allow teachers to determine where students fall relative to their understanding of sounds. There is growing research to suggest that a student's ability to grasp phonics increases their ability in the area of comprehension.
The PASI and PSI are given in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades multiple times per year. As with other tests, formal and informal (e.g., observations, notes, etc.), the results help teachers in their ability to instruct individual students.
Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
Maps testing (grades 3-5) and MPG (grades K-2) take this adaptive test to ultimately determine instructional tools. The test will also help learners reach individual potential in the areas of language arts and math. The tests are heavily researched and used by many districts throughout the country.
There are many curriculum-based measures utilized by classroom teachers to gauge the depth of learning per student. In many cases with writing and math, these measures have been created from district teacher feedback. Included in both disciplines are beginning and end of the year assessments directly tied to the common core standards.