Low scores on Cook Primary School’s (CPS) annual College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) assessment prompted Jeanne Dixon, principal of CPS, to dive deeper into her school’s monthly data to get to the root of the problem.
When she realized that there were deficits in literacy and math skills for her K-2 students, she immediately developed a plan to inspire positive outcomes.
Dixon knew that fostering students’ ownership over their learning process could drive bigger gains. What she needed was on-demand, accurate data that would help her teachers target their instruction with more precision.
So she turned to Istation for help.
All thirty-four K-2 classrooms at CPS began using Istation for reading and math practice for at least 15 minutes a day. By embedding the online learning program into their school’s curriculum, teachers could lean on Istation’s data to guide their instruction.
“The [Istation] data is valid and reliable,” Dixon said, “because students are testing every month on a program they are using every day. So if something isn’t right, you know what you need to work on immediately.”
She went on to say, “You can drill down to the subtest or even to a student’s specific profile to determine what’s impacting their performance on these assessments.” She gave this example: “If a student scores poorly on the reading assessment and has an IEP in speech, I can make the connection that they keep missing the sounds that they don’t have yet.”
The monthly formative assessment data got CPS teachers excited. The reports were easy to find and easy to use. Intervention lessons were available to download and provided great practice materials for small- and whole-group lessons.
Dixon noted one of the best parts of having such granular data was being able to plug students into intervention time called “What I Need (WIN) blocks.” During this time students spent 40 minutes daily on a specific skill needing the most improvement.
Plus, they were able to continually monitor progress between benchmarks which meant they always knew where student learning stood.
With this targeted approach, the school saw more significant gains.
By the school’s second year of using Istation, K-2 students were closer to reaching grade level proficiency in reading and math.
Specifically, Dixon saw considerable growth in literacy skills. First graders didn’t need to take the listening comprehension portion of the reading assessment anymore, moving on to text fluency instead. Fewer second graders had to start out with the letter knowledge lessons in Istation thanks to strong targeted instruction in first grade.
Teachers at CPS found they could easily collaborate across grade levels with Istation’s student assessment data. They were able to see the learning gaps from year to year and respond accordingly.
“From administrators all the way to students, we’re all looking at data, having conversations about data, and celebrating every bit of growth,” Dixon said. “…and that’s how you move students. They are empowered and self-directed learners…which is what you want.”
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