Last week we went to a cluster meeting where Rebecca Jessen (UoA) presented data she had gathered from the 12 Manaiakalani schools throughout the 2017 school year.
The full presentation can be viewed here.
As part of on-going reflections, I pulled out a few key slides/groups of slides that stood out to me.
Slides 1-31 are about SEA data.
SEA stands for School Entry Assessment. I have never done a SEA because I don't have year 1-3 students. I was really surprised by the data as it showed that our students turn up knowing less than half the alphabet, knowing less than half the things they should about how to read a book (concepts about print) and only being able to write less than 5 words independently. As I have never taught below year 3, this really kinda horrified me. It also made me really appreciate how hard junior teachers have to work to get these kids up to scratch and able to learn to read and write.
Slides 32-40 are about JAM testing.
JAM stands for Junior Assessment of Mathematics, and from what I have heard is a very long and comprehensive test of their number knowledge and strand knowledge. I have never done a JAM test myself as my students sit GLOSS tests.
It's sad to see that there are gender gaps for maths achievement at the end of years 1, 2 and 3. How could boys be better at maths, at 5?
Slides 41-45 are about STAR tests.
I have administered STAR test before, when I had year 3 students. Currently I am teaching year 5/6, who do not sit STAR. These results are sad. There is no bell curve. There is a left-side-heavy kind-of-almost curve.. saying that more of our students are below average than above, with a big chunk sitting at what would be 'at' standard.
Is it because of the way the test is set up and its content? Do they not know how to take this test? Or do we really not have many kids 'above'. Food for thought...
Slides 45-59 are about E-asttle writing.
This test, all students do at my school. Even the kids in new entrant who can't write their own names. Everyone does it for this data collection. I understand that we need standardised tests, but I would also point out that marking writing can be very subjective and moderation can causes heated debates.
This is the overall shift for E-asttle writing. I have circled the pink dot that represents my school.
I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that this means we made small progress with our students?
From slide 50-
This is encouraging because we are always being told that boys don't achieve in writing, particularly Maori boys. Well according to this, they made more progress than the girls did, which means they are slowly catching up!
This I couldn't think of any reason for.. so any ideas let me know!
Slides 60-85 are about PAT maths and PAT reading.
Our school does sit both of these tests (year 4-8), however we use other tests such as GLOSS for maths and PROBE for reading to inform our on-going teaching.
Something I thought about is why our students typically do poorly on these tests. Is it because they don't like sitting online tests? Is it because they learn collaboratively and then test individually and that makes absolutely no sense? Is it because the content of the test is different? Is it because they don't understand how to sit the test (multi-choice answers)?
I don't know the answer to this, but it is worth thinking about. Is there anything I can do differently so their PAT results would more accurately reflect their in-school data? I don't know.
The highlights of this data session for me was seeing how amazing our new entrant/year 1-3 teachers are and how hard they have to work in such a short amount of time, and also seeing that we are making progress in writing (across the cluster).
Kia haka all! We are making a difference!