Sunday, September 19, 2010

MAP Assessments

Beginning on Monday, September 20 Sioux Trail students in grades 1-6 will begin taking the MAP Assessment. MAP is the Measure of Academic Progress and is a product of NWEA. The Northwest Evaluation Association is non-profit organization dedicated to helping students succeed by providing data through research proven assessments.

I am very excited that we started using this tool three years ago and continue to use it. MAP is a leveled assessment that students take on a computer. Students will go to the computer lab with their entire class during their scheduled time over the next two weeks. There are two sections of the test that we are using, reading and math, and each section of the test has approximately 40 questions. The MAP program delivers leveled questions, so that each student is answering questions that are at his / her instructional level. For students who are taking the test for the first time to program will start giving them questions based on their grade level, but for students who have previously taken the test at Sioux Trail the program will use their last score to determine the difficulty of the next question.

The benefits of this approach are simple, but highly effective. Because the test is computer based students and teachers will see results immediately at the end of the testing session. You may even hear your child talk about their test results on the same day they complete the reading or math MAP. The score from MAP is called a RIT (Rausch Interval Unit). RIT is an equal-interval measure, like an inch or ounce, and RIT measures understanding regardless of grade level, so the information helps to track a student’s progress from year to year. Using a computer-based assessment also allows students to interact with the program and the primary version of the test (used with first graders in ISD 191) allows student to move items using "drag and drop" tools.

The leveled approach aligns well with the Sioux Trail approach which is facilitating success. Because each question is delivered at the student's instructional level they are likely to feel confident answering the questions and they'll keep trying. As questions are answered successfully more difficult questions are delivered and if answers are incorrect the program adjusts by delivering an easier question.

Because the tests measures the student's instructional level teachers can make immediate application of the results. MAP is closely aligned to the Minnesota State Standards so we're not working towards a different target. NWEA supports MAP with a number of reports that we will share with you at conferences and a broad set of options classroom teachers can use. Student is ISD 191 take MAP two separate times, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Here are two internet resources that may be helpful:
Math games based on the RIT (MAP Score):
NWEA Site:

As always you may contact any member of the Sioux Trail staff for additional information.

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