As most of you know, 4th quarter at Robinson means warm spring weather, Field Day, Spring Sing and of course, MAP testing! The Missouri Assessment Program is an assessment that begins in third grade and that all kids attending public schools take yearly through eighth grade. In third and fourth grade, kids are tested in English Language Arts (ELA), and Math and scored against our Missouri Learning Standards. State testing results serve as a measuring stick when comparing schools and districts to standards – and to each other. Fifth grade is also tested in ELA and Math, as well as Science.
We know the MAP tests will not measure everything our students have learned at Robinson, but we want them to be prepared to perform their very best. As far as content, we are confident that the kids are ready to test, and test well. The format of this test, however, is different than most assessments we use in Kirkwood and requires practice on our end. The test taking skills we will be teaching and reinforcing are those they will carry with them through their schooling as this is not the last time they will need to take a standardized test!
We also ask for your support in preparing:
SCHEDULING: Our 3rd graders will test on April 16, 17 and 18. Our 4th graders will test on April 23, 24 and 25. Our 5th graders will test on April 30, May 1 and May 2.
Please note that they will be testing in approximately two hour chunks on all three days. It is really important that kids are here all day for all three days and they are not checked out during the testing window for doctors appointments etc. Kids who miss taking the test with their peers have to take it separately when they return and it is a very artificial environment for them. They want to be with their peers on those last days of school, not stuck in an office testing with me!
IPADS: The entire test is done online through a secure testing site. We need time before testing begins to clean up the iPads, make sure they are fully updated and ready to go. We will also have time for the kids to practice using the online testing tools that they will use during the actual assessment. IPads will stay at school for the rest of the school year.
HEADPHONES: The kids have options to listen to sections of the test being read to them, and also will be responding to listening passages. Their headphones have taken a beating and many of the kids are in need of new headphones. We will have some available during the testing window, but it would be best if you could check with your student and see if he or she needs a new pair and send them in early.
To be honest, the MAP tests are low stakes assessments for your children. Kids won’t be retained if they are Basic on the test, and they won’t get an 4 if they score at the Advanced level. The tests are incredibly high stakes, however, for our school, our district, and our community. Right or wrong, we are measured by how well our students’ perform on standardized tests. Our scores impact funding, morale, and even property values in our community.
I will be sending weekly updates for you to consider as we get closer to your child's testing dates and ways you can support your child through the process. We are also working to “de-mystify,” the process with the kids and I will be sharing insight into scoring and test items as we move through April.
At any time, please feel free to reach out to myself of of course your classroom teacher!
Thanks for your support as we work to set all of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders up for success in their MAP testing!