Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mika's MAP Assessment Results

Ok, so I've disappeared for a few days. I've been busy! Well, actually I'm always busy but I've been preoccupied with trying to figure out what Mika's MAP test results mean for our future in homeschooling.

I'm pretty sure I understand now why she hates school and complains so much.. "Mom, do I have to do this page? I already know it," is a common complaint. School became more tolerable this year when I quit trying to teach and just let her get the pages done on her own. To get it over with as quickly as possible. She almost never asks for help and seldom gets more than 1 or 2 wrong, if any. She enjoys our unit studies in which we read books, do projects, carry out experiments, and do field trips. It's her 3rd grade english and math that she hates the most.

First of all, if you remember, I posted about how the test frustrated and upset her because the questions were so hard. I talked to the test proctor who explained to me, again, how the test works. It is a computerized, adaptive test that tests grades 3 through 12. When the student gets a question correct, the next question is more difficult. When they g et a question incorrect, the next question is easier. It is designed so that the student gets half of the questions correct and half wrong. The test goes back and worth to determine the student's level.

We got her scores back yesterday. In math, the subject she hates the most, she got a score of 215. This score is in the 88th percentile for 3rd grade. Another chart that came with the results indicates that her score falls between the medium score for 4th and 5th grade. In reading, her score was 225 which is the 99th percentile for 3rd grade and is the median score for 9th grade. In language usage, her score was 231 which is not on the chart at all. The median score for 10th grade is 225. Her reading and language uses scores indicate that she should be in a 4th grade gifted class for these subjects.

After receiving her scores, I called our teacher/contact at Columbia Virtual Academy and asked if she thought these scores were accurate. Our discussion included the fact that she scored in the 97th percentile over all on the CAT-5 test in October. Her language arts and reading scores were in the 99th percentile. So, we have two different types of tests showing similar results. Her teacher also mentioned her writing ability based on the samples she has read. I got the feeling she believes the results are accurate.

So, what do I do now? Our teacher/contact at CVA recommended some reading by Nancy Atwell. Atwall writes books on how to teach creative writing and is geared towards middle school. She thought it would be good to take her to meet some real authors and attend some writing conferences like Get Lit. She also recommended that I scrap the language arts workbooks and teach LA in context.

I don't feel prepared to teach language arts in context. At the very least, I need some sort of guide, a list of things students need to learn about before graduation. Is there any such thing? I have a writing curriculum on its way that will probably work well from what I've been told. But what about grammar? And literature? And spelling? And what about the other subjects, should I adjust them too?

So, I'm researching. I'm trying to figure out what to do for next year.

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Daiquiri said...

Hi there! I found you via BlogHer headlines. You have a beautiful blog...good job on the design! I'm so impressed that you did it yourself!

Sweet family - I'm always blown away by homeschoolers. I'm pretty sure it requires a gene that I didn't get ;)

Just wanted to say hi. Have a great day.


Unknown said...

I am a CVA homeschooler near you guys. I am pleased to hear that your scores came back so high. Our kids took theirs yesterday and it was an ordeal. Regardless of how flattering the results may be, the test itself really leaves a lot to be desired in terms of experience. I am not a fan of any test that deliberately sets the child up to fail by 50%.

Thanks for sharing your experience.