Using Data to Create Individualized Instruction

My name is Patricia González-Villaseñor and this is my 19th year teaching at AISD. I am a third-grade bilingual teacher working at Bernice Hart Elementary. I am writing this post to share some tips on how you could start taking advantage of your classroom information already stored on the MAP Growth website and the adaptive learning software to individualize your Math instruction. Using these tips you can give each student the targeted practice aligned with the core curriculum that they need to continue their path to independence and constant growth.

Our students are taking the NWEA MAP Growth (BOY/MOY/EOY) three times per year. The information gathered in the cloud is vital for you as a teacher. This information will let you know students’ strengths and the gaps that they have in learning. Understanding your data will help you to start planning on the steps that you need to do if you want to close the learning gaps. You are doing that with the help of technology tools that our district already has. 

The first step is to run and analyze the different MAP Growth reports. This will  help you to identify the students that need to be grouped together and start planning activities to drive their growth.

Every MAP Growth assessment is built specifically for the student taking it. MAP Growth reveals the skills that each student knows. 

One of the MAP Growth assessment reports the Achievement Status and Growth Summary with Quadrant Chart allowed me to quickly identify valuable insights within the MAP Growth data. I am able to make informed decisions on the type of help each group of students need. 

MAP Growth data from the reports is useful because it allows you to see clearly the information that you need to tailor learning support for students. Once you identify the skills that you need to focus you start giving assignments in IXL and ST Math. You have the possibility to assign work to the entire group or assign remedial practice to individual students in both programs. Students that need extra practice are identified using features already in IXL such as the Trouble Spot or Student Trouble Spot.

IXL has the Trouble Spots report which helps you to reorganize your Tier II intervention groups and choose the TEKS you need to be addressing in your small group instruction.

It was fun to explore these new features and see the realm of possibilities. These features help me to make better instructional decisions. My students were able to master rigorous standards with more targeted practice thanks to that. 

It was very beneficial to use the new feature Quizzes in IXL. You can very quickly create a quiz indicating the TEK or topic that you want to practice and the number of questions that you need. IXL creates the quiz for you by accessing the questions from the database. Your same grade-level colleagues could also share quizzes with you.

One advantage of the use of educational programs is that you can always get back to see the stored data and see how students are making progress. You can scaffold math instruction addressing individual learning needs. You can get back to content that is one grade level down and help students to catch up on skills that they had missed in previous years. And at the same time, you can also let other students work with more challenging activities and get ahead working on tasks that are above grade level. 

IXL and ST Math can help students to retain the content after receiving direct instruction. Some students might need to spend more time practicing specific skills but you can re-assign extra activities later if you wish.

Using adaptive technology apps with your Tier intervention groups helps you to monitor the progress and keep track of the growth. Students learn to work on their tasks and are engaged. They learn to use their independent work time productively and are making constant progress. You can boost student performance by implementing adaptive technology such as IXL and ST Math for intervention, enrichment, reinforcing TEKS standards, and STAAR testing preparation.

I know that next year I will use IXL and ST Math in a better way since the beginning of the year. Our school was also using Reflex as a pilot with excellent results. Reflex is an adaptive individualized math fact fluency program that helps students to master basic facts in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division for grades 2+. We also have the Frax program which is an adaptive and game-based program that helps students to come to understand fractions. 

So technology is here to make our life easier. I think it is better to find ways in which we could use technology to help our students to love to learn.

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