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Winter testing is the perfect time to use MAP Growth (and other assessments from the MAP Suite) to check in on how students are doing—and determine if they're on track to meet their goals, as well as potential next steps to help them course-correct or aim even higher than they expected. In fact, for many teachers, winter testing is the most important testing session, because it provides both current and projected data at a point where there's still time to take action. 


But there's also one thing that's just as important as checking in on growth in the winter—and that's celebrating growth in the winter! Whether you're recognizing students for their progress toward growth targets, or sharing data with families about how much their child has grown, it's important to take the time to honor and celebrate the hard work kids are doing. 


So we want to hear from you: How do YOU celebrate winter growth in your classroom? How do you recognize student progress, and let your kids know that you're proud of their growth so far? Share your favorite habits, techniques, and stories—and get inspiration from other teachers like you who share their own ideas in the comments below!

If you’re like me, you might be wondering, “Where did fall go?!?”. Schools are always busy handling new challenges, and before you know it, three months of the school year are gone! And while you know great teaching and great learning have been happening within your classrooms—academically, socially, and behaviorally—can you prove it?


MAP Growth winter testing provides you with an opportunity to peek into the learning process and check on how much growth is evident. The assessment results from Fall to Winter can help schools answer questions like:

  • How effective are the programs and practices we use with our students?
  • What’s not working?
  • Do my academic groupings need to change?


Schools that just choose to have a Fall and Spring MAP test session can often be disappointed when they don’t see enough growth; and by springtime, it’s typically too late change anything before the school year is over. A winter test session allows districts to make educational changes to pacing, content, and pedagogy, AND it gives schools enough time for these changes to be evident by the end of the school year. 


Here are the four reports I start with after winter testing to help influence my approach for the rest of the school year.


The Student Growth Summary Report 

In the Student Growth Summary, your school’s mean RIT is compared to other schools that have the same exact mean across the US through our Norm Study.  You can see if your students kept up with their peers!  In this example, Grade 7 started out in the 76th percentile, and grew to the 79th percentile!  Other 76th percentile schools grew 3.6 points and this school grew 4.4 points. What’s your growth story?



The Achievement Status and Growth Quadrant Report


In the Achievement Status and Growth Report,  you can see your students on a grid that compares both achievement and growth. The horizontal line answers the question, “Did our students make their growth projection?”. Data above the line means “Yes”! The vertical line answers the question, “Are our students above or below the 50%th percentile for achievement?” Now, looking at the data in context, you can start to reflect on steps you can take to influence the growth in all quadrants.


The Achievement Status and Growth Summary Report: Fall to Winter


In this report, you can quickly see the percentage of students in a class that achieved their growth projection. The average growth for schools is about 50–55%. How do you compare to the average? What can you do to improve your percentage of students meeting growth projections?







The Achievement Status and Growth Projection Report: Winter to Spring


In the Achievement Status and Growth Projection Report: Winter to Spring report, you can see growth projections for your students based on your remaining weeks of instruction. Each growth projection indicates the average growth for other similar students.

Remember that growth projections are maintenance projections, which means that if a child achieves the projection, the achievement percentile will stay very close to the same one they start with. For example, if Dayton achieves his 5 points growth, his achievement level will remain (or be really close) to the 37th percentile. If you want to close the gap, you’ll need to set higher goals for him!


No matter how long you’ve been a MAP partner, make time to build your knowledge by using the tools or connecting with other MAP partner schools here in the community! Here’s to the continuance of an amazing school year filled with growth and success for all your learners.


Candi Fowler is a school principal in NH and has been a MAP partner since 2005. She also works virtually with NWEA as a professional learning consultant helping partner schools on their MAP learning journey.