Communication is a teacher’s forte: we communicate through teaching and learning with our students; we communicate when we collaborate with our colleagues and administrators; we communicate with parents through personal conversations, emails, and class websites. We are constantly engaged in conversation with our community, whether formal or informal, from sporting events to school-wide assemblies.
When the time comes to communicate test results, it’s important to remember that it isn’t just a retroactive experience—much of what we communicate is proactive. We aren’t simply communicating the data that we’ve received; we’re communicating what the test is and why we believe it will improve learning for our students. As we build upon our testing experiences, best practices among us emerge. This month we explore some of our favorite resources and perspectives on communicating test information with students and parents. We encourage you to join the discussions and share your best practices.
Some of our favorite tips for test communication include:
- Consider making a short video for your class website introducing parents to MAP and pre-empting any questions they may have. See more tips for “Tag-Teaming MAP Results with Parents,” and be sure to direct them to A Parent’s Guide to MAP, a downloadable resource.
- Answer seemingly simple student queries long before test day, like whether or not they can bring a water bottle! Check out our post on “Communicating with Students Before Testing,” and read our tips for “Teaching Students to Read Their MAP Results” to encourage ownership and data literacy.
- Establish a way, whether it’s a physical bulletin board or a virtual collaborative document, to allow teachers/admins to share “tips, tricks, and relics” from their own communication tactics with students and parents!
As part of the journey: Communicating About Testing with Students and Parents, we’ll be discussing how to introduce both students and parents to Growth Mindset. We will also be exploring ways to help students communicate with each other after the test to encourage privacy and respect. Be sure to check back frequently for new discussions, and share your best practices in the discussion below!