Reading at grade level is important for any student in school. Through the Elgin Foundation Reading Initiative, schools within the Bell County School District now have a way to see how many students are reading at that level.
One school that has improved leaps and bounds is Lone Jack. Upon entering the second grade and completing the fall MAP testing, 35 percent of the students bench-marked and were reading at grade level.
With much work from fall to winter, the students were able to improve to 74 percent benchmark and met their goals. The Lone Jack second grade was the highest scoring second grade in the Bell County School System.
After fall testing was complete, Melanie Mills, the second grade teacher, met with all but one parent, either at an open house or through a parent-teacher conference to discuss the fall MAP results.
Mills and the students set individual goals for the winter testing, which were discussed with each parent. The students graphed their goals in bar graph form and these are displayed as reminders so that the students stay focused on their individual goals. Parents were given materials to work at home with their children to help them improve.
From fall to winter, the students attended Reading Mastery classes with individualized instruction to meet their specific needs. Lone Jack also has an RTI class period during seventh period that every student in the building receives.
During this class period, Mills used the fall MAP data to also individualize instruction to work on specific skills and concepts each student had not mastered. Skills being taught in the classroom on a daily basis is continuously reinforced through review, assessment, flashbacks and MAP websites.
There are three IMac computers in the classroom, which are used daily in practice for the MAP testing. Students are rotated on a daily basis, so that every student has the opportunity to achieve the goals set for each testing session.
Students are tested in three areas — reading, math and language. If students meet two out of three of their goals, they are rewarded with special prizes. After the fall testing, students meeting these goals were treated with Happy Meals from McDonald’s. Students who met the goals for the winter testing will be treated with cheeseburgers and mini blizzards from Dairy Queen.
New goals have been set for the spring testing.
“I am very proud of the improvements that my students have made,” said Mills