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Webinar Recap: Using Assessments to Improve English Literacy Skills

Learn how combining interim assessments with sample performance tasks raises test scores.

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Grammar Fitness can track an entire class with a few keystrokes and drill down to see areas where an individual student needed help or where the entire class of students needed additional help.

ABC School District* is looking for a way to help a large number of students in upper elementary and middle school grades improve their English grammar and reading skills.

The school district has several K-8 schools. Many students struggle with English Language Arts skills.

The school district’s high school graduation rate is 64%. Yet, state data show 89% of the district’s graduates need to catch up in college before taking credit courses.

The district is in a state that is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or SABC. The SBAC is one of the two standardized tests being evaluated for assessing how well students are mastering the Common Core State Standards.

To help students improve in English Language Arts, the school district wants to use real-time, formative assessments of performance tasks students could see on a standardized test.

*ABC School District is not the real name of the district.

Recommendations:

  • We looked primarily at Grammar Fitness. A few aspects of the program impressed webinar participants.
  • They felt the exercises provided in the program looked like ones students could see on a standardized test.
  • They liked the ability of Grammar Fitness to track entire classes with a few keystrokes, and drill down to see areas where an individual student needed help or where the entire class of students needed additional help.

Additional Screenshots:



Students’ ability to be part of the mastery process also appealed to participants. Students can see their own progress with the end-of-round summary screens and within their own online portfolio.



Grammar Fitness is personalized and students receive context-clues to help master troublesome concepts. Teachers appreciated this aspect of the program.


Participants also liked the fact that they could have students redo exercises if necessary, and use the Finals section as part of an end-of-course grade.