Thursday, March 9, 2017

Motivate to Accelerate: How One Principal Raised the Bar for Students! πŸ“š

“This assessment data is not reflecting my students’ best work! How can I motivate them to take ownership of their scores and progress?” Hector Baeza, Principal at C.A. Donehoo Elementary in Alabama, knew the STAR reading scores he was looking at were not reflective of what his students could accomplish. As a result, it was a challenge to make instructional decisions based on those scores. He and his team quickly put a plan in place to change that.

The school district uses Renaissance STAR paired with Classworks instruction for both closing gaps and teaching grade-level standards. Here’s how they used their data to inform instruction and motivate their students to reach higher levels of achievement. 



Tier 2 Support
Students work on Classworks Individualized Learning Paths based on their STAR Reading and Math assessment results. This is one important reason behind Mr. Baeza’s desire to motivate them to do their best on the STAR tests. Students receive instruction at the level they are ready to learn based on the test results. Lessons are aligned to Renaissance's Core Progress for Reading and Math.

Tier 3 Support
The intervention team uses the STAR Screening report to target instruction to the specific areas where students need extra support. In addition, the teachers use the STAR Instructional Planning report to select Classworks Integrated Reading and Applied Mathematics activities to help strengthen needed skills. Students receive 1:1 support from intervention teachers when completing these rigorous lessons. Students take the STAR assessment monthly and are regrouped accordingly.

School Incentives
The next step for C.A. Donehoo was to motivate students to take ownership of their test scores so they reflect their best work! Mr. Baeza developed an incentive plan using the STAR Growth report. The program started with fifth-grade students. They needed to score a 700 or higher on their math or reading STAR assessment to join the club, which participated in fun activities like going to Shoney’s for lunch on Fridays! The motivation worked and word spread to the other grade levels who wanted their own clubs! Now, there are three clubs based on STAR scaled scores:

  • 550 Club for Third Grade
  • 650 Club for Fourth Grade
  • 700 Club for Fifth Grade
Students are rewarded by getting their names and pictures on a club poster and the television rotation. Mr. Baeza and his team have seen tremendous growth since implementing his plan--1.5-grade levels of growth since the program began! In fact, it has been so successful that Mr. Baeza has upped the ante. Next year, fifth graders will need to score an 800 on the STAR assessment to join the club.

C.A. Donehoo Elementary was awarded the Classworks Digital Learning Grant this year! We're excited to see how they use their $2,500 grant to innovate even more. 

Want to learn more about using your assessment data paired with Classworks? Our Resource Center has guides and videos to help!