A variety of assessment strategies are used at FBCS. We use STAR math and reading assessments throughout the year as a guide to where students are at, and what deficiencies they may have. DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills) are used as well to monitor student reading levels. DIBELS were developed to measure recognized validated skills related to reading outcomes. The results can be used to evaluate student development as well as provide grade level feedback toward validated instructional objectives. The Terra Nova standardized tests are given in April/May each year as well. In the classroom teachers use formative and summative assessments, and student portfolios.
Literacy Report at First Baptist Christian School, May 2013 By Janine Nyyssonnen
Literacy skills are fundamental to every area of the curriculum. The literacy learning expectations for students at FBCS are organized into three strands – Reading, Writing, Oral and Visual Communication. These strands include a solid foundation in phonics, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar as well as the appreciation of literature and the ability to respond to it. Each student receives at least 90 minutes of literacy learning per day.
The grade 1 to 6 grammar and writing curriculum is titled ‘English’ by Houghton Mifflin. The reading and spelling curriculum for grades 1 and 2 is the ‘Trophies’ series and in grades 3 to 6 ‘Storytown’ by Harcourt School Publishers. Each class also does individual novel studies from Grade 3 to 6, and a differentiated reading programme for Kindergarten to Grade 2. All students from Grade 1 to Grade 6 have a library time each week and take home books to read at their level. The kindergarten class has an individual literacy programme using a word wall, high frequency words, book of the day and poem of the week. The kindergarten curriculum is a combination of whole language and phonic approach to reading.
Each teacher differentiates within the learning environment using various strategies including – individual reading levels, group work according to ability, one on one guidance as needed, classroom assistants / tutors for the students in school with specific learning challenges and extra learning activities beyond the curriculum that engage and challenge the students.
Beyond the curriculum
At FBCS literacy is brought to life through drama, creative writing and a love of reading. There are whole school activities to promote this. Each year the students take part in a school spelling bee. Students also participate in the speech category for the National Children’s Festival of the Arts. This year a family reading night has been introduced and takes place every two months in the school library, where parents are encouraged to come and read with their child. Also the annual Reading Week is an exciting time when students take part in buddy reading, author studies, reading relay, and dress as a story book character.
Reading skills are regularly assessed and monitored through the use of Star Reading, Dibbles and Accelerated Reader. The literacy team leader meets with each teacher at least twice a year to monitor progress, and then more frequently if needed for help with individual student progress. The first Star Reading test was taken in September, the second in March – during this time each class has progressed at least one full reading grade level.
In kindergarten 80% of students can now tap out words and blend independently.
In grade 1 the class average reading level has improved by one grade level with five students improving more than one grade level.
In grade 2 the class has improved from reading at an average grade of 2.3 to 2.7.
In grade 3 the class average has improved one full grade level from 3.3 to 4.0, with 5 students improving more than one grade level.
In grade 4 the class average has improved from 4.4 to 5.7. Eight students have improved by more than 1 grade level, and one student has improved 5 grade levels.
In grade 5 the class average has improved from level 5.5 to 6.7. Four students have improved by 1 full grade level, two students by 3 grade levels and one student has improved by 5 grade levels.
In grade 6 the class average has increased from 5.0 to 6.4, three students increased by 1 grade level, and one student by 3 levels.
The progress made in reading, the writing skills gained and the love of literacy fostered in each classroom makes this a very successful year in literacy for FBCS.
First Baptist Christian School
Numeracy/Math Report 2012/2013 Academic Year By Karen Cilliers
Our school provides learning experiences for students to explore mathematical understanding in five content areas: Number Sense and Numeration, Measurement, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Patterning and Algebra, and Data Management and Probability. Numeracy and Math Skills are fundamental to everyday activities. Our Numeracy and Math Skills are tools we use to connect us to the rest of our World.
Grades 1-6 are currently using the Math Connects series published by Mc Graw Hill. We are using the Math Connects Textbooks and Work Books, as well as the Math Connect online activities and support. Each class spends 10 – 15 minutes every day on Mental Math Activities. The rest of the time is spent on formal teaching activities and the use of manipulative in the classroom. In addition to our Math curriculum we have purchased Mathletics as a tool to enhance Mental Math Activities. Mathletics is another tool that is used once a week to help students develop their skills. Our Kindergarten class has an individual Numeracy Programme, although some of the Mathletics Activities are used at towards the end of the Academic Year.
Each teacher differentiates in their classrooms by assessing and instructing at different levels. Some of the tools used in Grades 1 to 6
Math Connect Questions and Activities at different levels – 0n Level, Below Level and Above Level
Accelerated Math – Computer Generated Questions at different Levels according to Star Math placing
Math Triumph is also a tool we use to accommodate those that are below level (Those more than a grade level below the standard)
Individual tutoring /assistance are used for those students that have specific challenges or needs.
Within the Math Connect Curriculum we also use intervention strategies at various levels
Whole School Activities 2012/2013
Math Vocabulary and Mental Math Games/Ex – October
Math Buddies and Problem Solving – November
Math Bingo Event – January
World Math Day – March
Terra Nova Practice Tests
Numeracy and Math Skills are regularly assessed and monitored through the use of Star Math and Accelerated Math Programmes.
The Numeracy/Math co – coordinator coordinates with Grade 1 – 6 teachers to monitor progress. Where intervention is needed, testing is done more frequently. Testing was done in September, March and May.
In Grade 1 the average Math Grade has improved from 1.1 – 2.3
In Grade 2 the average Math Grade has improved from 2.2 – 3.0
In Grade 3 the average Math Grade has improved from 2.6 – 4.2
In Grade 4 the average Math Grade has improved from 4.3 to 5.5
In Grade 5 the average Math Grade has improved from 4.9 to 5.8
In Grade 6 the average has increased from 5.0 to 7.5
53% of our students improved their Math Grades by more than one Grade level. Another 27% improved their Math Grades by half a Grade level. 19.6% of our students improved by less than half a Grade and 0.4% showed no progress.