Friday, August 18, 2006

Shining STAR

I just checked out my school's STAR (Standardized Testing And Reporting) scores for this past school year, and I am so pleased with the results. Once again, my grade level has surpassed our previous year's gains (and those were impressive). Seventy-five percent of the fourth grade students scored Advanced in English-Language Arts (ELA), and seventy-four percent were Advanced in Mathematics. This shows an eight-point gain for ELA and an eleven-point gain in Mathematics. The majority of those not scoring in the Advanced range are still Proficient, and a very small percentage of students (9-10%) are categorized at Basic, Below Basic, or Far Below Basic - most of those kids are also Special Education students though.

We have the highest scores at our school and within our district!

I have to say that I really think the gains we've made at the fourth grade level in the last couple of years don't have anything to do with teaching to the test. I spend about four days the week before the actual exam giving a few practice tests to get my students warmed up and that's it, but during the year my grade-level team of teachers and I teach to the state standards - which are ridiculously high. We have had to add several language arts units to hit all the standards, but it's working. Kids are learning and demonstrating what they know - not just on the STAR exams either.

I take a lot of pride in what I do and I try to make learning fun for my students. I honestly didn't believe we'd be able to do any better than we did the year before, and I told last year's students that. But I also gave them a challenge that if they did as well or better than the previous class, I'd throw them a pizza party. Who has the number for Pizza Hut?


  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger Doris & Dan Clark said…

    That is a great honour! Good for you and congrats to everyone!

    Good to know that pizza can be used as a motivator!

    Keep smilin!

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger AprilMay said…

    YAY for the kiddos! AND yay especially for the 4th grade teaching team. :)
    As for pizza...I always get a mom to go to Little Ceasar's and pick some up...$5 per large pepperoni!

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger Shannon S said…

    That is wonderful! You and your students are to be commended for your efforts! Hey, does Pizza Hut to the Book It program with your school too?
    I just got my "Welcome Back" letter today...sigh... =)
    We are a Title 1 school and were just notified that we are a fully accredited for the second year in a row! Go Tiger Cubs!
    (PS FYI Kohls is Mervyns of CA for the East Coast)

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Connie said…

    Great news! Congrats on your work :0)

    Hope I can find that kind of dedication in the teachers Jadyn will have.

    Pizza, yum!

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger Tamara said…

    Joannah- that is truely wonderful, as Mom I know how important the teacher is. Your students are truely lucky to have you.

  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger Wicked Witch said…

    Good job to you and your smart kids!

  • At 9:13 PM, Blogger Paulette said…

    Way to go and I hope your school and district honor you as well. Teachers are so scrutinized these days. Scores like this prove that teachers like you give there all.

  • At 5:24 AM, Anonymous terri said…

    Congratulations to you and your students! Great job!

  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger Kim :) said…

    Congratulations! Wish I could stop in for a slice to congratulate you all in person! :)


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