Friday, July 17, 2015

Krouch Early Childhood Center Success Story

We recently reached out to numerous partners and customers to better understand how they were introduced to ESGI and the impact it's had in their classrooms and districts. One of our first responses was submitted by the Krouch Early Childhood Center in Tecumseh Public Schools from Oklahoma.

The Krouch Early Childhood Center is comprised of 7 Pre-K classes, 8 Kindergarten classes and one Special Needs class and has an enrollment of approximately 300 students.

Their principal, Tammy Giaudrone, first heard of ESGI from a few teachers who came to her school from districts using ESGI. She says, "It saves time for teachers! It also helps the uniformity in our school. The reports for parents are simple and easy to understand."

Here is what the teachers have to say about ESGI!

ESGI made giving assessments very quick! The students loved being tested on the computer!!
Autumn Kinsey, Kindergarten Teacher

I loved how quick and easy it was to assess my students.  It did not take away from my teaching time as other assessments I have used.  I love how the report is easy to read and can be broken down into a pie graph representation for parents to easily understand.      
Holly Donaghey, Pre K Teacher

I love ESGI! It is so simple and easy to use. I also love that you can create tests to go along with your specific curriculum, and you can make the tests developmentally appropriate for four year olds.
Kelli Shatto, Pre K Teacher

My sister Misty said she thought it was very easy to understand and she loved how it broke it up into sections so she could easily see if there was anything Tanna need extra help with.

I love that you can create your own test that works for your grade level.  I love that it is so easy to show parents and explain what their student needs help with.  
Ashley Steward, Pre K Teacher

I have enjoyed using ESGI this past year in my classroom. The students seemed more eager to complete testing on the computer rather than on paper. Here are a few reasons as to why ESGI is so beneficial in my classroom.

  • ESGI isn’t just for testing. I used it to print out flash cards and name tags for my students.
  • ESGI is very time efficient and keeps track of all testing throughout the year.
  • ESGI allows for each teacher to create tests that meet the needs of their students.
  • Creating tests on ESGI was very user friendly.  

Lacey Forrester,  Kindergarten Teacher

My students always ask "when will it be my turn?", they also love the instant feedback the system provides.
Jennifer Wiens, Pre K Teacher

Try ESGI FREE for 60 days and reclaim YOUR 400 hours per year!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

No! We Are Not Teaching To The Test

Using data to inform instruction in reading is a very different thing than teaching to a test. Learning to read follows a prescribed path that expert teachers follow in order to lay a proper foundation for independent reading. This path includes components such as fluency, comprehension, and phonographic knowledge. Whether we use Dibels, Aims Web, DRA, or another formal measure, responsible reading teachers use these measures as a tool to find out which components of the reading spectrum children have mastered and how their skills can be increased. This is the responsible teaching of reading.

As a teacher, it is my job to have the prescribed teaching path in clear view at all times; my eyes right on the target or end-goal. This is best accomplished through the use of assessments and the gathering and interpreting of data. To correctly interpret data, you must understand how to disaggregate data and how to strategically use that information. Disaggregation means to take student testing information and break it into specific subgroups to take a closer look at the actual results.

For example, a typical state test for kindergarten may include three sub-tests that are combined for a cumulative score. The teacher looks at the results and sees that her two students Bobby and Susie both tested “green” and received an on-grade level score. Another student Tommy, received a yellow. Why? If the teacher looks closely at the three subtests of each student, she will quickly identify Bobby, Tommy, and Susie’s instructional needs.

By desegregating the data a teacher can quickly have more information than a cumulative score. The teacher now knows that both Susie and Tommy need targeted instruction towards letter naming fluency and Bobby needs targeted instruction in nonsense word fluency and phoneme segmentation fluency. If the teacher had depended on the cumulative score alone, important building blocks toward reading instruction would have been missed.

Do you want an easy way to gather, use, and disaggregate data for all necessary reading skills? ESGI is an amazing product that does most of the work for you! Sign up for your free trial today.

Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading, is a published author of thirteen books, a freelance author and developer of teaching curriculum, has been a teacher of kindergarten for twenty-two years, and publishes the blog Kindergarten Kiosk.