How to Take a Mid-Year Checkup of Student Mastery in Your School Or District

The mid-point in the school year is a great opportunity for school and district leaders to step back and do an evaluation of standards that may not have been mastered by students from the first half of the year. It is not enough to raise reading levels of students or to get them to their reading level if they were previously behind, educators have to also make sure students understand and have mastered the standards that will be covered on the state tests. More and more teachers are tracking the standards taught and recording if the student mastered it or recording what level of understanding the student has for the standard.

If you find that a few students have not mastered the same standard, you can place them in a small group for the re-teaching of that standard. If the majority of the class did not master a standard or multiple standards, then that standard should be retaught to the class with the understanding that they (teacher and class) did not previously master it. Look at creating a document at least school-wide, but preferably district-wide, that records the students who are present, the teacher, the standard or grade level expectation, re-teaching strategies/work done (One to one, small group, guided reading, engaging activity…), a record of original score(s) from the assessment of the standard, and new assessment score(s). Leave room to write notes about individual students as evidence of what you did to support the student or need to do to give more support. We don’t want teachers teaching the standard the same way it wasn’t received successfully the first time.

This data could be used year-to-year to identify strategies that worked best for teaching standards that students traditionally struggle with or may not have mastered at high levels. Students can and should understand what mastering a standard means and when it is appropriate to re-teach or move forward.

One great idea I saw in a class was this: Students made a folder with one side a list of the standards they mastered with at least 80 percent proficiency and the other side had standards not mastered by at least 80 percent proficiency. The students voted if they thought the teacher should do a whole class re-teaching of the standard or students should form small groups. The students were proud to have ownership of their learning and understanding of what was expected of them. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.