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State mandated test results

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    State mandated test results

    So, in our state (Colorado) homeschooled students are required to take nationally normed tests in 3rd, 5th and 7th grade. You can take this test at anytime during that school year. I opted to administer the test as late as possible, ie a week before starting 4th grade.

    The results have finally arrived. It's a mixed bag.

    His reading vocabulary was at the 82 percentile. Comprehension at 66. Mathematics computation 7th percentile. Math problems and concepts a whopping 96th percentile. His language mechanics 91. Language usage and structure 39th percentile. Spelling 24th.

    Overall his composite percentile is 57...pretty much as average as it gets.

    Any suggestions on the math? The two scores are just polar opposites and I'm mystified.

    So, for background he's doing SC3 Bible, writing (history read alouds) and recitations. Classic core 2 for reading and spelling with Prima (started yesterday! ) and grade 3 math.

    From my point of view, I see him as a second grader academically. The school district sees him as a birthdate, making him a fourth grader. So, I'm blown away that this test shows his math concepts at 5.6 grade equivalent and math computation at 1.7.
    Last edited by Colomama; 09-06-2017, 01:08 AM.
    Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
    DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
    DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

    #2
    Re: State mandated test results

    Does your state care about the math score? The common core math thing might have "gotten him"? Since you are not doing a cc version of math, he will likely be behind in that until pre-algebra? Otherwise, great job!
    Christine

    (2018-2019)
    DD1 8/23/09 - SC4
    DS2 9/1/11 - SC2
    DD3 2/9/13 - MPK

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3)
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK)
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others!)

    Comment


      #3
      Re: State mandated test results

      Michelle,

      Don't forget that there are SO many variables for those tests. Was your child hungry or tired or had an illness coming on or was distracted by the sun shining or dogs barking.....all these and many others can have an effect on the outcome. Also, Rod & Staff does not cover the abstract math concepts too early, but there are always questions on the test regarding these. Focus on mastering the 4 main operations and working on speed with them. Use those test results as a guide to tweak your studies but don't change your entire plan based solely on those scores.

      Blessings,
      Michelle T

      Comment


        #4
        Re: State mandated test results

        It was the CAT70 (California Achievement Test) ...no common core in sight.
        Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

        DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
        DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
        DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

        Comment


          #5
          Re: State mandated test results

          Good morning, Colomama.

          A few thoughts:

          Math
          The math computation/calculations is not a surprise given his placement in R&S Arithmetic. I was looking at Colorado testing, and when testing for 4th grade, they expect multi-step multiplication and division. He has not yet had those! Computation may truly be an area of relative weakness for him, but much of the low score could be due to lack of exposure. If he is slow to write, and if the test was written, this will also drop a math computation score. The greater surprise is that he scored so well on mathematical concepts! At least he is understanding well!

          To boost his math computation skills, continue plugging away with mastery in arithmetic. If he does not yet do the current level's Facts blacklines regularly, this might be a good addition for "homework." You can explain this based on his testing, his chronological 4th-grade status, or simply because you know he needs the practice. If he has not yet finished all of the R&S blacklines from previous levels, use those. If you have none left, create a fact-sheet template for +, -, x, / and give him one of these daily. If he likes board games with mental computation (Yahtzee, Monopoly), see if Dad or Sister would play these with him, or institute a weekly family game night. In Monopoly, for example, he needs to be the banker with, possibly, a banking assistant. No need to devote the requisite 3 hours; instead, because you do not have toddlers, this could be left out as an ongoing game for "next time."

          Spelling
          His spelling is a relative area of concern, but this too makes sense because his reading is still coming along. However, as with math, explaining it doesn't mean you ignore it. He needs to work a little more on spelling. You have several choices available:

          -Teach or re-teach from SC Spelling Book One & Two. Create flash cards of missed sight words and phonetic words. Review these once weekly orally or in dictation.
          -Note misspelled words from his own writing. Create a Spelling Notebook from these and review often.
          -Assign 1 page of Core Skills: Spelling Book One daily for review & practice. Have him write vertically on the board any missed words.

          If you want, you can add Junior Scrabble, Boggle, or other words games to your family game rotation. (Bonus: he can be the official counter of points!) Allow both children a student dictionary, so they learn how to use it and play the game with correctly spelled words. (This would be an add-on to one of the above forms of more regular practice, not a substitute.)


          Overall
          As you may already know, overall "scatter" in standardized test results (especially wild highs, wild lows) is often seen as a first red-flag indicator to investigate further for organic learning disabilities. This would not shock you, of course, because you have already found the need to work so hard with him! However, these results may give you a little bit of confirmation to pursue a more thorough evaluation to see how he is/is not processing and to see what you might do to help. In the meantime, you can rejoice over those nice highs. This didn't happen by chance. You and he have worked HARD. And the lows give you a place to work, if only in a little bit of extra homework 2-4 nights a week.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: State mandated test results

            Thanks. Great insight.

            The math is interesting. The part he scored crazy high was word problems. The low score was straight equations. He skipped all multiplication and division in the straight math. But was able to figure those same computations when put in a story format like Billy bought 3 marbles for $0.35 each and 4 marbles for 10 cents, how much did he spend. Or susy had 12 cookies to share with 3 friends, how many cookies did each get?

            I almost skipped the spelling test. It was 'which word is misspelled?' Nonsense. I wasn't surprised at his results.

            I hear it's normal if spelling skills are a year behind reading skills. Is that true? If so, his reading is about second grade and his spelling is first grade.

            His reading improved two whole grade levels this year. Who-hoo! This has taken an amazing amount of hard work (like years and years) and I must admit I'm terrified that spelling will follow this same pattern.

            Since we are a year ahead of SC3 in reading and you're working on SC4...have you selected a spelling program for next year?

            I looked at SC Spelling 2 and it would boost his confidence. But, he's been doing spelling workout 2nd grade and really likes the games and puzzles. We did all about spelling level 1 last year and that worked well, but it's teacher intensive. Any suggestions? Ive looked at Building Spelling Skills Book 1 and 2. The words are grouped by phonetic pattern and have the games and things.

            In other news, I learned they'll Skype a pediatric psychologist to our local clinic for a psycho/ educational assesment. Who-hoo! Picked up our enrollment paperwork today. Figure we met our family insurance deductible with my surgery so it should be 20% bill to us. They'll work the insurance on Monday. Any pointers on that?
            Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
            DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
            DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

            Comment


              #7
              Re: State mandated test results

              Michelle, the reading results are so good! Congratulations on this. He reads so well now, he was reading and comprehending math word problems he should not know! ☺

              We have a top candidate for SC 4 Spelling, but it is not yet available. If you were following Miah's spelling thread, you could choose any of those, but because he already likes SWO, he might enjoy SWO A or SWO B as easy review. They could be good practice.

              Remember the two R&S Spelling options from our Sodalitas "summit"? One was teacher intensive but very thorough and eventually rooted in Latin/Greek, the other good for independent practice. Those might be options for you.


              Re tips for the eval: make sure they give a full intelligence test, not merely academic testing, because you will want the subtest information along with the overall score. Those subtests can be very useful not only for teaching now, but also for helping him find a good, suitable work setting later.

              Be sure to tell them you want to know how he learns best and that you would like many teaching suggestions in the report. You might reread the assessment chapters in SC for more suggestions. Some testers are better than others, but if you can say up front what you want, you may get a more thorough evaluation and report for your money!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: State mandated test results

                [QUOTE=cherylswope;62245You might reread the assessment chapters in SC for more suggestions. Some testers are better than others, but if you can say up front what you want, you may get a more thorough evaluation and report for your money![/QUOTE]

                Yes! Please do this. It was like a deer in the headlights for me! (I did not re-read it). I did after the visit though and was enlightened! It will also help you phrase the issues you face with your son in a non emotional way, which will sever you and your son better. Good luck!
                Christine

                (2018-2019)
                DD1 8/23/09 - SC4
                DS2 9/1/11 - SC2
                DD3 2/9/13 - MPK

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3)
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others!)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: State mandated test results

                  Okay, so: We don't test. We haven't ever tested. We aren't required to test. We've never considered testing. We take what we do in everyday life + schooling and just chip away at it. We document through looking at their work from year to year and viewing targeted home videos for reading and math (as suggested in the Simply Classical lesson plans, for example).

                  But I'm curious now... Can someone help me understand how to do this at home? Or how to get a simple test done by a specialist that doesn't totally freak my kids out? I found this site http://www.setontesting.com/ Which test(s) would you recommend?
                  Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                  Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                  Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                  Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                  “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                  ~Pope St John Paul II

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: State mandated test results

                    Originally posted by Anita View Post
                    Okay, so: We don't test. We haven't ever tested. We aren't required to test. We've never considered testing. We take what we do in everyday life + schooling and just chip away at it. We document through looking at their work from year to year and viewing targeted home videos for reading and math (as suggested in the Simply Classical lesson plans, for example).

                    But I'm curious now... Can someone help me understand how to do this at home? Or how to get a simple test done by a specialist that doesn't totally freak my kids out? I found this site http://www.setontesting.com/ Which test(s) would you recommend?
                    I did the "Let's Go Learn". I just wanted to asses what my child's reading level was, so I did the DORA. I actually did it on Let's Go Learn" site because we could do it right then and there (and only $25) on the computer. The information I received was actually spot on. However, I was rather shocked (disappointed) because I thought we had made MORE progress than the test showed. Again, it did tell me what we already knew. However, I think had I not had her take the test, I would have pushed forward to a level above where she actually was. (The test showed a mid first grade level reading, 3-4 for comprehension). So, her high comprehension was making up for her low decoding skills. It's the whole "well, she can read x". However, really she was just guessing her way through x. After the test results are printed, I received some helpful tips (that I shared with Cheryl Swope to help me make the best decision for my child) I plan to re-test in May.
                    Christine

                    (2018-2019)
                    DD1 8/23/09 - SC4
                    DS2 9/1/11 - SC2
                    DD3 2/9/13 - MPK

                    Previous Years
                    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3)
                    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK)
                    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others!)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: State mandated test results

                      See also this information on standardized testing geared more for children with special needs.

                      For children in "the system" (regional center, local board for developmentally delayed, etc.), sometimes you can obtain funding or special arrangements to help with the experience. A local friend has a son with significant anxiety/autism and received funding for an overnight stay at a hotel due to the need to travel for two-day testing. Somehow this and a rare, promised dinner at a favorite chicken restaurant made the experience far more welcome.

                      If you test outside the home, try to select someone by word of mouth known to be especially skilled in testing children with language/spectrum challenges.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: State mandated test results

                        Originally posted by Anita View Post
                        Okay, so: We don't test. We haven't ever tested. We aren't required to test. We've never considered testing. We take what we do in everyday life + schooling and just chip away at it. We document through looking at their work from year to year and viewing targeted home videos for reading and math (as suggested in the Simply Classical lesson plans, for example).

                        But I'm curious now... Can someone help me understand how to do this at home? Or how to get a simple test done by a specialist that doesn't totally freak my kids out? I found this site http://www.setontesting.com/ Which test(s) would you recommend?
                        I used to work in Seton's testing department, but that was many moons ago. If you call them, they can help guide you to the appropriate test. When I was there, we only had regular standardized tests; nothing special-needs specific. Seton's special needs department may have other standardized testing options available.
                        Jennifer


                        2018-2019
                        DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
                        DS-12 (6M)
                        DS-10 (SC3)
                        DD-8 (MP2)
                        DD-6 (SC2)
                        DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: State mandated test results

                          A had similar scatter on his testing at the end of last year. Was the calculations section timed? A's math concepts (I forget the actual name of the section) was something like 4.7 and his calculation more like 2.1. The calculations were timed. He also does well with word problems -- like they give him context or something. His test results were pretty much what I expected and so I didn't really need to make any adjustments. The tester did tell me that he was going in the right direction and that often kids with major LD's often don't make big jumps in grade levels like other kids. So that helps my expectations at least and was reassuring that we're on the right path. C's were worse than I thought -- maybe like Howiecran said -- I expected her results to be much better. She too was guessing her way though reading. So her testing was helpful in cluing me in to the need to switch gears.

                          We have to test each year in NC. I chose to do the Woodcock-Johnson since it is not grade level specific. They start at a low level and work until the child misses x number of problems in a row. It was about $100 per child and does have to to be administered by a professional. The administrators in our case also tutored children with learning disabilities.

                          Since all homeschoolers have to test here, it may be easier to me to find good testers here than in TX where testing isn't required.
                          Susan

                          2018-2019
                          A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
                          C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
                          G (5) - Simply Classical C

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: State mandated test results

                            I bought the paper test from Christian Liberty Press. Administered it and mailed it back. They mail back results. I chose paper test to control the timer (we could break when needed)
                            Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                            DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
                            DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
                            DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: State mandated test results

                              Originally posted by Anita View Post
                              Okay, so: We don't test. We haven't ever tested. We aren't required to test. We've never considered testing. We take what we do in everyday life + schooling and just chip away at it. We document through looking at their work from year to year and viewing targeted home videos for reading and math (as suggested in the Simply Classical lesson plans, for example).

                              But I'm curious now... Can someone help me understand how to do this at home? Or how to get a simple test done by a specialist that doesn't totally freak my kids out? I found this site http://www.setontesting.com/ Which test(s) would you recommend?

                              We just had our first cognitive testing, so a bit different than what you guys are talking about, for my 5yo son, a week and a half ago. I would have found an online/self-administered test if we hadn't gotten govt funding that I chose to spend on this. My sons ABA program supervisor (pretty much someone who comes and coaches me) cautioned me against it because Jonny's not in school - and it's therefore not necessary for placement - and she was worried I might be discouraged by the results. I had been thinking along the lines of a working memory issue, seeing big inconsistencies I couldn't make sense of, and this being the thought of my OT friend and a problem my brother (who had ASD) had had issues with...and I was thinking of what Cheryl said in Simply Classical about how helpful testing can be...in fact this was very reassuring to Jonny's therapist that I had good reasons for it, and wasn't going to be upset if things were disappointing. And the results were different than I thought! His working memory was average! Visual-spatial was above average!!! 'Fluid Reasoning' was terrible, the psychologist thought it might have just been a bad start to the test, but it was about patterns and given the troubles we have had in 'Going on Eagerly' with those patterns (my 2 year old often calls out the correct answer when Jonny doesn't get it, over and over) I could tell the psychologist with confidence that this is indeed a big struggle. And attention. She suspects ADD. (Not surprising since he has ASD, my dad has ADHD and I have...errr...scatterbrained tendencies). A recent speech assessment showed, amongst other things, that his receptive language was poor too. I knew this but it has been so helpful for my husband - who got quite annoyed at me for 'talking to Jonny like a special needs teacher' when I first realised as a 3 yo that he had special needs (and oh boy do things go easier with that clear direct speech) and now he realises with so much more clarity that, oh boy this kid so often just doesn't understand things. My husband had been feeling really sad that he doesn't seem to be able to 'connect' with Jonny. Part of this reason is that our older daughter is extremely bright in these areas and they would be discussing the trinity, the concept of time, ethics, reading LOTR together at a very young age, but part of it has been not knowing this, and not wanting to insult Jonny in the way he communicates with him. I've noticed a change in the way he communicates with Jonny since this testing, and they have a better relationship than ever before!

                              So it's made me a big fan of testing! However, my husband and I have decided not to get our daughter to do the (optional for homeschoolers) 3rd Grade national testing next year. She is someone that doesn't handle being hurried well (any pressure), and I think some of the scores would not reflect well on what she has worked so hard on. She was struggling so much with maths that I wondered if she might have dyscalculia (my husband was diagnosed with this as a child). Rod and Staff maths has been the best thing for her, I don't have worries about her maths anymore...she is so proud of herself that she can do her maths but in year 3 over here they are well into multiplication, I think they start in year 2...so she's going to struggle with those questions because Rod and Staff are slower at starting this (such a good thing!).

                              So if you're thinking about testing and aren't sure if it's worth it (and it's not too out of reach financially) it could be really helpful. (It's also given me a lot more confidence that I know more than I thought. I live in an area where there is a very big emphasis on natural learning, late starts for kids etc so I have stopped talking things over with other mums as much as possible, cause I hate getting "oh my kid wouldn't know/couldn't do that" "why would you do lessons with a 4 or 5 year old?" and I want to say "but you've never taught it, you've not been working, working, working at it OR I am trying to promote my child's independence, not enjoying their dependence on me OR my kid has special needs and needs the best, earliest start possible!!!!")
                              Sarah

                              Aussies from Sydney, Australia
                              Miriam 9yo Latina Christiana, Greek Myths, Poppers Penguins, Christian Studies 1, R+S 4 (also IEW Phonetic Zoo, IEW Poetry Memorisation, HWT Cursive)
                              Jonny 6.5yo (Special Needs) SC Level 1
                              Elissa 3.5yo SC Level B (for preschool)
                              Thomas 12 months

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