The MAP (Measured Academic Progress) testing window is now OPEN! Your EF is ready to set up those dates and times that work best for your family’s schedule.
Scratch paper is your friend!
This week’s challenge involves the habit of using scratch paper on a regular basis while working through your learning process! Scratch paper is so helpful, not just for figuring out math problems (a must!) but also for creating a “rough draft” in language arts. If a learner is taking a test and accidentally erases their answer on the computer (happens every year!), they have not lost their brainchild! If they use paper and pencil to first draft their response, they can type it again from the answer they wrote on scratch paper. To practice this skill, encourage this habit on a daily basis leading up to the test.
To help your child feel more at ease with testing, try a practice test this week! Some may find it challenging (most do)! Use that feeling of being challenged to help them try tactics like “best guessing” and “deep breaths.”
The practice tests available online will greatly assist in preparation for these tests. They will allow learners to clearly understand the types of questions they will see on the test and will help them better navigate the online test. We appreciate your efforts to help your child prepare for these statewide assessments by using the practice tests available. Below are the steps to access them.
Click the practice test link. Take the Practice or Training Test.
Make sure the guest user and guest session boxes are set to “ON” and click the green “Sign In” box.
Select your child’s grade.
The pink and purple boxes are for the language arts and math practice tests. If available, the orange is for the science practice test.
If your child has an IEP with testing accommodations, you now have a chance to select any accommodations that you would like to have included in the practice tests. Scroll to the bottom and click the green “Select” box to move to the next page.
Make sure you can hear sound with the sound check.
Click “Continue” and then click “Begin Test.”
Language arts and math practice test answers may be manually checked at this link: Go to the Guides!
A scoring guide for the CAST training test can be found at this link: Scoring Guides. The guide provides information on alignment with the California Next Generation Science Standards, correct answers, and sample responses for constructed response items.
The CAASPP assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) and math are comprised of the computer adaptive test (CAT) and the performance task (PT).
The performance task requires students to answer a set of questions that are centered on a common theme or problem. To prepare, here are some helpful videos on narrative, opinion, explanatory, and informative writing. Graphic organizers are another great tool for prewriting activities.
The road to becoming proficient in speaking the English language can be a vibrant and life-giving experience. Bilingual learners are typically exposed to a myriad of creative learning opportunities that include theatre, music, cooking, comedy, books, videos, games and social projects. However, much of this acquisition is informed by regular examinations and proficiency tests. This has the potential to be the source of much frustration and anxiety. Students who are expected to participate in this endeavor can find themselves in a place of vulnerability and apprehension. Likewise, this anticipation is felt by parents who feel helpless about testing results. Understanding how to prepare for testing events and how to process the results are key steps toward feeling confident about the task.
Did you know that bilingual learners are more aptly disposed to take tests?
Studies have shown that those who are learning to speak more than one language demonstrate a higher level of performance across all subject areas. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, these students will also score significantly higher on standardized tests than their monolingual peers due to the neural pathways their brains have established. This is encouraging data since standardized testing is a reality of higher education and most career paths!
Good test takers know that the best preparation is an interweaving of the material in everyday life. ELPAC holistically tests in the areas of reading, speaking, listening and writing. Proficiency in academic language is an important area of focus since it is more descriptive and formal than conversational English. In addition, parents ought to emphasize literacy skills. This will increase the learner’s exposure to academic language and integrate actual concepts and questions they will see on the test.
Parent Today provides some fantastic tips to bring your English learner more confidence in a testing situation:
- Use the language as much as you can at home and in everyday routines.
- Attend events where the language is reinforced in authentic social situations.
- Collect multimedia, books, and music to support acquisition in creative ways.
- Use repetitive strategies and differentiate the ways they are being learned.
- Try to learn in shorter blocks of time more often, rather than cramming in a lot of information in a session.
Reviewing the results is almost as important as preparing for them! If given the opportunity, reflect on the questions that fell flat in an effort to address knowledge gaps. Determine what techniques might be helpful, and plan for how they will approach the next test. If the results aren’t what you were hoping for, celebrate that every test is a learning experience and an opportunity to improve. It is meaningful enough that the child is engaged in the process at all. Every experience truly contributes to the growth and future excellence; test-taking is a key part of the journey!
Beginning in March, English language learners will take the Summative ELPAC. The English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) is California’s assessment system that is used to determine the English language proficiency of learners whose primary language is not English. The ELPAC assesses four domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The Summative ELPAC measures how well a learner is progressing with English development in each of the four domains.
The summative assessment is given to learners in grades TK–12 who have been identified as English learners. EL learners continue to take the assessment annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. In order to be considered proficient in English and reclassify, a learner must score a 4 on each of the four domains AND score a 50% or higher on the MAP test or SBAC Language Arts test.
Parents/guardians cannot opt their child out of the ELPAC. State law (California Education Code section 313 and California Education Code section 60810 ) and federal law Titles I and Ill of the Every Student Succeeds Act) require that all students whose primary language is other than English be assessed for English language proficiency.
Learning how a test is formatted and understanding the content will help you ensure your learner feels confident and does well!
The CAASPP assessments are comprised of two components:
- CAT: Computer Adaptive Test for ELA and Math
- PT: Performance Task for ELA and Math
This week, we are taking a closer look at the ELA (English Language Arts) Performance Task. This section is typically more challenging and learners would benefit from having more time to explore the content of this portion.
For targeted practice, find your learner’s grade level and break the performance task parts down into manageable, bite-sized sessions to help them become familiarized with the format.
3rd Grade Performance Task/Example/Practice (Informational)
4th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Informational)
6th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Narrative Writing)
7th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Explanatory Writing)
8th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)
11th Grade Performance Task Example/Practice (Argumentative Writing)
This week, we are reminding learners to tackle those math testing challenges with “good old-fashioned” paper and pencil!
If learners are attempting a math problem that requires calculation, they should always try to work it out on paper before choosing their answer. Many young testers get so focused on the computer screen that they forget to pick up a pencil and use it to work out the problem! (Please note that there is also a feature on the CAASPP for writing and notes. However, using pencil and paper is best for solving math problems.) On test day, every child will be provided with paper and pencil. If their pencil tip breaks, learners should raise their hand and ask for a new one!
Here’s your chance to try it out! Click on this link to simple math problems to have your learner practice working out problems on paper first and then selecting their answer on the computer. If you stay with the quiz, it will show results at the end.
As you and your family talk about 2020 New Year’s resolutions, one idea might be to add “Strengthening the ability to make logical guesses” to your child’s list of resolutions! Here are some tips to discuss with them and help them when tackling multiple-choice-type questions.
Remind your child that for multiple-choice questions, they should slowly and carefully read through the question, then think through the answer.
Look to see if the answer they came up with on their own is listed as an option, and then choose it! If it’s not listed, then reread the question with even more focus.
Keep your eye out for the silly answers that can be mixed in to test if you’re paying attention.
Lastly, look through the answer options and simply choose the one that makes the most sense!
Try playing some guessing games at home to build good guessing stamina!
Big challenges are best tackled in small doses!
Here’s another tip to help your learner climb the testing mountain with small steps to success! Instead of trying to complete pages of practice or large chunks of time on test prep, try weaving in a few questions for exposure each week. Use a small reading passage with a few comprehension questions to check for understanding. One suggestion is to utilize a free resource like Super Teacher Worksheets. Simply scroll down (within each grade level) to locate the highlighted “Free” tag above the selected passage and discover the corresponding questions with an answer key.
Curious to know more? Here’s an awesome article with additional creative support!
MobyMax subscriptions are provided for free to iLEAD learners. MobyMax test prep is a comprehensive adaptive review used to improve content knowledge and address gaps in learning for grades K-8.
Your challenge this week is to try the test prep practice questions:
Log in to MobyMax
Enter the username and password provided by your EF (this was sent at the beginning of the school year if you requested the complimentary subscription; if not, please check with your EF)
Click on the books icon
Click on the test prep icon
Select a subject and begin
This week’s challenge speaks to a technical aspect of testing. Our learners take most standardized tests on laptops with touchpads. By familiarizing them with the touchpad, we can help them be more confident taking the tests.
Many younger learners need practice with this feature, DRAGGING and dropping their answers. By starting with these basic tech tools, we know this will help them prepare and reduce anxiety related to the testing experience.
Looking for a new workout routine? This week’s challenge will help you keep your brain in shape! Research has shown that using brain teasers strengthens your mental muscles and builds problem-solving skills in all learners, especially children! We challenge you to work through some brain teasers with your family and notice the positive potential of playing with puzzles to bolster critical-thinking skills.
Registration is open for optional PSAT/NMSQT testing on October 16 (Costa Mesa) or October 19 (Santa Clarita) for 10th and 11th graders. This is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) for 11th graders and also provides great preparation for the SAT. Please view the PSAT/NMSQT Fall 2019 Registration form for more information and to register at either location. The cost is $20 and a check must be mailed to 3843 S Bristol Street #616, Santa Ana, CA 92704 to complete registration. The registration form must be filled out by August 23 for learners who have been approved for College Board accommodations. The final deadline for registration and payment is September 6.
The September ACT and October SAT registrations are now open. To participate in fall testing, register directly through ACT and College Board right away. On examination day, testers need to use the iLEAD Hybrid College Board code 054846 for both tests to ensure that our school counselors have access to testing information.
Thank you for signing up for state testing! Participating in CAASPP testing is one of the best ways to give back to your charter school! Being able to show the state that our learners participate enables us to maintain our reputation and continue to receive funding for our families to educate their children freely.
This year, we have added some exciting treats that learners can look forward to on their testing days. We have worked hard to make the testing environment a safe place where your learners will feel a sense of accomplishment. They will be supported and encouraged along the way, and we thank you in advance for your participation!
Sign-ups for CAASPP testing have begun! Remember, this is for learners in grades 3rd-8th, 11th, and 12th. Testing is held during the months of April & May. This year, iLEAD has added even more locations for you to choose from, so be sure to secure a spot at a location that is convenient for you! Locations will fill up, so don’t wait too long! CAASPP testing is proctored by our wonderful EFs and you can be assured that your learners will be in top care while they are at the testing site.
Participating in CAASPP testing is one of the best ways to give back to your charter school! Being able to show the state that our students participate enables us to maintain our reputation and continue to receive funding for our families to educate their children freely.
Reach out to your EF for more information!
Attention all parents of 5th, 7th, and 9th graders!
The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for California schools is called the FITNESSGRAM®. Learners in grades 5, 7 and 9 will be participating this spring.
Here’s a heads-up on what we will be evaluating. You and your child can work on these skills throughout the year.
The PFT encompasses the following skills:
For general information about physical fitness testing, please CLICK HERE.
We are excited to announce that fall MAP testing is underway. This assessment is free to all our families and provides a detailed report on your learner’s progress in dozens of sub-categories in reading, writing, and math. The test is taken from the comfort of your home at a time convenient for you and your EF. You can explore the test and how to use the results on the NWEA website here.