Magma UpdatesArticles

That time of year - Student learning assessments are the topic of the hour

It’s that time of year again when state student learning assessments are the topic of the hour. When do we start prepping for them? How do we do it? And how do we prioritize knowledge over test scores at a time when test scores determine so much?
Amy Abdelsayed
June 13, 2022

It is important to remember that state learning assessments are only a tool to measure knowledge and that the aim is still to teach, learn, and grow. Research shows that the way teachers talk to students about assessments affects how students perform. When teachers spoke about assessments as a challenge that students can work towards, and that this challenge helps them grow and learn, students who experienced academic difficulties were more likely to persist and achieve higher scores. Therefore, we must be aware of our language around assessments and encourage students to put in the work to reach their goals.

Giving students the means to achieve their targets is crucial. When they feel motivated to do the work, it is time for us to provide them with the resources. Whether your students are still struggling with a concept or have already mastered it, we believe that practicing that concept is a great approach to preparing for an assessment. Studies that were done in 2010 and 2014 show that retrieval practice is found to have longer-lasting effects on knowledge retention compared to relearning or recalling information. When students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge through practice, even when they haven’t completely grasped this knowledge, their brains are more likely to store it for a longer time. 

What does Magma provide?

Comprehensive sample test

For each grade level, you will find a comprehensive sample test that covers all important parts of the curriculum. By assigning this test to your students, they will get an idea of the type of problems they will see on the assessment, they will be prepared for the length of the assessment, and you will be able to get a general idea of what your students are struggling with.

Standards-aligned practice items

Your students can solve hundreds of items that are standards-aligned and categorized according to DOK levels so you can assign your students problems with appropriate difficulty. You can choose the exact topic that your students need to practice. You can also assign different topics to different students to cater to their needs.

Why practice SBAC / Smarter Balanced Assessment with Magma?

Get a mapped overview of your students’ knowledge

Start preparing for SBAC by giving your students a comprehensive test. When your students have finished solving this assessment, go into our skills heatmap and find out which skills your students need the most support with.

Enable math discourse and capture misconceptions using handwritten solutions

When practicing with Magma, your students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge through handwritten solutions. They can show their work and argue for their solutions, and you, in turn, will get insights into their understanding and any potential misconceptions.

Provide students with the opportunity to self-assess

While you can choose to disallow students to see the right answer to questions after they have submitted a wrong one, a 2020 study shows that feedback during retrieval practice “increased the time that subjects chose to invest in continued engagement in the materials.” Moreover, feedback is found to improve the recollection of practiced items. When students can access the right answer, they are able to self-correct and fix their mistakes, giving them more control over their studies and their learning agenda.

Get insights about every student and assign extra practices to those who need it

Within a topic, some students may need to practice specific skills that will allow them to completely grasp and master it. Identify those skills and assign extra practices to your students based on their individual needs. 

Do you want to explore SBAC / Smarter Balanced Assessment prep with Magma? Create a free account to get started.

Do you want to explore the full potential of Magma for your specific classroom? Schedule a 15-minute chat with us.

Magma UpdatesArticles

That time of year - Student learning assessments are the topic of the hour

It’s that time of year again when state student learning assessments are the topic of the hour. When do we start prepping for them? How do we do it? And how do we prioritize knowledge over test scores at a time when test scores determine so much?
Amy Abdelsayed
Jun 13

It is important to remember that state learning assessments are only a tool to measure knowledge and that the aim is still to teach, learn, and grow. Research shows that the way teachers talk to students about assessments affects how students perform. When teachers spoke about assessments as a challenge that students can work towards, and that this challenge helps them grow and learn, students who experienced academic difficulties were more likely to persist and achieve higher scores. Therefore, we must be aware of our language around assessments and encourage students to put in the work to reach their goals.

Giving students the means to achieve their targets is crucial. When they feel motivated to do the work, it is time for us to provide them with the resources. Whether your students are still struggling with a concept or have already mastered it, we believe that practicing that concept is a great approach to preparing for an assessment. Studies that were done in 2010 and 2014 show that retrieval practice is found to have longer-lasting effects on knowledge retention compared to relearning or recalling information. When students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge through practice, even when they haven’t completely grasped this knowledge, their brains are more likely to store it for a longer time. 

What does Magma provide?

Comprehensive sample test

For each grade level, you will find a comprehensive sample test that covers all important parts of the curriculum. By assigning this test to your students, they will get an idea of the type of problems they will see on the assessment, they will be prepared for the length of the assessment, and you will be able to get a general idea of what your students are struggling with.

Standards-aligned practice items

Your students can solve hundreds of items that are standards-aligned and categorized according to DOK levels so you can assign your students problems with appropriate difficulty. You can choose the exact topic that your students need to practice. You can also assign different topics to different students to cater to their needs.

Why practice SBAC / Smarter Balanced Assessment with Magma?

Get a mapped overview of your students’ knowledge

Start preparing for SBAC by giving your students a comprehensive test. When your students have finished solving this assessment, go into our skills heatmap and find out which skills your students need the most support with.

Enable math discourse and capture misconceptions using handwritten solutions

When practicing with Magma, your students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge through handwritten solutions. They can show their work and argue for their solutions, and you, in turn, will get insights into their understanding and any potential misconceptions.

Provide students with the opportunity to self-assess

While you can choose to disallow students to see the right answer to questions after they have submitted a wrong one, a 2020 study shows that feedback during retrieval practice “increased the time that subjects chose to invest in continued engagement in the materials.” Moreover, feedback is found to improve the recollection of practiced items. When students can access the right answer, they are able to self-correct and fix their mistakes, giving them more control over their studies and their learning agenda.

Get insights about every student and assign extra practices to those who need it

Within a topic, some students may need to practice specific skills that will allow them to completely grasp and master it. Identify those skills and assign extra practices to your students based on their individual needs. 

Do you want to explore SBAC / Smarter Balanced Assessment prep with Magma? Create a free account to get started.

Do you want to explore the full potential of Magma for your specific classroom? Schedule a 15-minute chat with us.

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