An "integrated curriculum" and "teaching of thinking skills" are being cited as the reason for the rise in recent MEAP scores:
Michigan Education Assessment Program test results released last month showed gains in many districts in elementary math, social studies and science scores...
Peggy Moyer, principal of Hilton Elementary in Brighton, said teachers at her school coordinate lessons in math, science, social studies and reading around common topics.
"When we studied whales, we had books in the classrooms on whales, and in your social studies you learned about their habitat," Moyer said. "Even your math project might be about whales. If there isn't a connection made, there's no value. If they can see what they are doing in math connects to social studies and reading, there is value."
One school in particular, the Cheney Academy of Math and Science, saw tremendous gains on the MEAP:
Teresa Wilson, principal of Willow Run's Cheney Academy of Math and Science, said that in addition to coordinating curriculum at a particular grade level, teachers at her building align lessons from grade to grade and communicate clearly with each other about students' progress from year to year. Also, the school has a multi-age format, enabling teachers to have the same students for three years in a row.
Teachers at Cheney also try to teach students how to think, Wilson said. "My teachers are teaching big concepts and teaching deeply," she said...
The percentage of fifth-graders passing the science portion of the MEAP rose from 48 percent in 2002 to 100 percent in 2003...Only 7 percent of fifth-graders at Cheney passed the social studies test in 2002, but 63 percent passed it in 2003.
This suggests the students were starting off with moderate science knowledge and almost no social studies knowledge before entering the Cheney environment, doesn't it? The students at Cheney believe the constant feedback about where they need improvement helps, although the "bagel breaks" they get on test days are certainly popular, too.Posted by kswygert at November 17, 2003 12:27 PM