Next week we start NWEA testing!

We saved the best for last.

As we finish up our M-Step testing, it is time to start the MAP test. The NWEA/MAP test is the test our teachers and school use on a daily basis. We take this test 3 times a years for many reasons:


  • We can determine the pace of our curriculum.
  • We can provide interventions when students are behind.
  • We can provide interventions when students are ahead.
  • We are able to follow trends to see what the class needs more or less of.
In short, this test allows our teachers to develop lessons specifically tailored to our students in real time.



Needless to say, it is important to get as accurate data as possible. To make sure our students do their best we are going to implement a few strategies to increase motivation.

Heads Up Data Chats

Earlier this month myself and our testing coordinator went to each classroom and spoke to the students about this particular test.

With a worksheet and fun powerpoint:


  • We looked at each individual student's data.
  • We explained the reasons for the test.
  • We set goals for the test.
  • We talked about what to do in class and what to do at home before the test.
  • We signed a contract pledging to do our best.
...and of course we talked all about what incentives we were going to do as a school.

Whole Class Ice Cream Party

I scream, you scream, and if your class reaches their goal I spring for the ICE CREAM.


Each class has a goal based on their individual goals. If the class as a whole reaches their goal in either Math or ELA then the whole class gets invited to the Ice Cream Party! If the class reaches their goal on both tests, then I will spring for whip cream and a cherry on each one of those ice cream sundaes.

Door Decorations

The high school art class has decorated each door with an Ice Cream Sundae.


  1. For each goal that each student reaches they will be given a sprinkle with their name on it to go on their door to let everyone know they met their goal.
  2. For each sprinkle your students earns they will get the choice of another topping on their sundae at the ice cream party.

Goal Club Shirt

As a little bit more incentive we would like to bring back the MA Goal shirt.


If your student reaches their goal on either the Math or the ELA test, then they will receive this beautiful "Goal Club" shirt the very next day.


All "Goal Club" members are encouraged to proudly sport that bright T-shirt each Wednesday as a part of their uniform.

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NWEA / MAP Test

The NWEA, or commonly referred to as the MAP test is taken by all grades from Kindergarten to 8th grade.



  • The reason we take this test is to track student learning growth and know where our students are in each class so that we can better teach to their individual needs.
  • Teachers have access to a number of class and individual reports, which can tell them everything from whether a student is reaching their goals to exactly what skill each student needs to focus on the second this test is completed.
  • The NWEA /MAP test is taken at Marshall Academy 3 times a year. Early Fall, Mid Winter, and Late Spring.
  • There are two tests, a Reading and a Math test. These are given at two different times.
  • Each test is approximately an hour long and always taken on the computer with the whole class.
  • It is allowable for a student to miss the test, however the goal for the school is 100% participation for best results.
  • This test is used by teachers, coaches, administrators and authorizers all year long because of the amount of valuable information provided.

  • To visit the Northwestern Educational Assessment website click HERE

How can you help from now until that testing day?

We don't have a lot of time left, but there are some strategies you can do that have been proven to make huge gains.



  • Know when the tests are coming and what to expect when they get here. The testing schedule for April and May is posted below. Talk you your student. Chances are they have taken these before and they can tell you what they struggle with and what they can do to improve.
  • Complete the work the teacher is giving. There is a good chance your student's teacher is gearing up for this event. These tests are important tools for the teachers too. Many of the lessons in class leading up to this time of the year are filling in gaps covered later or reviews to jog the student's memories. Completing all the class work is a great way to get ready.
  • Squeeze in a little extra practice once in a while. Please do not spend hours a day slaving over a test. These are not that important. However, it would be helpful to join some of the sites the class is using to practice your student's skills. Most classrooms are signed up with some version of online help. Reach out to your teacher and they can point you in the right direction.



NWEA website has a great Family Toolkit you can get to HERE

How can you help the day of?

We know it takes a village, and we are going to do our best this end.


The morning your student has a test our cafeteria is going to make sure they get a HOT breakfast to each of the testing classes just to get those juices flowing.


A couple quick and easy steps you could do at home can make a great impact on test days.



  • Know when the test is coming.
  • Get a good night sleep.
  • Lay your clothes out ahead of time so you are not scrambling in the morning.

***And always make sure you reassure them how confident you are in their ability to be great.

Marshall Academy' s 2021 Spring Testing Calendar

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