Digital Citizenship

Over the past three years we have administered the exact same Digital Citizenship pre and post test to our second and fifth graders in the district.  Below are the results over the years:

Second Grade Results:

Second Grade 16 17 pretest average 16 17 post average   Second Grade 17 18 pretest average 17 18 post average   Second Grade 18 19 pretest average 18 19 post average
KME 55.52% 75.75% KME 67.45% 76.59% KME 62.77% 74.60%
KSS 62.58% 81.57% KSS 60.04% 80.59% KSS 69.39% 84.09%
KBK 65.60% 73.13% KBK 60.40% 70.18% KBK 71.91% 73.23%
KST 56.23% 71.52% KST 69.00% 81.81% KST 59.89% 80.11%
All Schools 59.98% 75.49% All Schools 64.22% 77.29% All Schools 65.99% 78.01%

As you can see our overall district scores in second grade have improved over the three years from the pre to the post. However, in 16-17 our growth was 15.51%, 18-19 was 13.07% and 18-19 was 12.02%, which slightly declined over the years.  But if we look at the pre test scores, the students came in higher each year – 16-17 at 59.98%, 17-18 at 64.22% (+4.24) and 18-19 at 65.99% (+1.77). In looking at specific questions for the second graders, three questions from the category of cyber-bullying consistently scored high, with a second grade district average of 97.26%, 97.29% and 96.46%

Fifth Grade Results:

Fifth Grade 16 17 pretest average 16 17 post average   Fifth Grade 17 18 pretest average 17 18 post average   Fifth Grade 18 19 pretest average 18 19 post average
KME 75.66% 83.40% KME 79.54% 81.72% KME 83.27% 88.35%
KSS 75.57% 86.70% KSS 82.95% 84.31% KSS 78.00% 85.68%
KBK 74.30% 82.25% KBK 75.40% 84.31% KBK 81.04% 86.77%
KST 76.77% 80.80% KST 79.18% 84.04% KST 80.99% 83.96%
All Schools 75.58% 83.29% All Schools 79.27% 83.60% All Schools 80.83% 86.19%

Fifth grade scores have increased too over the years for their pre and post data. Similar to our second grade data, it showed that students increased by 7.71% in 16-17 for their pre to post, 4.33% in 17-18 and 18-19 5.36%. When we looked at specific questions, the fifth graders like their counterparts in 2nd grade, consistently scored high in the category of cyber-bullying too. The district fifth grade average for the three questions were: 98.22%, 97.75% and 98.45%.

With cyber bullying being in the forefront of the digital age, it is reassuring to know that our students are aware of what it is, what it feels like, and what to do if it happens to them. Should you have any questions about the data above, please let us know.

A Closing Note

Dear Kaneland EC-5 teachers,

I want to take this blog post to thank you.  Thank you for opening your doors for me. Thank you for allowing me to learn about your day and your students and the challenges and joys that you face.  This year has been an amazing opportunity that I never could have anticipated and yet wouldn’t give up for the world.

If I am being honest, I was a bit anxious about this year.  I believe in coaching. I believe teachers need support to help us stay standing.  There are so many new things that get pushed onto an educator’s plate and coaches have the ability to provide support to allow teachers to continue to feel empowered in his/her profession.  I wanted the person that came into this position at the EC-5 level to be a coach that could support you and help you grow. I took the spot hoping that I could fulfill that role, knowing that I would have a steep learning curve when it came to the day in and day out of the elementary classroom.

You took me in and made me part of the family.  You answered my questions, even when they seemed silly.  You let me read with your students. Your students impressed me with their abilities to talk about their learning and the level of creativity that they have.  You listened to me and made me feel valued in this community. I cannot thank you enough.

As I head back to the world of high school, please remember I am always an email away!  Kaneland Pride!



Reflecting on Writing Data


The coaching blog has had quite a focus on reflection the past few weeks, which is perfectly appropriate for this time of year.  There are numerous facets to our roles as educators, prompting reflection in so many areas. After spending 6 consecutive work days on norming writing, I thought it would be appropriate to take some time to reflect on our norming process and results for narrative writing.

I want to celebrate the depth of conversations teachers are having about what grade level expectations do and don’t look like.  There were times throughout the week that I thought forward to our work next year on proficiency tables and absolutely feel that we are on the right track.  An addition to our conversations this spring was the acknowledgement that many of us have bias when grading writing from our own students. With that in mind, several teachers intentionally selected papers to give to their peers to score in recognition that they wanted an unbiased look at that piece of work.

Working to score writing the same, which can be very subjective, is and will be an ongoing focus.  In an attempt to capture our common expectations, I have compiled a folder with writing exemplars for each grade level.  The papers that were selected have scores as close to the grade level target as possible. This is still a work in progress and will be complete by the end of the school year. Each file name has the score in all three areas of the rubric.  Please refer to the chart for grade level point expectations.

While we will continue to reflect and hone this norming process, the data acquired is a valuable representation of your students. However, many of you have expressed that it is hard to make heads or tails of the information. As a participant in all grade level norming for the past 4 years, I have become quite familiar with the rubric and how the numbers fall. We have often reassured teachers in grades 1 through 5 that a score of 75% means that a student is on grade level. Kindergarten, who is using this rubric for the first time this year, identifies grade level at 67%. As we all know, data tells a story. In order to make sense of that data story, it is important to know more than just that one target score or average in order to reflect. When looking at Matrix, you can see individual points scored in each of the three categories of structure, development, and conventions. Below are the listed grade level expectations for your grade level.

The Kindergarten rubric scores look a bit different because the rest of the grade levels span from 2 grade levels below to one grade level ahead.  Kindergarten does not have a level below Pre-Kinder.

While the rubric spans two grade levels below for 1st through 5th grade, it is important for you to recognize where your students fall in comparison to the grade level above and below.  Please note the range that exists between each grade level expecation.



When you look at your Matrix scores, you can easily scan the three areas for your students.  It is important to take note of the range of points that can be scored between grade levels. In looking at the post scores for this third grade class, I can see that the overall class average is 66%.  That does fall below grade level, but it is also important to recognize that it is closer to the grade level target than the 50% score of the grade level below.



As I scan the student scores, I can see that this class scored the best in Language Conventions because the grade level target is 6 points and this class average 5.64.  The area that falls the shortest here is Development, scoring 1.92 points below the grade level expectation. The ability to scan individual student scores also helps to recognize a few outliers that need some intense support in a specific area as well as student strengths in each of the areas.

I hope you all take the time to look over your scores as you finish up your grading.  We have zoomed in on what proficiency is for a narrative piece of writing. Where are we?  What are our next steps? As we reflect on the passion we pour into working with our students, this is also a time that we can reflect on their growth.  If we take a look at the same students from the beginning of the year, it is clear the significant gains these students have made. Writing is a challenging process and students all develop at a different rate.  Our common understanding of grade level expectations will result in more targeted feedback to students and will continue support their growth as a writer.


End of the Year Reflection

“Self-reflection is the school of wisdom.” – Baltasar Gracian

Self-reflection is what teachers do every day. How did that lesson go, did the students learn today, etc.,  the list could go on and on. But as we wind down the 2018-2019 school year, it is always good practice to self-reflect and take a pulse on how the entire school year turned out. It is not only important for teachers to self-reflect, but it would be meaningful too to have your students do the same. Remember one important aspect of personalized learning is the reflection piece.

Listed here are a few teacher reflection questions to ponder:

  1. What does the student data reveal about their growth this school year?
  2. What changes, if any, would need to be made to improve student performance?
  3. Finish the sentence — The students really responded to . . .
  4. How has your thinking grown or changed this school year?
  5. Don’t forget to celebrate all your accomplishments — list them here:


Next, have the students self-reflect on their school year. 

  1. What is something you accomplished this school year that you are proud of?
  2. What was the most challenging part of this school year for you?
  3. If you could change one thing that happened this school year, what would that be?  
  4. Was there something you or your teacher could have done to make this school year better?
  5. If you were given the opportunity to write a letter to next year’s students, what advice would you give to them?

Once they have completed their self-reflection, have the students take the time and go in an update their learner profile.

If you have the opportunity, take the time for you and your students to reflect on these questions, it will definitely be a learning experience for all.