M-Step: What’s It All About?
The M-STEP is a 21st Century online test given for the first time in the Spring of 2015. It is designed to gauge how well students are mastering state standards. These standards, developed for educators by educators, broadly outline what students should know and be able to do in order to be prepared to enter the workplace, career education training, and college. M-STEP results, when combined with classroom work, report cards, local district assessments and other tools, offer a comprehensive view of student progress and achievement. For additional information, click State Assessment in Michigan: What it is, What it means – And What it Offers
What Does That Mean for My Child?
Our third grade team at Haigh has worked hard all year long to prepare for this test. The teachers tend to think of it as a chance for your child to “show off” what he/she has learned this year as a third grader! Keeping it positive is important. Tests can be stressful and we want this to be a good experience. We will have a change in our regular curriculum over the next few weeks to learn and practice good test taking strategies and to reinforce material that is tested. Our days will focus primarily on language arts and math instruction. In language arts, we will be working on text based writing (writing essays based on texts we read), answering questions based on listening to literature, and writing skills. In math, we will be focusing on 2 units of study–graphing and geometry.
What Should We Do To Prepare?
Make sure your child is in school and on time. Plan your routines around early bedtimes and healthy eating. Sending a healthy snack to school daily is important. Talk with your child about how testing is not something to be scared about, but something that requires preparation. If you’re prepared, you’ll do well. That said, it’s important to stress the importance of the test. We are teaching our students the process of reading questions first, then reading the text selection. Also, knowing the strategy of eliminating answers that don’t make sense helps when you’re unsure of an answer.
Academically, make sure your child is completing homework and reading with his/her regular routine. I will be sending home reading assignments for reading groups, but not a reading log for the month of April.
When Do Third Graders Take The Test?
There are three sections to the test. The test is untimed. Students will take the test in the morning, immediately after attendance. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that your child is on time to school on these days. Being late adds an extra measure of stress that we want to avoid.
- ELA (Listening): Tuesday, April 30
- ELA : Wednesday, May 1
- Math: Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-8