One of the biggest concerns for teachers is whether a new district initiative will stick around long enough to justify the hours of training needed in order to roll it out properly. In the case of Illuminate DnA, it has unpacked its bags and is hanging art on the walls. In other words, it’s here to stay!
With that in mind, we should revisit our Illuminate implementation expectations for this school year:
- You should be getting comfortable using Illuminate: You should know how to log into your Illuminate account and navigate around the website. You should be using the resources on Tigers Tech–or me personally–for assistance if needed.
- You should be giving CFAs and/or entering CFA data into Illuminate: Your department or grade level should be creating common formative assessments in Illuminate or entering data from those assessments. Your department chair or grade level lead teacher should be updating the High School, Middle School, or Elementary CFA spreadsheets with links to those assessments.
- You should be reviewing CFA data with your students and peers: CFAs are pointless if they don’t lead to opportunities for learning and conversations about best practices. Teachers should use the data that is immediately available after an Illuminate assessment is given to reteach concepts and skills that may have been missed. Teachers should also use the data to have conversations with their colleagues about best educational practices to teach your essential skills most effectively.
- You should be discussing the effectiveness of current CFAs in measuring growth: You should be familiar with the CFAs you give your students. They should be used as just another tool to check student understanding of the essential skills you are teaching–they are just electronically documented. You should discuss with your colleagues whether the CFAs are quickly assessing what is intended or if they need some tweaking.
So what’s next for Illuminate and Allegan Public Schools? I’m glad you asked!
- All future CFAs should be created in the department or grade level account: This will allow you (or your department chair/grade level lead teacher) to quickly create, share, and manage all of your CFAs going forward.
- If the assessment was created elsewhere, upload the testing materials to Illuminate: Illuminate should be a one-stop-shop to view, print, and administer your CFAs. If you give your students a CFA on paper, make sure to upload a digital version to Illuminate. Illuminate’s support team also suggests some other resources that could be attached to your assessments.
- Start thinking about tiered assessments: Ideally, students shouldn’t be given the same test for reassessment after an intervention. That is why Illuminate makes it easy to create multiple versions of an assessment (skip forward to 2:22). You will begin creating multiple versions of our CFAs to reevaluate students post-intervention.
- Move beyond only giving your CFAs in Illuminate: Illuminate is a powerful tool that can ultimately save you time after some work up front. Consider giving your unit assessments and exams in Illuminate. Worried about security? Illuminate has you covered.
- Start tracking interventions in Illuminate: A handful of teachers are currently testing a new feature that will allow you to track the interventions a student receives. It’s just another tool to help monitor our students’ growth!
Think about it: You’ve accomplished A LOT with Illuminate already and because of that, our next steps will be that much easier. Pat yourself on the back–or grab something at Bubba’s to quench your thirst–you’ve earned it!