How do we track student progress?

Nov 15, 2023 | McKenzie Towne

An enrolled student typically starts with a grade-based “pre-assessment” to identify math skill gaps that need to be worked on; the list of those gaps is ordered for any prerequisites and called a Learning Plan (LP). We put six of those skill topics in a student’s binder to work on when coming for a session. They should aim to work on a few pages from 2-3 of the topics during a single visit.

The last page of a topic section is referred to as a “mastery check”, intended to see if the student can independently demonstrate proficiency in that topic without the aid of an instructor. Once finished (correctly), we deem that topic complete and replace it with another from their LP.

Student progress is tracked over time by the number of completed topics on their LP. This information is periodically emailed to parents/guardians. The Centre Director is also available to print out or email the latest version of an LP upon request, showing the entire list of topics, along with the date each was assigned and completed (if applicable).

A “supplemental topic” is one that was not generated from an assessment but requested by the student and added to their LP. These usually reinforce something being taught in class at school. Although progress through other LP topics may be temporarily diverted to a supplemental topic, they are welcome additions and attempt to facilitate student understanding when new material is not clear or as preparation for a test.

When all LP topics are complete (or nearly so), we give the student a “post-assessment”, identifying their current proficiency in the same topics and their overall retention of math skills learned. A report is generated, comparing the student’s results before and after their work through the LP for each of the assessed math skills/topics.

Another way of tracking progress part-way through the LP is called a “progress check”. This is a partial assessment, seeing if some skills have been learned and if other skills need refreshing. The student’s results will be reflected in topics removed from or added back into their LP and a report of same is generated.

Mathnasium of McKenzie Towne helps students to understand and be proficient in each relevant math skill. It takes time and effort, sometimes requiring multiple attempts to achieve mastery. These learned skills usually translate into greater confidence and improved marks on math tests at school. A survey of Mathnasium parents (whose children attended regularly for at least 6 months) indicated their child experienced improved attitudes toward math (93%), improved math grades (90%), improved math understanding (94%), and easier math homework time (92%) – real progress any parent wants to see.

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