By Lily Vartanian – The last days of the “Live to Dream” summer program were filled with fun and learning, as a way to wrap up our six weeks together. These last few weeks, assessing students’ progress was essential, as their growth was vital to our intervention-based teaching and goal of the program!
To measure the Wade Readers’ progress from start to finish, we assessed students using the Gates-MacGinitie test. These tests, which are leveled based on the reader, help measure both comprehension as well as reading achievement in word and sound recognition for the Wade Readers. We administered these tests during both the first and second-to-last weeks to help gauge where the students were in the beginning of the summer program as well as how much progress they had made.
Because this information was vital to both the program’s success as well as for our readers, we had to ensure that the tests were completed both pre-program and post-program for each student. As with any standardized testing, this always proves to be a challenge, with attendance and time as variables we needed to work with. As a way to incentivize the testing, which took between two and three days at 30-40 minutes per day, we decided to have the Wade Readers work towards an ice cream treat goal.
Each day the Wade Readers completed their Gates test, working hard and concentrating to give their best answers, they would earn an ingredient for an ice cream sundae. The first day, students could earn one scoop. The second, one topping on their ice cream, and the third day they could earn a second topping. Although each reader would get ice cream regardless at the end of the week, this was a way to hold them accountable and keep them motivated to work hard throughout the week.
Overall, this incentive worked well! We were successful at not only completing each student’s testing, but they also showed improvements, which was our overall goal as Wade Coaches. The student enjoyed their ice cream and worked hard to reach both their goal of finishing the tests and getting their ice cream sundae!
Our last day of the program was bittersweet, as both the Wade Readers and Coaches were sad to say goodbye to each other after our time together this summer. My Wade Readers wrote me kind messages on the chalkboard, enacted and read one of their favorite stories from the summer, and enjoyed popsicles with Ms. Werner’s class. I will miss my Wade Readers as I transition into my own third grade classroom for the fall, but I am both proud of them and grateful for the time we were able to spend together!
With the summer winding down and the final day of the “Live to Dream” program completed, stay posted for my final entry of the summer with more reflections and takeaways from this exciting time at Marquette!