TeachTown Benchmark Assessments

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We are thrilled to announce the release of TeachTown Benchmark Assessments!

Now available to all enCORE K-12 licensed organizations, TeachTown Benchmark Assessments are live in the platform and available as downloadable PDFs.

What are TeachTown Benchmark Assessments?

TeachTown Benchmark Assessments include 190 assessments (average 10-15 items each) across ELA, Math, & Early Learning skills. They have been designed to help you monitor your students’ progress on an individual skill over time and show growth. As such, we recommend teachers administer benchmark assessments 3 times per school year: beginning of year, middle of year, and end of year.

All benchmark assessments are available in 3 formats: as printable PDFs, teacher-facilitated technology lessons, & student-led technology lessons. Each individual assessment includes 3 different forms (A, B, C) to ensure test validity as students retest on a skill over time.

TeachTown Benchmark Assessments include reports that provide the raw score, percentage, and item analysis and direct you to the units in enCORE that will drive progress on students’ skill levels.

TeachTown teachers now have even more tools to provide data-driven, personalized instruction and develop strong IEP goals and maintain compliance!

Ready to learn more? Our teachers’ most frequently asked questions are shown below:

Where/ how do I access TeachTown Benchmark Assessments?

  • Log into your TeachTown account
  • Navigate to enCORE Elementary
  • Select the individual student for whom you wish to assign Benchmark Assessments
  • Select Benchmark Assessments from the drop down menu
  • Select the domain and skill on the left side of the page
  • Utilize the ‘Manage’ tab on the right side of the page (pictured below) to add, remove, and adjust the status

Benchmark Assessments Update

When should I administer benchmark assessments? 
We recommend administering the assessments 3 times per school year:

  • Beginning of year (within 1 month of the start of school)
  • Middle of year (within a few weeks of the end of fall semester or start of spring semester)
  • End of year (during the last month of school)

Do all students take the same benchmark assessment at the same time? 
No, benchmark assessments should be selected individually for students. While students may have similar benchmark assessments assigned to them, benchmark assessments are meant to assess skills that the student can show progress on. Students will also likely master benchmark assessments at different times, requiring that certain students move on to the next appropriate benchmark assessment before other students advance.

How do I know which benchmark assessment(s) to administer for each student? 
We recommend teachers choose the specific benchmark assessments that align with their students’ IEP goals. (This is why not all students will take the same assessments at the same time – every student has unique IEP goals.) Teachers may also wish to administer assessments that address their district’s literacy or math initiatives and/or align with the content from the unit they are teaching.

Can my paraprofessionals also administer benchmark assessments?   
Yes! Teachers and instructional assistants who have read the TeachTown Benchmark Assessment Implementation Guidelines and understand the specific instructions for the individual assessment(s) may administer assessment to students.

How do I know which format to use with my students? (Paper vs. technology)
Use the format that works best for your students. We recommend using paper-based benchmark assessments for students for whom technology is distracting and would not reflect true performance levels. Teacher-led technology should be used with students for whom technology is motivating but cannot work independently on a computer. Student-led technology can be assigned to students who can work independently on a computer.

Which form (A, B, C) should my students take first? 
If you are starting at the beginning of the school year, you should administer Form A. Any time a student takes a specific benchmark assessment for the first time, you should administer Form A, regardless of the time of year.

What are the implementation best practices? 
Administer the benchmark assessment(s) in a quiet, distraction-free location and implement the same testing accommodations that are identified in the student’s IEP (such as having a 1:1 instructor-to-student ratio, for example). Use the format (paper-based or technology-based) that is most appropriate for your student. Ensure the student will have ample time to complete the assessment.

Can I give a specific benchmark assessment to one of my students to gather data on their IEP goals even if it’s not the beginning, middle, or end of year testing window?
Yes! Benchmark assessments are designed to measure progress on a single skill over time. It is appropriate to administer a benchmark assessment to measure progress on an IEP goal.

How many benchmark assessments should be given to one student at one time?  
This depends on the individual needs of your students. We recommend giving ELA and Math benchmark assessments from different subdomains. For example, a teacher may administer Sight Words 1 (Fluency), Lowercase Letter ID (Phonics), and Rhyme Matching (Phonological & Phonemic Awareness) during the same testing window. These 3  assessments cover different ELA subdomains. However, some students may be able to tolerate more testing than others, and could be assessed on more benchmarks assessments during a testing window.

Is it appropriate for middle or high school teachers to use benchmark assessments with their students? If so, when? 
Middle & high school teachers have access to all benchmark assessments. They may choose to use them if their students have IEPs goals covering K-5 skills. If this is the case, the teacher would use the enCORE Middle School or enCORE High School curriculum to cover the appropriate grade-level standards and the Skills Review units to address IEP goals. The benchmark assessments could be used to show progress on those IEP goals.

Are TeachTown Benchmark Assessments valid? 
Yes. Test validity is measured in a number of ways. TeachTown Benchmark Assessments underwent a rigorous test construction process with strict design specifications to ensure forms are equivalent and the questions measure what they are stated to measure. Additionally, an expert panel is in the process of reviewing and rating every item on every assessment to ensure content validity.

We love hearing from our teachers! Share your experiences with TeachTown Benchmark Assessments with productfeedback@teachtown.com.

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