Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Does the secret lie with Charlotte??

(OK, who wants to tell me the movie reference in the title of this post? I don't have anything to give you as a prize, except the satisfaction in being as goofy as me, and my husband who inspired the title)

As promised, I am going to blog about Reece's test results. She was given the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement last Friday. I was able to observe the testing and I had been pleased to see that she handled everything quite well. Not only was I glad that she felt competent (which was the purpose for doing this test instead of just having me administer the ITBS at home) but I could be assured that the results would be more accurate. I noticed, and the tester noticed, that she gave up easily with more difficult tasks. However, this was not accompanied by a meltdown, which I see as a very positive indication.

The results were very encouraging! I knew there would be some "below grade level" areas. Math would be one, as would spelling and writing. We simply haven't focused on spelling and original writing that much following the Charlotte Mason approach. And math had been a real struggle for Reece until we found RightStart Mathematics. These things considered, Reece scored a 2.5 GE in writing, and a 2.9 GE in spelling, and anywhere from 2.9 to 3.5 GE on various math tests.

Let me take a moment just in case anyone doesn't understand what is meant by a GE. GE stands for "Grade Equivalent". It means that Reece performed on this test the way you would expect someone in that grade/month to perform on the same test. So Reece is considered to currently be at 3.9 - third grade, 9th month. Her writing score of 2.5 GE indicates that she performed on this test the way you would expect someone in the 2nd grade, 5th month to perform. So the child who completed the "first grade" math book for Right Start (which is the grade level B is designed to be used for) tested in the late 2nd grade to mid third grade range in math. Her overall math score was 3.4. Not too shabby at all, if you ask me.

One funny note about the math before I move on: she would not attempt anything that "looked" hard on the written math test. I had tried to explain simply multiplication to her the week before the test because she has been skip-counting, which is multiplication in it's most rote form. But she was just frustrated and overwhelmed by it. No biggie. But during the oral portion of the math test where she was having to solve problems, she had a problem which required the use of division. She solved this problem easily. I told her after her test that she used division without even knowing it and she was quite pleased with herself. So RightStart is helping with mathematical thinking! Ok, moving on.

Her reading scores were even more surprising. Her overall reading score was 4.8 (4th grade, 8th month). That doesn't mean she's reading on nearly a 5th grade level, remember. It simply means she performed above average... how a nearly 5th grader would be expected to perform. This was surprising to me because she does not like to read and she gets easily frustrated by it. Letter-word identification and reading fluency were both 4.7, so this shows me that she just needs to gain confidence in her reading. She seems to be right on target!

By far the biggest surprise came in the category of "Story Recall" and "Story Recall - Delayed". In the first test, the tester read a story and Reece was asked to retell the story with as many details as she could remember. This was done fairly early in the process, maybe the 2nd or 3rd section. Then after the rest of the tests were over, the tester part of the first sentence of each story again, and Reece had to retell as many details as she could remember. Sound familiar? OK, you ready for those scores? Story recall: >13.3 and Story Recall - Delayed: >17.8.

Um, that would be COLLEGE level equivalents. From my autistic rising 4th grader. Narration works. And not only does it work, it ROCKS!! Can you see it in the scores?? It's right there in black and white!

So as my husband said after reading these results... "Maybe the secret lies with Charlotte?" ;)


Anonymous said...


What's good about the Woodcock Johnson is that it isn't like the ITBS in that the test a third grader is the same test that a high school student would take. It's just that the high school student would likely be able to answer more questions. So the GEs are way more accurate because you don't need the disclaimer that the kid scored at the high school level but it was only a 3rd grade test.


Niffercoo said...

Kai, thanks for that information! That actually makes me feel even better! :)

The Glasers said...

Snoopy dancing for you and Reece!

Snicker, snicker, snicker . . . on Russ's comment.

Maybe you can make it to CLUSA one year!

Lisa said...

National Treasure, of course!

The secret CLEARLY lies with Charlotte!