Many school districts across our country are struggling with how to best implement instructional practices that result in maximizing student growth in mathematics. While many of the methods focus on tightening alignment between content, instruction, and summative assessments, not as much attention is given to formatively assessing student growth and regular (weekly) progress monitoring starting in the primary grades.
Reliably accelerating student achievement is a function of personalizing instruction by improving the quality and quantity of learning feedback and monitoring student progress towards mastery. These strategies are associated with exceedingly high gains in student achievement (Hattie, 2009, 2012; Magaña & Haystead, 2013; Magaña & Marzano, 2013, 2014, 2015; Marzano & Haystead, 2009, 2010).
For several years, Dr. Sonny Magana and his colleague and co-author, Dr. Robert J. Marzano, have compiled compounding research evidence highlighting reliable methods for improving student achievement. The research strongly indicates that the most effective strategies focus on enhancing the quality and quantity of learning feedback, providing clear unidimensional learning goals, and continuous student progress monitoring. These strategies are correlated with effect sizes of 1.44 (Hattie, 2009; 2012), and 1.60 (Marzano & Haystead, 2009, 2010; Magaña & Haystead, 2013; Magaña & Marzano, 2013; 2014; 2015). Such exceedingly large effect sizes are equivalent to students achieving 4 or more years of academic growth in a single school year.
MasterTrack is a unique progress monitoring system that was designed specifically to support these highly effective feedback and progress monitoring strategies. MasterTrack makes it easy for teachers, principals, and district leaders to assess and monitor student progress on any set of learning standards, in real time. Using a simple 3-point coding scale, teachers use MasterTrack to get clear, actionable data every week. The innovative virtual data coaching supports both building leaders and classroom teachers to maximize significant gains in student achievement.
MasterTrack allows students to regularly monitor their progress towards the learning standards as well. This feedback helps the students plan for achieving mastery with greater precision. Seeing the impact of their effort translated into real progress is highly motivating for students and helps them develop a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006).