What’s Right With Our Schools: Bonaire Elementary uses “Write Score” to prepare for Georgia Milestones

BONAIRE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) –  Students at Bonaire Elementary School are using a program to prepare them for statewide tests.

“It’s a good way to learn how to use the computer to take a test,” says fourth grader Ella Ferrer.

It’s an online practice test that is helping students at Bonaire Elementary prepare for the Georgia Milestones test. Fourth and fifth graders take this exam to measure their knowledge and skills in language arts, math, science, and social studies. It’s preparing these students for success.

“I do think that I’ve done different things that have improved me during the test,”Ferrer adds.

Principal Willis Jones says most of the work is done online now and he believes having what he calls “a predictor test” is keeping students on track.

“We live in a computer age and our kids are growing up as digital natives and very adept at using a computer but not so much in a testing arena. So we want to make sure that we gave them an opportunity to be tested prior to the Georgia Milestones, you know, actually taking an assessment online to understand how it works, how they would do the typing, how they would answer the questions based on that,” Jones adds.

Teachers say the program is also used for remediation.

“It’s data for all of the teachers here to zoom in on what the students’ weaknesses and strengths are, and from that point we can go in and tailor to those students’ needs,” says fifth grade teacher Rozina Brown.

Inside of the classroom is where the learning begins, then students take those concepts and apply them to the mock assessment. Fourth grade gifted and talented education teacher, Brenda Mueller, says, “my kids are very good about sometimes knowing everything and we are asked on many, many assessments to have a reference to cite someone and write score, gives them an
opportunity to practice that.”

In addition to citation exercises, some students say it has helped them become better writers.

“I like how after I take the write score test, it shows me how I can improve my writing skills. And that’s what a teacher is for but this just lets me know how I can work on it and what I can do to improve my writing as I grow,” says fifth grader Lindsay Denney.

Seeing the students’ results from the tests are also beneficial for the teachers.

“We just have to look at the scores, which point out things that we would probably catch, but looking at a print out as opposed to grading 25-30 papers, I’ll take that printout any day,” Mueller continues.

Using write score to take students to another level is what’s right with this school. This is the second year the school has been using the program. Teachers and staff members are pleased with the effectiveness.

Categories: Special Report, What’s Right With Our Schools

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