As my students have taken their last MAP tests today, I look at their results and sigh. I’ve written before about time and so for, so I won’t go into that, but today, it’s just a kind almost sadness.

I had one of my resource kids come over and offer me 3/4 of a page single spaced, 12 point font: “Read this!” So of course I did, and while it’s not going to win any grand awards, he put periods at the end of every sentence, and capitalized every “I” that refered to a person, a HUGE jump for him.  I had another student during our common reading time show me this silly story he’d written about a cat.  Again, nothing spectacular, but yet, it was a complete story: beginning, middle, end, characters, some kind of a plot, all of it. Goodness at the beginning of the year, getting three sentences to fit together was a struggle!

How do these victories show up on a MAP test? Honestly, they really don’t. I can’t tell the test, “hey look how J is capitalizing” or “oh B had a fight with his grandma this morning and is totally off”.  For those two above mentioned boys, these are gains that have been months in the making, yet, will fly right under the radar because they are so deficient in other areas.  And those boys will look at those scores, and the small battles won will be meaningless because the war of growth is being lost.

And what do we do about this? We give them the test, next year, hoping that along the way, they’ll keep winning those small battles.  Sad.