Recommended Unit Planning and Workflow
Our team recommends using the following workflow to get the most out of NoRedInk:
First, start the semester with a Planning Diagnostic. This will allow you to gather broad-stroke data about what your students know and don't know. The results will show class patterns of strength and weakness, and they will help you in setting up a long-term plan for the semester.
After you have given a Planning Diagnostic, use the results to set up your units for the semester. Here's how we recommend that you set up your units:
Step 1: Assign a Unit Diagnostic
For each unit you plan to teach, begin with a Unit Diagnostic. The Unit Diagnostic is a more targeted pre-assessment for a single unit of study. This assessment will serve as a benchmark for student understanding, and you'll later be able to refer back to it in order to track student growth.
Note: If you want to learn more about seamlessly connecting these assignments, check out this article!
Step 2: Follow up with Practice
Assign Practice on skills in the unit. This will allow each student to work at his own pace to master different concepts. We recommend assigning skills in "parts," as all skills in a part play off each other for more robust learning.
Step 3: Compare with a Growth Quiz
Measure growth with a Growth Quiz and see how students have improved since the Unit Diagnostic. NoRedInk will directly compare the two assessments, and the data will show how each student grew overall and on each specific sub-skill assessed.
Step 4: Repeat for Each Unit
Over the course of the semester, you'll repeat steps 1-3 for each unit of instruction.
Suggested Semester Schedule
Start of the Semester: Assign a Planning Diagnostic
Planning Diagnostics give a broad overview of how students are performing. We recommend giving a four- to six-category Planning Diagnostic at the beginning of every school year or semester to get a general sense of strengths and weaknesses. Note that Planning Diagnostics do not produce a percentage grade; rather, they’ll group students into one of four performance bands.
You will analyze the results of your Planning Diagnostic and determine the greatest area of need for your students. In the sample above, the teacher might choose to start with an Adjectives vs. Adverbs unit.
Week 1, Day 1: Assign a Unit Diagnostic
Once you have determined students' area of need, you can assign them a Unit Diagnostic on this topic. The Unit Diagnostic is a more targeted pre-assessment for a single unit of study. This assessment will serve as a baseline of student understanding, and you'll later be able to measure growth by creating a Growth Quiz.
Week 1, Day 3: Review Results of Unit Diagnostic
Once your students have had the chance to take their Unit Diagnostic, review the results of their work, and analyze the skills students need to work on most.
Week 1, Day 4: Set Up Assignments for the Next 3-5 Weeks
Once you have a sense of how students are doing, we recommend setting up a series of Practice assignments. In the example above, the teacher might opt for creating Practices for the three areas where NoRedInk highlights that students are weakest. Practice allows students to master skills at their own pace. Rather than assigning a specific number of questions, you’ll assign a set of skills to work on; students of different levels may require more or fewer questions to prove mastery.
Week 3, Day 3: Assign a Quiz as a Formative Assessment
Quizzes allow teachers to assess students on a specific skill or set of skills. You can assign a quiz in the middle of your unit to gauge progress and see if students might need additional support.
Week 6, Day 3: Set up a Growth Quiz
Growth Quizzes assess growth from previous quizzes or Unit Diagnostics, covering the same concepts but using different questions. From your unit diagnostic, click the "Create growth quiz." You can think of Growth Quizzes as a summative assessment at the end of a learning cycle.
Week 6, Day 5: Analyze Growth Quiz and Celebrate Growth
- From your list of assignments, click "Performance" for your Growth Quiz.
- Check the checkbox for "Compare to," then select your growth quiz at the right.
- You'll then be able to see how much your class has grown as a whole, and how students have progressed as individuals.
- Check the checkbox for "Hide student names" if you would like to anonymize options to celebrate class-wide growth!