I was meeting with two LYS school leaders (Suzy Meyers and Gail Ownby) yesterday and the conversation turned to data, assessments and the 30 days left until the state tests. Suzy has some areas of concern on her campus and needed a way to get timely data and ensure that classes are both catching up and moving forward at the same time and at an accelerated pace. Here is the action plan we developed.1. Move to 1-week common assessments in the contents areas of greatest concern.2. Have only 5 to 7 questions on the assessments.3. Have the questions presented in order from greatest concern to least concern.4. Allow only 20 minutes for the assessment (Fluency is a critical testing concern that most schools overlook).5. As soon as the teacher takes up the assessment, have the students get in groups of three to four. Assign one of the assessment questions to each group. Have the group solve the question and make sure that everyone in the group understands how to get the correct answer.6. When the groups reach consensus on their answers, have a group spokesperson explain to the whole class how to solve the question.7. Reinforce everyone for his or her effort and hard work.8. Grade the assessment, adjust the warm-ups for next week and repeat the cycle. Why rely on hope and luck when you don’t have to? Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Follow Sean Cain on www.Twitter.com/LYSNationAttend the LYS Presentation at the National Conference on EducationAttend the LYS Presentation at the TASA Winter Legal ConferenceVisit the LYS Booth at the NASSP ConferenceAttend the LYS Presentation at the Texas Middle School Association Conference

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