BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT SYSTEM

TEACHER USER GUIDE

2003

The only exception to this recommendation should be for Special Needs students whose IEP and state regulations allow that student to take an out-of-grade alternative assessment. First. Benchmark Assessments have been designed to advance teaching and learning in several important ways. reliable monthly feedback on how students are progressing toward state standards. For example. they provide teachers with targeted strategies for helping students learn those things that the Benchmarks indicate they still need to master. It is recommended. Benchmark Assessments 1. Tests are automatically scored and the results of multiple-choice assessments are automatically reported. that the Benchmarks be administered to students for the grade level they occupy. The Benchmark Assessment System was developed as a support tool for teachers to help them gauge their students’ strengths and weaknesses against end-of-year standards. most importantly. Benchmark Assessments are available online through an internet-based system that enables tests to be created. even though some students may be working on standards that are above or below their grade level. Online delivery of the monthly Benchmark Assessments will allow schools to administer the assessments on a continuous basis using any school computers that are equipped with Internet access. Although the Benchmarks will help students succeed on standardized tests. they provide teachers with quick. they should be used as part of a comprehensive education program and school design. they provide schools with timely information about the strengths and weaknesses of classes and grade levels on the major standards of each content area. Schools can plan to administer benchmarks for all required grades and subjects any time from the Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . and reported electronically. The Benchmarks are not designed for the exclusive and narrow purpose of boosting standardized test scores.Teacher Training Guide What are Benchmark Assessments? Introduction Welcome to your school’s new Benchmark Assessment System. No doubt you have many questions about how this thing actually works. And. The majority of standardized tests measure students against the standards of their grade level. 2. so here’s some background information to give you a quick overview.866-848-0401 Page 2 of 10 . Second. a third-grade student in a second-grade reading group should still take the third-grade benchmark assessment. therefore. Test Levels Your school’s Benchmark Assessments are based upon your state’s end-of-year standards. delivered. Schedule New Benchmark Assessments are posted every month from September to June. It is important for schools to know how students measure up against their grade-level standards.

Apart from certain administrative views. Therefore. Make-up Tests At the end of each testing window. due to the length of some reading passages. Naturally we urge you to allow students opportunities to make up missed tests as soon as possible during the appropriate testing window. This means that the old tests will not be available to teachers or students. the Benchmark Assessment Web site will be refreshed with new tests for the month at hand. Score reports can be generated at the school level at any time during the month. Benchmark Support Teachers should contact their school benchmark administrator for support in using benchmark system. Computer Lab/Classroom The Benchmarks may be administered either in your school’s computer lab according to a pre-arranged schedule or via your classroom computers. If you need immediate assistance and your administrator is unavailable.Teacher Training Guide first to the final day of each month (depending on where the weekends fall). you will only be able to view Benchmark Assessment information for your classes. make-up work needs to be done within the testing window for each month.866-848-0401 Page 3 of 10 . 4. 5. please call the toll-free support number below. if a special education student will have items read to him or her by a teacher during standardized testing. Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . the student simply will not take the test that month. Accommodations and Exemptions Schools should follow the rules for accommodations and exemptions established by district and state authorities for standardized tests. the same accommodation should be provided for the Benchmarks. is strongly discouraged. 6. Length of Tests Although Benchmark assessments are not timed assessments. 7. Combining Reading Benchmarks with any other Benchmark. 3. Large schools (enrollments over 600) with only one lab may have to resort to using classroom computers to prevent the labs from becoming Benchmarks-only labs. For example. every benchmark has been designed to accommodate the constraints of a 45-minute time block. If it is not possible for a student to make up a test that he or she has missed during the testing window for that month.

From the Log In screen. view reports. Teachers. From this screen you can either view benchmarks. The navigation bar you see at the top of the screen will be visible from anywhere within the system with the exception of when you are viewing an actual benchmark. administrators and students all log in to the Benchmark Assessment System in the same way. Logging In to the System a.Teacher Training Guide Using the Benchmark Assessment System 1.866-848-0401 Page 4 of 10 . view help or return to the log in screen. access the tools menu. You will be presented with the following screen (Figure 1): Navigation Bar Current Benchmarks View Reports Figure 1 c. b. Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . enter the user name and password you were given by your system administrator.

you will be presented with selection boxes that allow you to view all or some aspects of the benchmark questions. You can view previous month’s benchmarks the same way by selecting Previous Benchmarks (Figure 2). c. you will be presented with the current benchmark subscriptions for your classes. including teaching notes (Figure 3). anything that is underlined is a hyperlink – clicking on the underlined item with take you to related information. There is a variety of information available from this screen (Figure 2). Figure 2 b. Generally. When you select the Benchmarks marble.Teacher Training Guide 2.866-848-0401 Page 5 of 10 . By clicking in the yellow Notes icon. Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . Viewing Benchmarks a.

Figure 4 Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . Then select Done.Teacher Training Guide Figure 3 d.866-848-0401 Page 6 of 10 . just click on the last question along the bottom. By selecting the Benchmark title you will initially be taken to that month’s benchmark assessment (Figure 4). Here you can take the benchmark yourself to become familiar with the questions your students will be answering that month. If you do not want to actually take the assessment.

(Figure 5) Figure 5 3.866-848-0401 Page 7 of 10 .Teacher Training Guide e. Subsequently. Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . selecting the Benchmark title will lead you through each benchmark question and show you what percentage of your students chose a particular answer (correct answer in green). Using Benchmark Tools The tools component of the benchmark system allows teachers easy access to several classroom management functions necessary to ensure all students are able to take benchmarks at the appropriate time (Figure 6). You will be taken through this process only the first time you click on the benchmark title.

Subscriptions should NOT be used other than to print a list of class subscriptions if necessary. please contact your system administrator. Use Change Student Login/Password when a student has forgotten his or her password or the secrecy of that password has been compromised. If you notice that your class is assigned the wrong benchmark. The system administrator at your school sets subscriptions monthly. Use Print Class List in order to double-check your student roster as it appears in the benchmark system. If you are unsure about certain features of the benchmark system. 4. These reports allow you to view real-time results for students in your classes. please use this help function before asking your system administrator. Student Profile allows you to view basic demographic information on students in your classes. b. c. Viewing Benchmark Reports There are several ways to navigate through the teacher reports in the Benchmark Assessment System.866-848-0401 Page 8 of 10 . e. or to review your students’ passwords.Teacher Training Guide Figure 6 a. You may save yourself some time! 5. d. f. Use Change My Password to change your own password. You can view this month’s results or view longitudinal results to analyze Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . Using Help Selecting Help on the Navigation bar will take you to a list of frequently asked questions regarding use of the benchmark system. Create or Modify Classes allows you to create of change your class lists if your district is not using the student information auto-update feature.

a. rather by viewing your class as a whole or by viewing an individual student you can click on areas of interest to you and see the underlying information.Teacher Training Guide student progress over time. Some basic navigational rules apply. You will be presented with three options (Figure 7) Figure 7 b. There is no “report list” per se. As soon as your students have started taking a benchmark these reports will be available to you. select the Reports marble. We suggest you review these results and follow your own path through the benchmark data. Benchmark reports were designed to support the “clickable curiosity” of a teacher or administrator who wants to drill down through a benchmark result to immediately address instruction for a student or group of students. Selecting Longitudinal Report By Subject will give you the most comprehensive information on your classes. These reports are immediately updated as soon as a student completes a benchmark. From the main menu.866-848-0401 Page 9 of 10 . You can drill into your classes to view class-wide information across benchmark assessments or drill down into a particular student to identify individual strengths and problem areas. (Figure 8) Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support .

d. you have the option to Return to Reports Menu. f. The navigation rules above are designed to make your journey through the data as easy as possible.866-848-0401 Page 10 of 10 . selecting BR will automatically take you to a benchmark review for that month for the selected class. Benchmark Assessment System 2003 Toll-Free Support . h. A Symbol Key is visible where necessary to help you understand the information on each report. By placing your cursor on the Benchmark Subject title. Once inside a report. you have two choices of report – Student/Subject Longitudinal or Classroom Strand/Skill. in Figure 6.Teacher Training Guide Figure 8 c. The most important thing to remember about reporting is that the system is designed to let you “follow your nose” to data that will inform you about the Benchmark assessment results you see on the screen. e. From every report screen. For example. There is no set roadmap for getting to reports within the system. You will always see the Navigation Bar from every screen. Anything that is underlined has underlying data that you can access with a click of your mouse. Feel free to browse! Sample navigation through reports is attached. You always have the option of selecting the Back button on your browser to return to the previous screen. you will always be able to select a printable version of the report. g.

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