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Illuminate Teacher Spotlight- Mallory Bekken

posted Apr 27, 2016, 9:36 AM by Trent Miller   [ updated Apr 27, 2016, 9:36 AM ]
How have you been using Illuminate in your classroom/school?
I have been using Illuminate in my classroom to give my pre and post tests.  I also use it when giving my vocabulary tests.  The students log in to their portal, and take the test.  This way I can look at the reports and find out where my students are going to be struggling, and really touch on those points.  As a school we know that data is important, but this year we are pushing the teachers to really dig into it and have conversations about our students.  We have the data, now what can we do to better support our students.  We have created a data calendar to keep us on track with giving the assessments, getting all of the information into Illuminate, and then the most important part, discussing the data with each other to find out what we need to improve on.

How is it going?
Overall I think Illuminate is being accepted by most teachers.  I know to many it just seems like another thing we are being asked to do, but I am trying my hardest to implement it in the easiest way I know how.  I want the teachers to like it, and to not feel overwhelmed by it.  Illuminate is quite easy to use once you play with it for a while, and that is what I want for my teachers.  They are given a little bit at a time and asked to play with it, try to create an assessment, try looking through the reports.  Overall it is going really well.  The students don't seem to mind it either, and they always enjoy the On the Fly assessments because they get to take their test, scan it on the computer, and then get instant feedback to how they did.  It is a really neat and fun tool that the kids enjoy, and it gives me instant feedback that I don't have to grade.  It's like a quick and easy exit ticket!

Thoughts and/or reflections about how using Illuminate affects and impacts your classroom and teaching?
I feel that Illuminate impacts my teaching in a positive way.  If gives me multiple reports that I am able to look at and then better understand where my students are struggling and where I am struggling as a teacher.  I can tell where I need to work harder, and where I need to go over things more deeply.  I think using this will also improve my students M-STEP scores because the passages and questions are formatted very similarly to the M-STEP test.  Overall I am really enjoying Illuminate.  I have a lot more to learn, but I am very excited for what is to come!