I'm just going to be honest - one of the biggest things I dislike about my job is the assessments and tracking of data. To be quite honest, I know that I don't do a very good of data tracking. There are only so many hours in a day and when push comes to shove, I usually choose to spend my time in lesson planning and preparing over data analysis. Now, don't get me wrong - I know my students, where they are, their strengths and their weaknesses. But if you walked up to me and asked for a list of students that didn't know the number 13 - I couldn't give it to you. Until now!!!! I'd like to introduce you to my new FAVORITE assessment tool.
I was contacted by ESGI in November and asked if I was interested in checking out their assessment software. Of course I was, because I know that's an area that I struggle in as a teacher. Well, true to my nature, I was not going to jump into a blog post without REALLY trying them out. So that's what I began to do. (If you know me, you know that I will not recommend something to you that I do not love, use and stand behind).
The perfect time to start was over Christmas break. I was getting ready to work on report cards and I thought I'd see how this ESGI software worked. No - I don't do report cards from ESGI, but I did use it to record all my data that I had painstakingly gathered in class. I began by recreating my quarterly kindergarten assessment in ESGI. They have a database with pre-made assessments in it to choose from, or you can make your own. I decided to use some of their pre-made assessments, but then I also created my own too. I watched a quick how to video that was available on the ESGI website before getting started. In just a few hours, I had recreated my entire kindergarten assessment in the ESGI software. For me, this included letter identification, letter sounds, sight words, number identification, an assessment of counting sets, colors, shapes, money, and word blending. Everything I needed was now in and ready to go. Since I had already done my second quarter assessment, I manually put in the data from paper tests into the ESGI system. I found the system very user friendly and easy to use. With few clicks of the mouse, I had entered all of my student data from the beginning of the year. In less than a day I was "up to date" in ESGI and ready to start using it. I was able to fill out report cards in about half the time because I had all of my student information in one place. I used to count on about 8 hours to complete all of my report cards (each quarter). I finished in about 4 hours using ESGI. All of my data was at my fingertips, easy to find, and easy to transfer to report cards. No more shuffling through papers!!!
Then the January rolled around and I got 2 new students in my class. This was the perfect time to try out the ESGI assessment with a student. I accessed my account and brought the student to my iPad (or computer) and clicked on the first test. As the student gave me an answer I just hit Y or N to show whether their answer was correct. The process was easy and quick. I was able to fully assess a new student in a matter of minutes. The student gives the answer and I just click on the Y or N without them even knowing what I am doing. Once they are done the data is gathered and I have instant access to its analysis.
Yes, ESGI is super easy to use, but by far my favorite feature is the instant data analysis. Once the data is entered, I have access to data analysis in numerous forms. I can view each assessment student by student or I can see how my class as a whole is doing. I love the easy to read pie graphs that show % of completion. Even my students love watching their pie graph grow after a new assessment!
Here's a screenshot of my class as a whole. It is super easy to read and I get great information at a quick glance.
Here's a student screenshot. I can quickly see what skills a student has mastered and what they still need to work on. With a quick click of the Details button I can see exactly what they missed!
But that's not even my most favorite part. From my home screen I have the ability to run different reports on my entire class.
In these reports I can view my class data as a whole. But my most favorite part, the part that really allows me to use my data in my teaching is the Bar Graph Analysis. In the Bar Graph I can pull up a specific assessment and see exactly which students missed a specific item. It looks like this:
And with the simple click of a button (click on the gray space above the bar) I get a list of all the students in my class that have not answered this item correctly. You could also do the opposite and click on the green bar to get a list of the students who have answered correctly. It is so simple!
This one tool has transformed the way I pull small groups for re-teaching. My re-teaching is so much more specific now and I can meet the actual needs of each students. I also have the privilege to have a paraprofessional help in my room for a few minutes each day. I use this bar graph feature to help her pull specific kids to target a specific word, number, letter, sound, etc.
I finally feel like I am able to get the most out of my data! I love ESGI's assessment tool and data analysis. Their slogan "Click. Click. Done" is really true! I love it so much that I will actually be talking to my Principal and School District Administration about using it in our district! I believe it is well worth every penny of its cost. So what does it cost? An annual subscription is $199. However, if you use the link below (just click on the picture) or the link at the top of my blog you can get $40 off your first year! You can also go to their website and enter the Promo Code B8523 for your $40 discount. Not sure? Try them out for 60 days for FREE!!!
Click Here to Try Out ESGI!
You won't regret it!!!
I'd love to know what you think if you try out ESGI. I'd also be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Just leave me a comment!