DesCartes

 

Welcome - We are pleased to introduce DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning. DesCartes is a classroom resource that teachers can use to translate NWEA test scores into specific learning objectives targeted to individual student needs. When used in combination with other NWEA resources, such as assessment scores, reports, and training, educators can use DesCartes to:

  • Organize resources, programs, and staff to meet the needs of individual students.
  • Define flexible grouping for instruction based on students’ performance in specific goal areas.
  • Identify the skills and concepts that provide the most appropriate academic challenge.
  • Guide selection of materials that are appropriately challenging to ensure sustained academic growth for all students.
  • Engage students in setting their academic goals and tracking their progress.
  • Monitor academic growth in relationship to content standards.
  • Adopt a common framework to facilitate goal setting, collaboration, and further inquiry.
  • Share academic needs with parents.

 

- DesCartes is a resource designed to make it easier to use MAP scores to improve classroom instruction for all students.

- DesCartes makes connections between specific skills and RIT scores to identify what students are ready to learn and to guide instructional planning.

- DesCartes is structured by goal areas (such as Literal Comprehension for Reading and Geometry for Math) which are organized based on state standards.

- Each column in DesCartes includes the skills within a block of 10 RIT points. If a student has a RIT score of 205, then the skills within the 201-210 block are the skills that student is ready to work on in class right now.

Sample from DesCartes:

 


 

Content Overview -

 DesCartes is divided into the following sections:

  • An overall Table of Contents—includes the DesCartes license agreement.*
  • Essentials—provides an overview of how to use DesCartes in the classroom and elsewhere, along with other important background material.
  • Reading—contains the reading continuum.
  • Language Usage—contains the language usage continuum.
  • Mathematics (lower grades)—contains the mathematics continuum for lower grades.
  • Mathematics (upper grades)—contains the mathematics continuum for upper grades.
  • Science, Concepts and Processes—contains the science concepts and processes continuum.
  • Science, General Science—contains the general science continuum.
  • Appendix A—provides a list of vocabulary by RIT range.
  • Appendix B—provides list of signs and symbols by RIT range.
  • Appendix C— describes some of the underlying concepts that impact.

 

DesCartes Table of Contents
Section 1 - Essentials
Section 2 - Reading
Section 3 - Language Usage
Section 4 - Mathematics 2-5
Section 5 - Mathematics 6+
Section 6 - General Science
Section 7 - Concepts and Processes

 

Appendix A contains NWEA’s assessment vocabulary for reading, language usage,mathematics, science concepts and processes, and general science. Within each subject area of DesCartes, vocabulary is included in the first RIT Score Range in which they apply by your goal areas. The RIT Score Range here indicates when the corresponding group of words may need to be introduced into the curriculum for this subject area based on all NWEA data.

Appendix B contains NWEA’s assessment signs and symbols for the subjects of language usage, mathematics, science concepts and processes, and general science. Within each subject area of DesCartes, signs and symbols are included in the first RIT Score Range in which they apply by your goal areas. The RIT Score Range here indicates when the corresponding group of signs and symbols may need to be introduced into the curriculum for this subject area based on all NWEA data.


Appendix C - Research Concepts


DesCartes can be used for:

  • Planning small group instruction, including flexible grouping
  • Goal setting
  • Creating centers, homework, or other assignments based on skills needed for each student
  • Providing students, parents, and aides with specific skill sets for a student to focus on

 

To Access DesCartes:

 

1.) View DesCartes by Subject, Goal Area, and RIT Range:

  • Under "Reports and Instructional Resources" choose "Learning Continuum"
  • Under "Test View" you will need to select a subject area/grade level.
  • When the report appears you will need to choose a goal area (These are located in the light green bands). 
  • Once an area is chosen a new report will appear.  This report will show the RIT band and the goal objectives for that particular goal area.

2.) View DesCartes for a Student or Group of Students:

  • Under "Reports and Instructional Resources" choose "Learning Continuum"
  • Under "Class View" adjust your settings for School, Instructor, Class, and Test. When you have these categories selected you will need to then choose the "View Report" option
  • When the report appears you will need to choose a goal area (These are located in the light green bands).
  • Once an area is chosen a new report will appear.  This report will show the RIT band on the left, the goal objectives in the middle, and the students who fall into that particular RIT band on the right...this can be very useful for flexible grouping.