Kona, Hawaii

Educators in Kona, HI Use Interim Assessments to Move Their Students Forward

Teachers at Konawaena Middle School strive for students to learn deeply. Smarter Balanced instructional resources help them do just that by providing methods of pinpointing knowledge and by offering new teaching strategies. From the Digital Library to interim assessments, these educators on the Big Island are working to increase student learning.

Konawaena Middle School

Location: Kealakekua, Hawaii

District: Hawai’i Department of Education

Mission: Create independent and inquisitive life-long learners

Interview Date: January 2019

“Our goal is to move our students forward and I would strongly encourage other students to go with the interim assessments.”Seurgis Palakiko, Vice Principal, Konawaena Middle School

Spotlight on Strategy

How are educators at Konawaena Middle School using Smarter Balanced formative assessment tools to really understand how to help their students?

  • Interim assessments allow teachers to understand their students’ skill sets and what they need to work on, at all levels.
  • Taking interims empowers students to engage with their own results, analyze their responses, and become motivated to do better.
  • Reviewing interim results with students allows immediate feedback so that student understand why they did or didn’t do well.
  • Interims are efficient and can be completed in a class period. Each one allows you to drill down into a specific area, providing a precise view of students’ knowledge.
  • Leverage the Connections Playlists, which link interim results to instructional resources in the Digital Library so each student, based on their level, get exactly the next step they need.

Meet the Star Educators

Interview Day: Behind the Scenes

  • Seurgis Palakiko Seurgis Palakiko strongly encourages other schools considering using interim assessments to go for it.
  • Jannica Breslin, 8th Grade ELA TeacherJannica Breslin finds it helpful to see how students react to their own results because it often uncovers complex reasons why they did not answer a question correctly.
  • Dawn EastonDawn Easton uses interim results to provide feedback to students right away.
  • Jennifer MurphiokaJennifer Murphioka was familiar with the Digital Library but didn’t learn about the interims until she attended a workshop. Upon returning, she decided to give them a try and has found them valuable in tailoring her instruction.