Illuminator Spotlight: Jonalee Castillo

Written by
December 6th, 2019

Spotlight On:

Jonalee Castillo, 2nd Grade Teacher

School Description:

  • The O’Farrell Charter School (K-12), CA
  • Avid National Demonstration School
  • Student Population (K-12): 1,689 
  • Title 1 School – Free/Reduced Lunch schoolwide 

How do you use Illuminate with your students? 

At the end of each week (or bi-weekly, depending on student understanding and progression), I give students an “Exit Ticket” to assess their understanding of mathematical concepts that I have taught in the class during the week. The assessments are usually 1-2 related standards with 5-8 item bank questions from Illuminate. I analyze the results and use my findings to create my small groups for the following week. In my small groups, I use similar questions that students frequently missed and/or had misconceptions about to practice. 

What challenge does Illuminate help you solve?

Illuminate organizes results taken from assessments and displays the data in various formats, charts, and other visuals (by question type, by standard, by incorrect answer, etc.). This greatly saves time, and immediately helps me understand how students are doing and what I need to focus on for my lessons (whole class and small groups).

Are there other tools you use in Illuminate?

I have found that using the Assessment Panel, or the live proctoring tool, has been helpful in my class because I can monitor students in real time as they go through an assessment. I can choose what to display on the screen, control student pacing, and see immediate student responses. 

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to use Illuminate?

Start small by focusing on one or two elements of Illuminate, and use it as part of your class routine. I would also advise watching other teachers who incorporate Illuminate into their classes to get ideas and see how it works in different settings (by grade, whole class/small group, type of assessment, etc.). Then, of course, try it out in your own classroom and see how it will best fit your class culture and the needs of your students. 

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