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How to be an “A” School: Thanksgiving.jpg
Teach to mastery
every OAS objective

By Jan Barrick, CEO, Alpha Plus

Teaching to mastery is a process. Teaching the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) to mastery is the key to student success in your school. Follow these steps and your students will be on the way to an “A.”

1. PLAN! Evaluate the OAS you must teach and the assessments you will use to determine if students have mastered the content. Plan your lessons (and/or use Success with OAS books) to ensure what you teach is aligned to the OAS.

  • Spend time on the vocabulary and verbiage used in OAS objective descriptions.
  • Ensure students know how to find the BEST answer (the most plausible) from among choices given.

2. TEACH! Use the essential elements of a lesson, which are incorporated into Success with OAS books:

  • Prepare an anticipatory set (“Real World Connections”) to get students interested in the content, activate prior knowledge, and learn something new.
  • Model each lesson by showing students how to perform a skill while describing the rationale behind each step. This gives students visual and verbal examples of what they are expected to be able to do.
  • Use the Guided Practice for discussion and provide opportunities for students to perform hands-on tasks in class and to write about what they are learning.
  • Assign Independent Practice for homework and then review the content along with prior, related content in class discussion or activities.
  • Have students complete Continuous Practice assignments in class before or after assigning the applicable formative assessment.

 Averages from 108 schools using Alpha Plus Online as of Nov. 11, 2022:

  • 29 OAS Objectives to be assessed by Spring Break
  • 7 formative quizzes completed so far with 60% of students proficient
  • 37 schools have completed an average of 10 formative tests with 82% of students proficient
  • Top school averaging 95% of students proficient after 12 formative tests

If only half of the class is successful on Independent Practice, use additional resources to re-teach the objective before assigning the formative test.

  • Evaluate formative results in the Objective Accountability Graph; if 70% of students were not proficient, re-teach the objective.
  • Plan remediation for students not proficient and re-assess them before the next summative assessment.
  • From the Item Response Report, evaluate student answers. If most students selected the same wrong answer, use the question (online under Classroom > Review) for class discussion of why that was not the best answer.

Since not all students learn in the same way or on the same day or even in the same year, re-teaching and remediation should be the norm. It is not too late to start teaching and assessing in alignment with OAS! The more times you do it, the better you will get at teaching to mastery every OAS objective.

Click here for details on NEW tools in Alpha Plus Online including ELA field-test PDFs of formative assessments drafted for 2023-24!

Next month: How to measure growth and identify gaps using midyear summative (B) data. 

Let us know how we can help!

CEO Jan Barrick and the Alpha Plus Team



  • Fillable PDF of our 100 Days to Mastery calendar under PD for use in pacing lessons or re-pacing remaining lessons after the midyear summative (B).
  • Standards, crosswalks, test-item specifications, and other official resources for the OAS.
  • How to be a Good Test Taker” packet with ELA and math worksheets for test-item analysis.
  • NEW: Printable PDFs by objective of DRAFT ELA formative assessments for 2023-24.

 ELA Teachers: Please help us field test these for alignment to the 2021 revisions of the state’s ELA standards and consistency with Success with OAS ELA! An evaluation form is included under Resources for Grades 3-8 Reading classes online. Let us know what you think!