Teaching with Data

Ruminating on effective ways to use data to guide instruction in the classroom and other topics.

CCSS Implementation and the Slow-Moving Train to Assessmentville

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on December 3, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

Education reform ideas that stick, from the Thomas B.
Via www.educationgadfly.net

Posted in Assessments, Common Core State Standards | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

A Primer on the Common Assessments – Curriculum Matters – Education Week

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on December 3, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

Veteran Education Week reporters Catherine Gewertz and Erik Robelen bring you news and analysis of issues at the core of classroom learning.
Via blogs.edweek.org

Posted in Assessments, Common Core State Standards | Leave a Comment »

Four Years of U.S. Department of Education Research Shows Read 180® Effective … – MarketWatch (press release)

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 19, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core
Four Years of U.S. Department of Education Research Shows Read 180® Effective …MarketWatch (press release)…
Via news.google.com

Posted in Curriculum, Data | Leave a Comment »

The Common Core Daily

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 17, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

Besides discussing the teaching of reading and the Common Core State Standards, this article references to of my favorite occupations: RtI (Response to Instruction and Intervention) and dancing…
Via paper.li

Posted in Common Core State Standards, Curriculum, Response to Instruction and Intervention | Leave a Comment »

Common Core and Rigor

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 13, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

Find this blog in the education blogs directory …
Via bloggingonthebay.edublogs.org

Posted in Common Core State Standards | Leave a Comment »

‘Jaw-dropping’ costs of NCLB waiver | Thoughts on Public Education

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 13, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, however, has called for a waiver without conditions and criticized Obama for overstepping his authority in requiring test-based teacher evaluations.
Via toped.svefoundation.org

Posted in Common Core State Standards | Leave a Comment »

Coming Soon to a School Near You: New Science Standards …

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 13, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

As school districts across the country are working diligently to unpack and implement the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts, another initiative has been steadily progressing.
Via www.edutopia.org

Posted in Common Core State Standards, Curriculum | Leave a Comment »

What will adoption of national standards cost Massachusetts schools? – Boston.com (blog)

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 13, 2011

Via Scoop.itCountdown to Common Core

What will adoption of national standards cost Massachusetts schools?
Via boston.com

Posted in Common Core State Standards | 1 Comment »

Parents and Data

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on November 13, 2011

This past spring I worked with a team to develop a data-based instruction website, targeting specific stakeholder groups: teachers, administrators, counselors, students, and parents.  The goal of the website is to consolidate, as much as possible, data resources  that can help each stakeholder group determine student needs in order to make the best curriculum, instructional, and school decisions. When designing the parent/family member page , we really had to think about what kind of data parents have access to, and more importantly, what data will help them make the best academic decisions for their children.

In my district, over 70% of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. We have parents who have a limited education and limited English skills; however, our parents are dedicated to finding the best options for their children. So in thinking about data, I am currently ruminating on how to best educate our parents on how to have conversations with their children’s teachers based on data:

  • How do parents AND teachers use data to identify a child’s difficulty?
  • How do parents AND teachers use the data to determine why this child is having difficulty?
  • How do parents AND teachers use the data to determine the instruction/intervention that could be effective and appropriate for this child?
  • How do parents AND teachers use the data to monitor if the instruction/intervention is working? And if it isn’t working, how do parents AND teachers use the data to determine why?

I know that parents do not have to be involved in every detail of an instructional or intervention plan; however, the point is that they should always be involved in the discussion, which should always include data.

I worked with parent representatives from secondary schools who embraced these questions. But there is one question that I did not include above that I did discuss with the parent representatives: How is my child doing compared to the other students in the class? This question is the one that can make teachers feel the most  uncomfortable: If only 50% of the students are earning a C or better in the class, it is not an individual student issue. This issue is what we in the RtI (Response to Instruction and Intervention) world call a Tier 1 issue: under 80% of the class is not meeting the benchmark; therefore, the issue needs to be addressed within the core instruction, not just with one student. The problem could be in the Iinstruction, Curriculum, or the  Environment–ICE (see post dated 7-14-11).

The point is that parents should see class data to gain a better perspective of their child’s issue in relationship to the whole class. Teachers can show data results for the entire class by masking the other student names, or using various data displays, i.e., bar graphs, pie charts, etc. Parents have a right to know how their students are doing in respect to other students in the class and in the school. Without this data, they have no “authentic” way to measure how their child is performing.

So how would I help parents understand the data?

  • If  a school does an orientation for parents and students, I would prepare school data packets for the parents, and in a workshop, explain the data and discuss what it reflects about the school.
  • In a teacher professional development, I would present ways to discuss student data with parents, including having teachers role play with each other as parent and teacher.
  • I would provide workshops for parents before the Parent Conference Night on how to read the data, discuss the data with a teacher, and how to make decisions based on the data. In fact, I would probably hold these workshops just before each grading period.
  • I would encourage my principal to schedule regular “data chats” with parents to discuss district, school, and department/grade level data.
If you have stuck with me through this entire post, thank you for reading along while I try to answer this question. If you have any comments, or any other ideas, I would really be interested in reading about them.

Posted in Data, ICEL, Response to Instruction and Intervention | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Teachers step up to the challenge: data metaphors and similes

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on August 10, 2011

If you scroll down, you will see a post on July 12th titled, “Data Metaphors or Similes.” This post was actually an optional assignment for teachers participating in a professional development course, “Using Data to Target Instruction and Intervention in English Language Arts.” Basically, I challenged them to create a data metaphor or simile. Over the three different sessions of the course, a few teachers stepped up to the challenge. I am very impressed with their creativity and their understanding of the critical role data plays in student achievement.

Here are their metaphors and similes gathered from the “Comments”:

Data are like bricks of cement. When organized and given purpose they can build great things according to the honest engineer that assembles them. Will the structure stand the test of time and weather challenges of the environment? That is also based on the data used and the engineer’s proper mission in using the scientific method to solve real problems for society. -Lorraine

Data represents children like snowflake, each different and unique  -Ivania

Data are all the fish in the seas. -Mary Fraser

Data are like birds flying south in the winter; to be efficient they must be in an organized formation.   -Mary Fraser

Data are like sheep. Left unattended, they will wander off and be lost. Also, the shepherd must remember that, once the sheep become mutton, they cease forever to be sheep.  -Joseph

Data: the stars by which we guide our ships  -Kylowna Moton

Data; the bones that give structure and strength to the soft and fleshy parts of our work. -Ron Plank

Data are like a doctor’s diagnosis that identifies what the problem is, why it’s occurring in the patient, and help analyze the effectiveness of possible solutions.  -Cynthia Shiva

Data is like a fluffy, puffy cloud each set of eyes sees something unique.  -Lauren

Data are like the Grand Canyon, it has vast high and low points with varying points of elevation in the middle.  -Darlene

Posted in Data, Response to Instruction and Intervention, Teachers as writers, Writing to Learn; Writing Across the Curriculum | Leave a Comment »