Teaching with Data

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

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


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