#sol17 March 4 A slice of Data

Slice of LIfe  I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing! 

 

I’m sitting in a faculty meeting trying to fall in love with data. I am. I get it: Triangulate data to help students grow. I am making friends with assessment this year as an instructional tool. I am, I promise. I’m a little stuck because I can’t love test data that helps us streamline instruction in order to help students do better at that test. That seems like a vicious circle to me… and an odd priority. But, I’m trying to make friends with Data, and find time to really use it.

I’m in! I use formative assessment data to help guide me… trying to make it quick. I’ll hand out index cards, ask students to read a short article and write the central idea and key details on their index card. I’ll collect reader’s notebooks and read their “best” stop and jot about a signpost. I’ll look at my students’ work and make strategy groups, conferring goals, and whole class lessons. When I have time. My instructional coach has this great way of looking at data. She has an eye for it, and she is always looking for ways that real-life classroom teachers can manipulate and then use data, “What can you do in 10 minutes that will help your students?” She has kids at the center and data as a way to help them grow. She is data-gifted.

I’m listening in a faculty meeting as we are given an example of a teacher meeting via video. “This is where we’d like to be with our PLC’s!” We are told. The video comes on and the teacher  on the video says disparagingly, “We used to talk about students in our meetings. Now we talk about data.”

Hmmm…
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I’m trying to fall in love with data. I’m already in love with students. I will not aim to have meetings where we aren’t talking about students. I will not make that my goal. Let’s add data to the discussion. Let’s triangulate and guide instruction. Let’s grow. And, let’s not forget about the kids themselves. Please.

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9 thoughts on “#sol17 March 4 A slice of Data

  1. >And, let’s not forget about the kids themselves. Please.<

    *sigh* I've seen more and more blogs like this. At some point, the pendulum has to start swinging back the other direction, right? Until then, know there are teachers out there who believe as you, that we need to use data, but not be taken over by it! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing with us today!

  2. We have become data driven. It can help guide our instruction, but it always needs to center on our kids. They are not numbers or levels, they are unique and beautiful. I love how you wrote: ” kids at the center and data as a way to help them grow.” Yes, that’s the trick. It’s not about numbers, its about kids!

  3. I love data when it is meaningful to me and helps me drive my instruction. If it’s data for the sake of collecting data for someone else’s purposes, it’s harder to fall in like (let alone in love) with it.

  4. “She has kids at the center and data as a way to help them grow.” Great description of your instructional coach. And I love your affirmation: “I will not aim to have meetings where we aren’t talking about students. I will not make that my goal.”

  5. I think this is such a common struggle these days. Schools are just getting pounded with data. We need more people like you and your coach to remind us who it’s really about.

    Great Slice!

  6. It amazes me how often the students get written out of the equation! So sad! I love you’re conclusion…let’s ADD data to the conversation, but keep students at the center…ALWAYS!

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