Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Learn.BLEND.Lead: Got Data?

Module 2.7 

Data collection vs. analyzing data are an integral part of the instructional learning cycle. In my classroom, collecting data is a means of gathering meaningful information and skills on each student through a variety of ways: observation, discussion, performance tasks, portfolios/work samples, and both formative and summative assessments. 

Once the data is collected, it is analyzed - thoroughly looked over - to find patterns, trends, mastery level of skills, and anything that will help gain insight to where students are, what has been taught or will need to be taught (or taught again), and where we are going. Analyzing data helps build a roadmap for where we are in our instructional cycle, and drives instruction. 

Collecting and analyzing data is a constant cycle:

Graphic Cred:

The most important part of collecting and analyzing data is what comes after that. It is the actions and plans that are launched into place to drive instruction. 

We have a lot of data that we use that to assess student growth and benchmark them from one point of the year to the next. The i-Ready reading assessment that I have been using in my classroom/district (and for this course) is a great tool for showing what a student knows and can do. It gives user friendly reports and provides cut of scores for what is on/above/below grade level. However, it is more important to look beyond that initial data and dig deeper. You have to know your assessments, and use valuable ones, to be able to utilize the data you are gathering.

The analyzing part is crucial---it is a time for questions and investigations into the WHY's of student performance. You have to know WHY students are struggling and what their precise gaps are in order to plan for them accordingly. 

Collecting and analyzing data does not have to be time consuming. It can easily get overwhelming, which is why it is important to use the right assessment tool, when needed, to paint a picture of your students' needs so you can tailor your instruction and the direction you are headed. With the right assessment tool, and the right timing, data collection is not 'just one more thing' on your plate, but a really helpful tool in the teaching/learning cycle.

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