Monday, May 7, 2018

Practice in Action: Data Driven Instruction Through the Lens of Teachers and Students

As I have visited classrooms this spring, one of my focuses has been on how teachers are using data to hone in on the needs of their students. Not only have I seen some great ways teachers are using data to drive differentiation for learners but I've also observed how they are teaching students to use their own data to increase agency in their own learning. Below are some examples of data use by both teachers and students in elementary and secondary blended classrooms.

Tippet Middle School

Tippet uses a station rotation model for math in grades 6-8. Students have opportunities each week to learn in small groups with the teacher, work on collaborative activities with peers, learn independently through online assignments and focus on personal learning goals based on assessment data.
Tippet MS uses the NWEA MAP test as their benchmark assessment. Students have their own learning profile based on this assessment. NWEA also provides practice resources by objective which teachers organize in folders for students to access in Schoology. The reflection form above helps students focus on personal learning goals and holds them accountable for their own learning.

Math teachers at Tippet Middle School post class data tables for each chapter test for each period. Individual student data is posted on large data tables by TEKS. Students can track their personal data by ID number throughout the year to see their growth and what they need to improve. The green dot indicates that they demonstrated mastery on the fall benchmark test and the purple indicates mastery on the winter benchmark. The checkmark indicates a score of 80% or higher on the unit test for those TEKS.

Temple High School

The French teacher at Temple High School uses an individual rotation with a playlist shared with students via Google Classroom. As students complete assignments, they put checkmarks on the board so the teacher can quickly see who is progressing and who is not. She circulates around the room to encourage, give feedback and help for students as needed. To track progress, objectives are posted on a class chart and students' achievement level is recorded. Students who have acceptable or mastered indicators may select a grid number from a jar and place their initials on the incentive chart. Once an entire row is filled, all students on that row earn the reward list on the end. Apparently Jesus stickers are a favorite!

Kirk Elementary

Kirk Elementary is in their 3rd year of a blended learning implementation. It is obvious as you walk through the school that the use of data by students and teachers to inform their work is embedded in the school culture.

From left to right: 
  • This data display shows how the increased focus on positive student/teacher relationships has impacted behavior across all grade levels.
  • In each classroom, teachers use a touch screen monitor for students to record work completed. Teacher can see at a glance from anywhere in the room how students are progressing through independent work.
  • Class academic data provides a visual for discussions on student goal setting, effort and the correlations with achievement.

Kyle Elementary

In the last few weeks before STAAR testing, KES Instructional Coach Rachel Phife analyzed results from the fall and winter interim assessments and identified high priority TEKS for review. We then created a playlist organized by TEKS including online and offline reteach and practice opportunities for students. Students will use their test results to identify the TEKS they need to work on and will highlight those as their priority independent work. Teachers will continue to do small group instruction on current TEKS. Students will self assess their work using the tracking chart
Carpenter Hill Elementary

3rd Grade Students at Carpenter Hill use Dreambox Math. Teachers track student progress on their dashboard and assign students practice based on individual data. Students are encouraged to complete at least 7 lessons each week in order to master objectives. Crystal Stevens has students record their progress towards goals on the board each week. In Heather Myer's class, students are using a personal tracking chart to track mastery of 3rd grade math objectives. Additionally, they are tracking class progress to see growth over time.

Data comes in many forms

Regardless of the age group, model or subject, using data to inform instruction is a critical element  in blended classrooms. Online programs (Dreambox, Apex, IXL) can be a great source of data for both teachers and students but is not a requirement for a blended model. Teachers are using data from sites such as FormativeNearpod, Edpuzzle or traditional, non-digital assessments to differentiate instruction for students. Tools like Flipgrid or Explain Everything allow students to show what they know and give teachers a fast way to assess understanding.

Though it may come from several sources, choose data that is easily accessible, provides actionable information and allows you to differentiate instruction based on student needs. Use it consistently to target specific outcomes and to increase student agency in the learning process.