Data, Data, Data

5 Min Read  •  Summative Assessments

We are rounding out our Gearing Up for Second Semester series with a look at gathering and using data.  The dreaded “D” word!! Data! We hear it constantly and avoid it intentionally, but it’s not a bad word.  Let’s take a look at how to gather objective based data and use it to drive instruction.

Over the last couple weeks we have outlined how to write clear, measurable, 3 part objectives, how to align our tasks with the behavior, 103 ways to go beyond the exit, and now we are going to take a look at how to use all of that “data” to ensure student achievement.

Here are four steps to make student achievement happen via the awesome “D” word…Data!

First collect objective based data quickly.

After a class/lesson, we need to determine quickly if our students are ready to move onto the next class/lesson.  Although larger assignments and assessments will give us concrete summative data, we can’t wait until the end to be sure our students “got it.”  If we make a point to quickly check for mastery on the in-class tasks then we can use that information to drive the next lesson.  Here are a couple of ways to gather objective based data quickly.

arts integration masterclass
  • Grade on-the-spot
  • Determine only one section to grade
  • Have students self-assess
  • Have students peer assess
  • Create a rubric/grading key before administering
  • Ask responsible students to help grade
  • Grade large assignments in chunks

Next, determine criteria.

To decide whether to move on or re-teach.  Consider:  Will students be able to meet tomorrow’s objective if they did not master today’s objective?  Will students receive additional practice with this skill throughout this unit?  Will students receive additional practice with this skill in future units?  I encourage teachers to develop a learning action plan, similar to the chart below:

Student Performance Results, EducationCloset

This is a quick way to collect objective based data.  Determine if the objective needs to be mastered in order to move on.  Then determine what the next steps will be based on the data gathered, for example, if only 50% of the students met the objectives criteria, do you move on or re-teach?

Then, plan to revisit, reteach, or move on.  

Re-visiting an objective provides students with additional practice like differentiated opening activities, classwork, homework assignments, peer teaching, reciprocal teaching, etc.  Re-teaching is providing information in a NEW way. We can’t assume that if we teach it the same exact way a second time, essentially repeating it, that students will “get it this time.”

Consider modifying the following:

  • Teacher presentation style: lecture, note-taking, modeling, demonstration
  • Student interests, intelligence, and learning styles
  • Multimedia presentations: video clips, audio, PPT (sound, effects, color)
  • A new way for students to engage with the content or practice the skill
  • Student grouping

Finally, re-assess the students. 

If you are needing to re-teach a lesson, determine the best way to assess mastery the second time around.  Consider the following strategies for re-assessing:

  • Use the same exact assessment
  • Assess the same skill but with different content
  • Offer choice in ways to demonstrate learning
  • Ask a student to conduct an error analysis (have them explain why they got the answer wrong the first—where was the misunderstanding?)

The word Data often has a visceral response for us teachers, we either love it and use it or hate it and steer clear from it, but it doesn’t have to be large spreadsheets, with charts and statistics in order to be effective.  Gathering daily objectives data will help to ensure all students are moving toward mastery.

If you missed any of the series… don’t worry, we will have a full recap next week!