Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
May 9, 2018

Data Dives and Instruction Reflection: Resources for Diving Deep

By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    This time of year, teachers around the country are focused on getting the most of their remaining time in the classroom. With state and national assessments looming, and the school year drawing to a close, teachers reflect on what students have mastered and where holes in learning can be filled.

    Every successful school I’ve worked with has used variations on three tools to make the most of assessments and data reflection. They are Pre-Assessment Analysis, Student Tabulation, and Post-Assessment Analysis.

    All three of these resources are on the new and improved Scholastic Teachables site that is now featuring lessons, resources, and tools from teacher ambassadors. I’m excited to give away a full year membership to the Scholastic Teachables site featuring my assessment tools!  

    Pre-Assessment

    Breaking down an assessment is a great way to understand what your teaching should look like. The reality is, standards leave a lot of room for interpretation. The way questions are asked and the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) needed to complete a task vary widely — even when the same basic concept is being addressed.

    If you have the assessment available to you, sit down and complete it as a student would. Consider any models, diagrams, or words you’d expect a student to use and make a model paper. Just this act alone helps to understand the various skills and level of cognitive rigor needed to complete the test. And this isn’t about teaching to the test — it’s about using academic vocabulary, various questioning strategies, and getting at the depth of understanding needed for students to be successful. Once you take the test yourself, grab a pre-assessment analysis tool and get to work.

    Think through the academic vocabulary and test language needed to understand a problem. How many times have you been convinced your students know the content when an unfamiliar phrase trips them up? By analyzing these words, you can infuse them into your instruction naturally (a proven method of vocabulary instruction over skill and drill anyway!).

    What specific models or strategies do students need to attack each question? If certain models are more prevalent, you know to focus more instruction on them. Then align the questions with your instruction. If you have a program, where and when is the material taught? You might see that certain topics require you to pull more outside resources than what your program provides. Finally, judge your confidence level. This is a working tool and so your confidence in how students will perform might change over time, but monitoring how you expect students to perform will help determine areas to spend more or less teaching time. Take some time to reflect on the class as a whole as well as specific students who need support and make a plan to be proactive in the interventions provided.

    Student Assessment Tabulation

    After students take an assessment, it is useful to aggregate the data to make it easier to analyze. As a coach, this is really important for me when comparing successes between different classrooms. When one class is highly successful on a question that others have missed, we can look at the instruction and figure out what really made the difference for learners. Luckily, many computer assessment programs provide this kind of report, but really digging into the data highlights trends and tendencies with individual students and the class as a whole.

    Use the form to put all student responses on one document. Highlight the questions missed and then tabulate the percentage of the class that had a correct score for each question. You can see questions that the entire class had success answering — or not — and it can be used to highlight trends across the grade level or across the year. The Student Assessment Tabulation is just a matrix tool, but when used with the Post-Assessment Analysis, it becomes even more powerful.

    Post-Assessment Analysis

    Using the Student Assessment Tabulation, or any other assessment reports your school or district generates, fill in the Post-Assessment Analysis. Filling in this form alone isn’t the powerful part — making data-based instructional decisions for reteaching, assessment, and new teaching is where data makes a difference. While this form can be used individually, having a team work together can be extra powerful. At our data dives, individual teachers bring their own data while the coach brings the collective grade-level data.

    First, figure out how many students are proficient, approaching proficient, or are not meeting standards. This cutoff will be different for different schools, districts, or assessments. Then determine the highest scoring questions and standards, and the lowest scoring. This can really highlight trends. If one particular skill is low, that needs to be an area of focus. However, if the same standard was represented by the highest and lowest scoring questions, analyzing why certain questions posed a problem can guide further instruction. Be sure to take time to celebrate achievements and analyze student misunderstandings.

    Then the real work begins. Use the data to determine what instruction needs to be added or retaught for the whole class and how you will fit that in while carrying on current instruction. Then consider those students who need a more intense reteaching, which skills will be covered, and the activities you will use. Finally, plan for formative assessments and know how you will determine if students have learned the material after you’ve retaught.

    Scholastic Teachables

    These forms are just some of the resources available on Scholastic Teachables, a vetted site with downloadable and printable resources from a trusted education resource. Win a one-year gold membership (worth $59.99!) by entering your email by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, May 18, 2018. Earn extra entries by sharing this post! Visit Rafflecopter to enter daily!

    Assessments can be anxiety inducing for teachers, but doing a thorough assessment before and after can help drive meaningful instruction and improve student outcomes. Check out my blog posts, “Trackable, Usable, Powerful Data for Decision Making,” and, “Creating a Standardized Assessment Test: Practice Makes Perfect” for more on assessments and what to do with your data.

    This time of year, teachers around the country are focused on getting the most of their remaining time in the classroom. With state and national assessments looming, and the school year drawing to a close, teachers reflect on what students have mastered and where holes in learning can be filled.

    Every successful school I’ve worked with has used variations on three tools to make the most of assessments and data reflection. They are Pre-Assessment Analysis, Student Tabulation, and Post-Assessment Analysis.

    All three of these resources are on the new and improved Scholastic Teachables site that is now featuring lessons, resources, and tools from teacher ambassadors. I’m excited to give away a full year membership to the Scholastic Teachables site featuring my assessment tools!  

    Pre-Assessment

    Breaking down an assessment is a great way to understand what your teaching should look like. The reality is, standards leave a lot of room for interpretation. The way questions are asked and the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) needed to complete a task vary widely — even when the same basic concept is being addressed.

    If you have the assessment available to you, sit down and complete it as a student would. Consider any models, diagrams, or words you’d expect a student to use and make a model paper. Just this act alone helps to understand the various skills and level of cognitive rigor needed to complete the test. And this isn’t about teaching to the test — it’s about using academic vocabulary, various questioning strategies, and getting at the depth of understanding needed for students to be successful. Once you take the test yourself, grab a pre-assessment analysis tool and get to work.

    Think through the academic vocabulary and test language needed to understand a problem. How many times have you been convinced your students know the content when an unfamiliar phrase trips them up? By analyzing these words, you can infuse them into your instruction naturally (a proven method of vocabulary instruction over skill and drill anyway!).

    What specific models or strategies do students need to attack each question? If certain models are more prevalent, you know to focus more instruction on them. Then align the questions with your instruction. If you have a program, where and when is the material taught? You might see that certain topics require you to pull more outside resources than what your program provides. Finally, judge your confidence level. This is a working tool and so your confidence in how students will perform might change over time, but monitoring how you expect students to perform will help determine areas to spend more or less teaching time. Take some time to reflect on the class as a whole as well as specific students who need support and make a plan to be proactive in the interventions provided.

    Student Assessment Tabulation

    After students take an assessment, it is useful to aggregate the data to make it easier to analyze. As a coach, this is really important for me when comparing successes between different classrooms. When one class is highly successful on a question that others have missed, we can look at the instruction and figure out what really made the difference for learners. Luckily, many computer assessment programs provide this kind of report, but really digging into the data highlights trends and tendencies with individual students and the class as a whole.

    Use the form to put all student responses on one document. Highlight the questions missed and then tabulate the percentage of the class that had a correct score for each question. You can see questions that the entire class had success answering — or not — and it can be used to highlight trends across the grade level or across the year. The Student Assessment Tabulation is just a matrix tool, but when used with the Post-Assessment Analysis, it becomes even more powerful.

    Post-Assessment Analysis

    Using the Student Assessment Tabulation, or any other assessment reports your school or district generates, fill in the Post-Assessment Analysis. Filling in this form alone isn’t the powerful part — making data-based instructional decisions for reteaching, assessment, and new teaching is where data makes a difference. While this form can be used individually, having a team work together can be extra powerful. At our data dives, individual teachers bring their own data while the coach brings the collective grade-level data.

    First, figure out how many students are proficient, approaching proficient, or are not meeting standards. This cutoff will be different for different schools, districts, or assessments. Then determine the highest scoring questions and standards, and the lowest scoring. This can really highlight trends. If one particular skill is low, that needs to be an area of focus. However, if the same standard was represented by the highest and lowest scoring questions, analyzing why certain questions posed a problem can guide further instruction. Be sure to take time to celebrate achievements and analyze student misunderstandings.

    Then the real work begins. Use the data to determine what instruction needs to be added or retaught for the whole class and how you will fit that in while carrying on current instruction. Then consider those students who need a more intense reteaching, which skills will be covered, and the activities you will use. Finally, plan for formative assessments and know how you will determine if students have learned the material after you’ve retaught.

    Scholastic Teachables

    These forms are just some of the resources available on Scholastic Teachables, a vetted site with downloadable and printable resources from a trusted education resource. Win a one-year gold membership (worth $59.99!) by entering your email by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, May 18, 2018. Earn extra entries by sharing this post! Visit Rafflecopter to enter daily!

    Assessments can be anxiety inducing for teachers, but doing a thorough assessment before and after can help drive meaningful instruction and improve student outcomes. Check out my blog posts, “Trackable, Usable, Powerful Data for Decision Making,” and, “Creating a Standardized Assessment Test: Practice Makes Perfect” for more on assessments and what to do with your data.

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Meghan's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
Back-to-School Night With Clifford
To increase parent involvement, we’ve started a series of math and literacy nights. See how to host a successful parent night with a little help from Clifford!
By Meghan Everette
September 21, 2018
Blog Post
A Book for Every Reader Type
Give the gift of reading with books for every type of reader in your classroom.
By Meghan Everette
September 4, 2018
Blog Post
Leveling and Labeling Your Classroom Library
Get tips for sorting your books, leveling your classroom library, and repairing minor rips and tears. Find ways to digitally catalog your collection, and get free printable labels.
By Meghan Everette
July 20, 2018
Blog Post
40 Quick and Easy Organization Tips

Here are 40 tips from teachers on quick and easy ways to help make your classroom more manageable.

By Meghan Everette
July 3, 2018

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us