The Data Piece

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10 thoughts on “The Data Piece”

  1. Qualitative Data is better. Some students will have better days than others. I enjoy the idea of recording milestones, though I should do this more often. Quantitative data doesn’t tell a thing about our students. It can be used with any lens to either discredit us as professional, caring educators or to celebrate us.

  2. Love this:

    “Quantitative data doesn’t tell a thing about our students. It can be used with any lens to either discredit us as professional, caring educators or to celebrate us.”

    (Mommy, mommy! When are all the robots going to go away?)

  3. This is so overlooked and underestimated. I think it is at least in part because at any given moment we are expected (and probably accustomed) to perform a number of tasks that is impossible to complete in the time we have.

    I’m working hard to SLOW DOWN, not just in my rate of speech. I want to do less and savor more in all areas of my life. We are not meant to spend our days in a frenzy. I know this is really counterculture of me to say in the face of “more better faster”. Oh well.

    As many mistakes as I made / continue to make as a teacher, I know that my students appreciate the relaxed atmosphere I try to create. It was uplifting to read the feedback / reflections they did on semester one (end of course). The critical me picks out every thing I “did wrong” “failed to do” etc. and I have to work hard to let go of that and move on, and especially to take a longer view.

    Because I most regret failing to create community in all of my groups this semester, that is my priority starting with new groups on Monday. I’m looking forward to a fresh start and to keep a constant intentional focus on building a community, celebrating each student, having fun and creating a balance of active and quiet time. Piece of cake (haha)!

    1. I’ve been thinking a lot about periodization lately because of the bodyweight workouts I’ve been doing. I think it’s really important to think about how we can work in cycles that leave time for rest and recovery within our classrooms and without. Otherwise, we will inevitably get burnt out, sick, exhausted, and depressed. Here’s to our mental health!

  4. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    For an elementary teacher, the data issue crumbles immediately.
    We can’t do timed/free writes before 4th grade (at least in my 90 min week program, I have not found the filter-raising experience of collecting mostly indecipherable scribbles worth the trouble).
    Why do we need evidence? Because that’s the accountability-obsessed culture of our schools these days.
    The district asks us to do bi-annual Cornerstone assessments, which we dutifully proctor -but they don’t tell us anything we don’t know, and are (to my mind) a huge waste of time because we have to explain the instructions in English, talk the kids off the ledge (they can smell an assessment a mile away), and we create them for success, so we only put words on them that the kids have acquired. They are not for us or for the kids, really – they are for evidence. They are, of course, all comprehension based. In the earliest grades we say a statement and the kids circle the image that corresponds (they are not used to this or any other kind of testing, so this is scary for some of them! A kid cried once!) The actual test-taking format creates lots of new comprehension barriers!
    In grades 3-4 we read an L2 story and they circle the correct facts about it in English.

    Perhaps we could have guideposts for every 200 hours of instruction? (Ah, but since my kids only see me for less than 200 hours over the course of the 4 years they’re with me, I wouldn’t have the chance to collect ANY data. Rats.

  5. Ugh. I have always hated collecting quantitative data and using it to “judge” students. It always has seemed so worthless and unfair to the students, takes a long time to create and record, and it never really seemed to help me much. I guess I have never had a good way of getting and using anything quantitative. We are REQUIRED to show student growth and document it between points in time and our evaluations are based on it. This year I used simple timed writes with word counts. The students know they aren’t graded but that it is to show growth over time. The students have been pleasantly surprised at their growth, and that each time their count is higher. It has been good to show students how much they have improved their writing…especially to the 2nd year kids that were taught with traditional methods last year and sometimes communicate that they aren’t “learning anything” (because they aren’t studying vocabulary lists and doing worksheets and taking big chapter tests). Other than that, data is bleh to me.

  6. I know this is an old topic, but I just moved to a new school where I have to put up a data wall and have to update it continually. I teach Spanish and ESL, using CI for both, and so it ends up being all about conversation! What can I use besides word counts for free writes? Any ideas would be welcome!!!

    1. I like to use an emergent word wall. I can point to the wall and say these are the word my students can use collectively.

      I had an interesting idea that I might try this next year. Have the kids see a list of high frequency words in the target language. Have them translate them into first language (if possible) and count how many they know. As the year progresses they come back to the list and add to or change words as they acquire more. I don’t know how many words they “should” know in a year since that’s arbitrary in my opinion but I think it would be easy to teach like word count and if it were growth target it could be applicable to basically all your students. Just a thought.

      1. Thanks! I could actually post it as a “See How Much We Know” wall and track those numbers maybe twice a quarter or so…that gives me something to start with! I want to sound like I know what I’m talking about when the Data Specialist comes to me and asks to see my wall.

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