Wednesday, March 14, 2012

analyzing data

When I was first teaching and the principal would ask us to "analyze our student data," I wasn't always so sure what that meant. It wasn't until I went to get my MA that I really had explicit instruction on what that process really looked like.

In this season of assessment, you might be getting requests to analyze data. It might be standardized test data, like MAP or AimsWEB, or it could be common assessments from your team or grade level. Whatever data you are looking at, I've found the following guiding questions helpful in starting the process of analysis.
  1. What the purpose of the assessment data we are analyzing?

  • If a standardized assessment, review the test specs or search online for information about what specifically this assessment is designed to measure. 
  • If a teacher-developed assessment, list how this assessment was created and for what purpose. 
  2 What do we know as a result of examining this data?
  • List facts.
  • List quantifiable statements.
  • List statements that cannot be debated or argued about.
  3.    What do we think as a result of examining this data?
  • List what we think this tells us about what students know and can do.
  • List what we think this data suggest that students are struggling with.
  • List the kinds of instruction we think are going on.
  • List hunches we have. 
  4.    What don’t we know as a result of examining this data?
  • List information that we cannot know just by looking at the data and, therefore, should not consider in our decision.
  5.    What do we want to know as a result of examining this data?
  • List questions that we have about student performance.
  • List questions that we have about teachers' instruction.
  • Note other information we may need to look at.  
  6.    How does/will this data help us improve instruction?
  • The point of looking at data is to prepare and plan for the most effective instruction to meet student needs. List some ways we might do that.

 Do you have a framework to help you analyze student data that works for you?

Adapted from Moran, M. C. (2007). Differentiated Literacy Coaching. ASCD.


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