As the polar vortex is creating record lows and cities are experiencing the harshest cold in years, be certain your classroom climate doesn’t mirror this event. Instead, create or infuse a climate of JOY in your classroom as we head into the spring. Think back to a lesson you were taught in school that you still remember. What did the teacher do to make it stick?
We began the “Data Series” blog posts emphasizing the importance of daily independent practice, then explored 5 concrete steps to ensure your lessons are aligned to state standards, and most recently the 3 types of meaningful data that will help increase results in your classroom. In the latest post, the second type of data discussed was daily classroom data: data that a teacher collects during the lesson in one class period. This type often helps determine who is on track for mastering the daily objective and who needs immediate remediation. The game-changing strategy used to collect data daily is where we will end our “Data Series” posts. Educators, allow me to introduce you to Aggressive Monitoring.
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” ~Carly Fiorina, former executive, president, and chair of Hewlett-Packard Co.
Raise your hand if you use intuition and a gut feeling more often than concrete data to make decisions.
If you didn’t raise your hand and you use data to make all of your decisions, then skim the rest of this post and leave a reply at the bottom with a how-to guide so that we can all become more data-driven humans.
In Monday’s post, I stated the need for educators to engage regularly in meaningful data collection. Two beliefs and practices must be true before we dive into data: 1) Students MUST independently practice the content. 2) The daily content MUST be aligned to grade-level standards and rigor (today’s post!)
For K-12 educators, the spring semester is PACKED with state assessments, holidays, end-of-year field trips, benchmark or interim assessments (i.e., Common Assessments, NWEA, interims, STEP/Fountas & Pinnell/DRA), spring break, unit or module assessments, mid-module assessments, spring concerts or performances, and did I mention daily or final assessments?
In my weekly news email from LinkedIn, the January 1st subject read, “Teachers quitting in record numbers.” As someone who desires to be a lifelong educator but recently decided to step out of the classroom, I found myself both relating with the teachers’ perspectives and feeling discouraged with the circumstances.