Data, oh data, why do you matter?

Posted: February 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

In our current TAP cluster cycle we are looking at data driven decisions.  Where does data fit into our classrooms?  What questions can we derive from data?  Does data have a home in our school?

I can honestly say that I look at data as a calculator in a math class.  It is there if you need it, but not to be the end-all-be-all.  We need to know how to use data, when we should use data, and if we even need data to make a decision.  Just like I tell me Algebra 2 students, it is not a wheelchair for you to ride around in.  Your calculator is just a walking boot when you sprain your ankle (okay I have a class full of jocks…they get it).

I need to look at compiling and analyzing data in my Geometry and Algebra 2 class, but my Algebra Enrichment class is so adaptive to being data driven.  First, they take Acuity as a predictive assessment on the Indiana ECA.  I can run reports, look at weakness of individual students or even the class as a whole.  Then there is Aleks, where I can pull up an individualized chart to see in what areas students are struggling.  Though I can do an entire class, there are so many topics in Aleks, I would need to know what I am looking for exactly.  I also see value in SBG and the ability to look at data with our weekly quizzes.  Are student progressing, are they passing at a consistent rate, etc.

We talked about barriers today too, but I have drank the kool-aid and see value in compiling, analyzing, and implementing decisions based upon data.  Find my students weaknesses, and the weaknesses in my lessons.  By doing that, I can be a better teacher.

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