Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celebrating Success from Data Driven Instruction

My school district recently implemented Professional Learning Communities (PLC's) and the data teams process for incorporating data driven instruction.  In the first three months of school we have had many successes as we focus on improving student learning.  Liz Calleja is one of our new data coaches for the school district and recently shared in a district newsletter some successes her data team had experienced.  I wanted to share this on my blog because you can feel the excitement in her post.  Schools implementing PLC's know it is hard work.  Our teachers are putting in many ours of deep reflection and learning to improve their practice and learning outcomes for all students.  They deserve to be celebrated and so I am posting this one success here, but there are many other successes occurring every day.  Thank you to the teachers of Del Norte County Unified School District for jumping in to this intensive and important work.

Guest post from Liz Calleja, Data Coach:

Celebrating Successes by Liz Calleja, Data Coach
There has been much success in our Data Teams.  Vertical teams present their own unique challenges and rewards.  Kindergarten and 1st grade have elected to work together to form a data team.  To start the year K/1 had the largest variety of baseline assessments to work from out of the K-8 groups.  We were amazed to analyze not just the deficits within the assessments, but a major deficit of assessment was also found.  There was no reading comprehension assessment in the K/1 DPA.  This team decided that because learning to read is one of the main charges of K-2 we needed to craft a new assessment.  We unpacked alike K and 1st reading comprehension standards.  From this we created a Common Formative Assessment (CFA) on Key Details of reading comprehension for stories.  We were blown away when the results came back and we had the majority of students Far Below Basic (FBB)!!!  In the five weeks that we spent on the first cycle of this goal we improved the proficiency from an average of FBB in 1st grade to an average of proficient.  Kindergarten went from FBB to Basic on this first grade standard!  From doing the pre-assessment it shed some light on our instructional work.  All the teachers on the team in October agreed - kids understand character!  They know Spiderman and Princesses.  We were shocked to see that most our students scored FBB on character.  The academic vocabulary tripped them up!  Our instructional strategies changed knowing this information.  During Step 6 (Monitor and Evaluate), in November, we created another CFA based on informational text key details.  We had to really go deep when unpacking standards the standards again, to clearly define the two types of reading students need to recognize text structure of, fiction and nonfiction.  This is implicit not explicit in the standards.

Another great success is shown with the flexibility of the teachers to get a CFA that fits the learning need.  The 4/5/6 team was working on itembank to adjust the CFA.  The goal is based on identifying structural patterns found in text.  The first CFA we created assessed the multiple types of text structures.  Upon evaluation we decided to narrow the focus to just compare/contrast.  This is more specific and attainable.  Itembank, however, didn't have enough options to create an appropriate assessment on that one piece of the standard.  (The answer to every related question was compare/contrast!)  We ended up deciding to use a Study Island test and a teacher on the team put it in Illuminate Education [our data management system] so we could easily access reports.  This creative collaboration among our teachers is what will facilitate the best student learning.

Lastly, I would like to point out the importance of analyzing the performance bands on Illuminate Education.  One team was struggling to create an instructional plan for the FBB group.  When we looked closely, the range within this group was too broad.  There were kids ranging from 0-59% all lumped into the FBB group.  We have decided to adjust the performance bands; 90-100% Advanced, 70-89% Proficient, 60-69% Basic, 40-59% Below Basic, 0-39% Far Below Basic.  This will allow for a more accurate instructional plan based on student performance bands.

K/1 Comprehension (Key Details) Baseline/Results Indicator SR & MK Combined Data

Early October 2012
Group
# Students
Character (1)
Setting (2)
Problem (1)
Solution (1)
Total (5)
School 1- Kindergarten
14
0
0
0
0
0/70
School 1-1st grade
16
0
1
7
6
14/80
School 2- Kindergarten
25
3
0
14
2
19/125
School 2- 1st grade
24
1
0
16
11
28120
Totals
79 scores
4/79
1/158
37/79
19/79
61/395

Early Nov 2012
Group
# Students
Character (1)
Setting (2)
Problem (1)
Solution (1)
Total (5)
School 1- Kindergarten
11
8
9
5
6
28/55
School 1- 1st grade
13
13
14
12
6
45/65
School 2- Kindergarten
27
18
16
16
24
74/135
School 2- 1st grade
25
22
36
20
12
90/125
Totals
76 scores
61/76
75/152
53/76
48/76
237/380


Enjoy the small successes!