Making sense of the enormous amount of student data in any classroom or school is probably the biggest challenge we face individually and in our school communities. Here you'll find everything from one-page templates created by teachers for use in their classrooms to videos of staff teams poring over large data sets. We don't have all the answers, but we do provide tools to help you ask better questions as you evaluate students and talk about assessments with your colleagues.
Katrina Edwards looks for clues in her first-grade students’ work and conferences to help them develop more writing stamina. She analyzes her notes to develop instructional plans.
Melanie Meehan explains why a baseline assessment at the start of any writing unit is well worth the time.
Carly Ullmer shares how much her seventh-grade students learn from examining their own growth as writers with baseline, midpoint, and final assessments throughout the year.
Katie DiCesare repurposes materials for her first graders to play with, and finds that encouraging play early in the year is a great tool for building reflection skills.
Katherine Sokolowski reflects on ways to extend the learning from an end-of-year activity all the way to the fall.
Melanie Meehan shares a series of thoughtful questions to help students reflect on their process as writers, and what they need as they move into the summer and new classrooms.
Katie DiCesare shares the process of having her first graders choose their literacy goals, and her role in helping them refine goals through observation and conferring.
Katherine Sokolowski revises the weekly reflection form her fifth graders use to ensure everyone is tracking goals, progress, and expectations.
Clare Landrigan confers with a student and discovers that a tool designed to help the reader is actually hindering her learning. The experience causes her to reflect on the need for flexibility when matching strategy scaffolds to young readers.
Melanie Meehan works with fifth graders to help them create their own set of indicators of success in a writing unit.
This vivid new poem from Shirley McPhillips, explores the disconnect between exams and life.
Christopher Carlson takes on the role of observer and researcher to analyze his students' needs when it comes to test-taking skills, and enlists students in the process of reflecting on his data to implement new test-taking strategies.
Mary Lee Hahn considers how the success of any day has to integrate observations from conferring, lessons, and share sessions.
Mary Lee Hahn realizes how much a workshop approach has changed her planning process and comfort level with the unexpected.
Celebrations are the pause that refreshes between writing units for many teachers. Melanie Meehan shares suggestions for creative celebrations.
Cathy Mere shares what to look for and what to try next with young learners who are easily distracted and struggling to concentrate during independent reading.
There may be few literacy homework assignments more despised by families than the dreaded reading log. Gigi McAllister proposes some alternatives, and explains how she keeps families in the loop on reading progress.
Jennifer Schwanke explains why pop quizzes can be damaging to students by using a pop culture reference.
Katrina Edwards looked around her first-grade reading workshop one day in winter and it wasn’t a pretty picture. Many students were doing anything but reading. She develops a plan to approach the issue of time on task thoughtfully.
Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris consider the insignificance of what levels convey about young readers.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan are using reading notebook covers in ingenious ways.
What information is gathered by a teacher sitting in a rocking chair quietly watching her students? Christy Rush-Levine discover it is plenty.
Megan Skogstad shares lots of practical advice for creating and sustaining student data binders.
Melanie Meehan recommends linking goal setting to small celebrations as a great way to build community and skills at the same time.
Christy Rush-Levine finds she has to rethink learning targets for her middle school students if she wants students to pursue complex and lifelong reading goals.
Maria Caplin develops a system for helping students move beyond simple goals like noting the number of pages read.
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