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.
Heather Rader considers how to assess the effectiveness of groups.
Michelle Kelly has an unique problem: what to do with readers who already exceed the standard. With grace and good instruction in mind, she considers alternative assessments.
Heather Rader has advice for literacy coaches looking for honest appraisals of their work from colleagues.
Heather Rader wants to transition to more of a guide-on-the-side role as she coaches colleagues. Here are some simple strategies she uses to move offstage during collaborative scoring workshops.
Knowing our most sophisticated professions use checklists to get it right, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share and explain checklists that work well for students.
How can teachers connect thoughtful literacy workshops with test preparation? Patrick Allen has suggestions in this podcast.
Heather Rader writes about "agency" – the challenge of letting students and teachers take charge of their learning. In concrete examples from a third-grade classroom and a professional development scoring session with teachers, Heather shares the subtleties of learning to trust, wait, and celebrate when learners of any age are responsible and independent.
As the data pours in throughout the year, it’s hard to keep a sense of balance and purpose. Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan chat with Franki Sibberson in this podcast about data and balance.
Ruth Shagoury provides tips and strategies for analyzing language in the classroom.
Audrey Alexander takes a close look at a couple of the students in her self-contained resource room, and finds the observations renew her flagging energy.
Two teachers are disappointed in student assessment results, but they have very different approaches to tackling the problem. Heather Rader shares her role as a mentor in assisting her colleagues.
Kindergartners may be too young for reading interviews early in the fall, but Mandy Robek finds spring reading interviews are an excellent bridge to families and summer reading suggestions.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain how literacy coaches can validate and support teachers by helping them refine their classroom notetaking skills.
What can we learn by listening closely to children? Plenty — Andie Cunningham shares insights from seven minutes with a young English language learner.
Research, decide, and teach – Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan use Lucy Calkins’ wise advice in assessment conferences with children.
If you’re considering guided reading groups in your kindergarten classroom, you’ll want to read Mandy Robek’s advice for getting started and keeping track with a simple planning and assessment form.
The draft stamp is a simple tool for tracking and accountability, no matter the age of the learner.
If you are familiar with Wordle, you already know it is a great free tool on the web for creating “word clouds” – visual representations of language. Heather Rader uses Wordle in her literacy coaching to give new and veteran teachers a succinct and powerful visual representation of their teaching language.
Teachers value the assessment of student skills and needs that come from close observation in classrooms, but may not know how to focus those observations. Ruth Shagoury documents some of those behaviors that put students on the path of becoming accomplished independent readers in a middle school classroom.
Is there a great divide in your classroom between numerical data from assessments and your anecdotal notes? Cathy Mere bridges the gap with her class reading grid, a nifty tool for recording and analyzing a whole classroom’s worth of student assessment data on one page. A template is included.
Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan have ideas for staying motivated while analyzing data. If you’re drowning in assessments, there are a few lifelines in this piece.
Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan discuss ways teachers can get the most out of any assessment data collected early in the year, moving beyond numbers for insights into how to structure and target instruction.
Literacy leaders are spending more and more time organizing, compiling, and storing assessment data, often leaving little time to analyze the findings with teachers.Â Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain the value of enlisting tech support to assist with the data load.
Using data to make wise decisions about students who are struggling is one of the most important tasks in schools. In this series, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan take you through the process of linking data to instruction plans in intervention programs.
How can teachers use assessment data in conferences with parents, without overwhelming them with information? Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan recommend a "data snippets" approach.
Jennifer Allen provides some prompts for staff discussions about Response to Intervention to help you connect long-term goals and beliefs with short-term strategies.
What does formative assessment look like in practice? Katie DiCesare shares her assessment insights in these brief case studies of two first-grade students.
How can we help students be more reflective in our classrooms, giving us the feedback we need to make them better places for learning? Heather Rader has suggestions.
Cathy Mere reminds us that the excitement of facing new students is always tempered and enriched by the lessons from last year’s students we carry with us.
A curriculum coordinator loves DIBELS; a first-grade teacher doesn't. We provide a range of suggestions from our contributors on dealing with disagreements over assessment. This article is useful for teachers and literacy leaders who are working together with assessment data early in the year, no matter what evaluative system your school or district has in place.
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