This morning my team had a meeting where we were asked to fill out a survey on how our collaboration had gone this year. The questions were specifically targeted on how we get and use our data. It was a great discussion and a chance for us to reflect on exactly what we did this year that improved our instruction and in turn supported student achievement.
Every quarter in math we looked at what we knew was the hardest thing to teach based on past experience- what was going to be our most challenging concepts to try to pour into our little ones' minds. Then we developed a common pretest, gave it to our kids and checked out where they were. We analyzed the data as a team and developed a goal based on our pretest scores. From there we shared activities, challenges, ideas, and strategies that worked to help teach children the concepts. At the end we gave a post-test we developed together. Finally we brought the data together and examined how we did. What could we do to improve? What else needs to be done? What went well?
Although we'd been working on this all year it was great to have a discussion and realize that everyone truly felt that their teaching improved because of this process. We realized that although we did well in math we still have a ways to go in language arts with these assessments, but now we have vision for what we want to do next year.
I tend to geek-out over using data in the classroom and I was excited to have a momentary data-love-fest (or as close to it as we were going to get) where we got to reflect on awesomeness (and plan, of course, to be even more awesome next year).