What I use to help me make Data Driven Decisions

I was wrapping up my post-observation meeting with my principal and data came up. He asked, “How did I come to the decision to teach what I did?”

So, I pulled out a copy of my Assessment Data Analysis. I love LOVE using this form. {Catch the video to see how I fill it out and grab your own copy.}

The cool thing about this form is the power, control, and guidance it gives you over your data.  It is also open-ended enough to use any pre-assessment you want. Well, within reason. 

The data I used was from my Orton-Gillingham groups, their most recent pre-test from my Phonics Progress Monitoring. I assessed them using the Short Vowel Mixed Digraphs

This Phonogram Progress Monitoring can be used as a Pre and Post assessment.

Perfect for:
  • Teacher Evaluations
  • RTI/MTSS Body of Evidence
  • Monitoring Progress of Intervention groups
  • Mirco IEP Goal Progress

Assessment Data Analysis 

This Data Analysis is perfect for RTI/MTSS interventions and Special Education groups or if you have to provide data as part of the teacher evaluation–like me. Bonus administrators love it as you have your thinking right there on paper.

I use this ALL the time. I keep it in each group's binder. This doesn't replace IEP goal progress monitoring but it gets me out of the weeds. I think most of us in Special Education we get caught up in the microdata a little too much and forget to come up for air.

This form allows me to see the group data from a balcony view. Just like my Phonic Progress Monitoring--I can break down where a student is struggling and differentiate my lesson to target more nonsense words or more sentence fluency work or more controlled contented text.

I love that I can catch any misconceptions right from the beginning and not later as I address vowel confusions.

This year part of my professional goal has been to find a way to track growth/mastery using Orton-Gillingham to make having grade-level skill carry-over conversations easier.  I don't know about you but my classroom teachers they like to see the data before they make decisions. [I love this as this has been a HUGE RTI and intervention push!!]

I used my Phonics Progress Monitoring Tool.

A couple of important things about my Phonics Progress Monitoring tool 

  1. Yes–I use an Orton-Gillingham scope & sequence to provide explicit phonics instruction to my student education goals but it’s TOTALLY OKAY if you don’t. It will still HELP you determine if students have mastered the phonics phonogram in question. 
  2. It will work with ANY phonics scope and sequence--from Core to Special Education
  3. This product is bottomless and growing--grab your before it grows

(click on the picture to get your free copy)

How to Fill out the Assessment Data Analysis

This video will show you how I filled out the form using my Phonics Progress Monitoring Tool but it can be used with any assessment.

Pick an assessment that can be used as a pre-test or baseline and something that is short-lived. Like your next math unit on double-digit addition or subtraction, or next grammar unit or your next phonics unit. Unit quizzes work–just pull something towards the end of the unit or subject. This will help you establish a baseline on most if not all of the standard you will be teaching. (I try to keep mine to either a page or less than 10 questions.)

To use this form you don’t need to have multiple teachers using it.

Give the assessment and grade.

Establish and define Mastery. AKA: what’s that score that tells you the student’s “got it.” (Most of the time I go with 80% but it depends on the skill. For my phonics work, I establish mastery at 90%.) Write down whatever you decide. It will not change for this round.

Starting on the Pre-Assessment side: fill out the date, Unit and Standard(s), Length of the unit (I have found making this less than 5 days sets everyone up.), and Big Ideas.

Moving down the form: add teacher(s) name, the total number of students who took the assessment, the number and percent of students proficient and higher, and the number and percent of students not proficient. 

The last three boxes will have student names. This is where you need to know your students and the material that is going to be taught.

First of the last three: write down the names of the student(s) who will likely be proficient by the end of the instructional time meaning those students who are close to proficient. 

In the second to last box write the names of the student(s) likely to be proficient by the end of instructional time but who have far to go. 

In the last box, write the names of students who will likely not be proficient by the end of the instructional time. These students will need extensive support. 

Let me show you how I make this work with a group of students I provide explicit phonics instruction too. 

Using this form to make data decisions will help you move your students. Remember: Data doesn't judge. It is what it is. Yes, even my data sucks but it is also a place to start. When I do progress monitoring, I always have someone who asks if it's a test. My answer is always the same. "No. It tells me what we need to work on. What do I need to do to help you." 

This is one way to look at data. I'd love to hear how you look at your data.

Chat soon,

PS. Make sure to grab a FREE sample.



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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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