Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Twin Tuesday: All About that Data!

Coming to ya'll hot and fresh on Wednesday (wait...isn't this Twin Tuesday?!) Let's just say the three day weekend and day of testing and chaos may have fried my brain a bit!! So we are celebrating our weekly post on Wednesday this week :)

My twinnie Nicole and I will be tackling the ever so popular topic of DATA! Because at our school we are all about that data, bout that data, and analysis!!! (all about that bass remix!) Once you see how data is used in my kindergarten, head on over to Nicole's page to see how first grade rocks it!

Map Testing: What other way to kickoff the year with twenty some kindergarteners who are trying to adjust to a full day of school without their parents than standardized testing? And to add even more fun, make it on a computer!! I kid, I kid, kind of. It seems overwhelming, but the data we are able to receive from this test is actually extremely helpful for our planning! We only take the Math portion of the NWEA map tests but I am curious to see what a kindergarten Reading test would look like! Anyway, with the data we get from the tests, we are able to look at specific skills and RIT bands that we use for our grade level math workshop groups. We have five math workshop groups, with about 15 students in each. The data we get from Map testing allows us to target one area of the the skills tested to focus on. We then look at the RIT score of the student in that particular subtest and begin placing. Now, as with everything, we also use our own personal observations and knowledge of the students to counterbalance. For example, if one of us has a student who we know can do higher level mathematics but happened to not be able to manipulate the computer, we trust our own judgement to place him into a different group, regardless of his RIT score. We meet daily for 30 minutes with our workshop group. Students can be moved flexibly depending on growth or need of support. After about 6 weeks, we put our students back into a pool and focus on a different subskill!

DIBELS: Oh how I do love me some DIBELS! I enjoy the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with my little rays and assess them. Not only do they feel confident, but they tend to be excited and driven to succeed! For beginning of the year in Kindergarten, we test for First Sound Fluency (FSF) and Letter Naming Fluency (LNF). I do find these tests helpful in my Daily Five grouping, however, they are not the set and stone way I group! I assess my kiddos throughout the week on different ELA concepts (like Heggerty, aka BLUE book, aka MY TEACHING BIBLE!) and use those along with DIBELS. As I introduce letters, sounds, sight words, and more, I am able to see where my students have individual strengths as well as where I think we could focus a little more.
*One tip for DIBELS testing: always wear a fun hat/headband so that other students know they cannot talk to you/ask questions. Works like a charm (well, 99.9% effective)*

For the beginning of the year, I don't switch my Daily Five groups too often because they are just getting started and I want to make sure our foundational skills are concrete. I do plan to switch groups every 4-5 weeks after second quarter begins so that I am able to see more student growth!

How about that Data????? There are a million other factors we look at as well as other sources of data we use, but here is the basics that we use to build our intervention and small group workshops!! Now that you see how Kindergarten uses data, head on over to Nicole's page (Beginnings With Baer) to see what things are like in 1st!!!

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