Data Conversation Forum

Picture of Kathleen Davidson
Data Conversation
by Kathleen Davidson - Friday, May 18, 2012, 11:39 AM

Al and I brought very different data for our discussion.  I brought pre and midterm reading assessments and he brought a summative unit test for his history class.  Our conversation started mostly on the surface level.  We looked at how many students were proficient and how many were not.  I had to explain that proficient for the ACT assessment is different than what DataDirector believes to be proficient. From there we looked at what the test is telling us.  From looking at my assessment I know that my students struggle most with inference type questions. That means that during my last unit for English 3 I need to really emphasize with my students how to approach these questions and uncover the underlying answers.  While Al did a summative assessment he can still use his data while moving into his next unit.  By looking at his data he saw that there were a few questions that most students struggled with.  Now that he knows that he can go back and readdress this topic in a new way with his next unit.  Our conversation went really smooth.  I didn't think we really encountered any roadblocks.

When it comes to having data conferences with administrators I always feel prepared when I go in.  I bring with me serveral different assessments that give data for different goals I have set for my classes.  That data reflects what we do in the classroom and also where I need to make improvements as a teacher. The administrator does have questions that they bring to the meeting to start the conversation which is good because sometimes it is difficult to start in on such a big topic.  One thing that they do ask in the conference is what you can learn from your data and how does that affect your classroom.  I think that it is important as teachers that we come to these conferences with more than just data.  We need to look at what the data is telling us.  Do we need to change what we are doing in order for students to really understand what we are teaching or are they already understanding? How can we alter these lessons so that they work better next time? I think that this is an issue that professional development would really help with.