Tag Archives: data

#SOL18: March 25


My most popular blog post is “Lexile Level is NOT Text Complexity CCSS.R.10” and it looks like this.  It’s almost five years old so it’s time to revisit and reflect on what we now know about “Text Complexity”.


Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 4.01.14 PM


It’s not surprising that these three very different texts could have similar lexile levels.   Lexiles are all about the quantitative features of text complexity.

Here’s what a google search for “lexiles” turns up.


Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 4.07.48 PM.png

Retrieved from google.com 3.24.18


1.7 million results

And the first one says ” matching readers with texts” . . .

Is that really the goal?

This ASCD publication, excerpted from A Close Look at Close Reading, asks you to rank these six elementary texts to determine their order.  What do you think? How would that ranking look?

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Volcanoes: Nature’s Incredible Fireworks
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Martin’s Big Words
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

What are you thinking? 

How would you rank these?

Which is #1? Which is #6?

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Volcanoes: Nature’s Incredible Fireworks
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Martin’s Big Words
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

A favorite source that I like to use to evaluate text complexity is TeachingBooks.net   Do you know it?  Have you used it?  There is no cost.  Not all titles are always found but they also accept teacher ratings in order to complete their data sets.

According to TeachingBooks.net, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has the highest lexile level. (Volanoes:  Nature’s Incredible Fireworks does not have a lexile level available.)  The actual rating from the site looks like this and places it between third and fifth grade.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 4.52.44 PM.png


Would you say that Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the most complex text of the six listed?

Lexiles are only the quantitative measure – one of three measures of text complexity.  The other two are Qualitative Measures and the Reader and Task and all three are EQUAL by the definition.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 at 5.09.24 PM.png


What resources are you using for text complexity? 

How are all three parts included? 

When does text complexity REALLY matter?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016


It’s really not about always working with HARD texts.  When we want to plan a series for instruction, we want a range of texts that students can work with that increases in complexity so that we know they can do that work.  We need to have our “best guesses” confirmed. And sometimes, we need to know that the emotional and content load of the passage is appropriate for the age/grade.  There’s no one single factor that makes text selection easy.  It’s a combination of many factors, including student choice, that needs to be part of the consideration when applying “text complexity” tools!

The results according to TeachingBooks.net

Screenshot 2018-03-25 at 1.38.38 AM

Lexile.com suggests these grade levels . . .

Screenshot 2018-03-25 at 1.44.07 AM

It’s complicated!

 

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#SOL18: March 23


Do they?  Do they not?

Yesterday’s post was a poem about drivers using their turn signals (here).

Data time.  Do note that this was raw data collected while driving.  Not verified. Perhaps not 100% accurate. Tally marks on the back of an envelope.

Who was the best/worst at using their turn signals when driving?

Truck drivers? 

Other car drivers? 

Me – who was complaining? 

Your predictions before reading further . . .   

And the envelope of data that has been kept on Funk and Wagnall’s front porch . . . hermetically sealed . . .

Truck Drivers Changing Lanes

Screenshot 2018-03-23 at 6.27.38 AM

Car Drivers Changing Lanes

Screenshot 2018-03-23 at 6.29.25 AM.png

Me – Driving and Changing Lanes

21 / 23 times  = 91.3%

Who was the best on Friday at using turn signals during this two hour sample?

Not I, but the truck drivers.  I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that it was a smaller sample.  And I was surprised as I was expecting other car drivers to be at 2% or less due to recent driving experiences when I know that no one used turn signals.  Are tally marks the best recording device?  Perhaps not, but they can verify or eliminate an initial hypothesis . . . and lead one to a different question or data collection method!

What data are you collecting today? 

How will you collect it? 

How will you display it?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL18: March 20


 

Productivity

Reflection

Time

Writing

How much writing?

Time

Reading

How much reading?

What works?

What doesn’t?

The best thing about March is the #SOL Story Challenge.  This is my fifth year of writing every day in March. But it felt different somehow.  I was writing daily and yet something seemed like I was swimming uphill, because I was actually writing less.  This led to a quick writing log where I kept track of my writing patterns on a calendar. Here’s the basic summary of my data.

Writing Time

SOL – March

5-6:30 am Monday – Friday

250 – 500 words

Slicing and Commenting

Some days only a slice

The whole point of data is to USE it.  So as a result of “confirming my belief” that even though I was writing every day, my writing time was also being consumed by SOL reading and commenting. My response:  I moved my own slicing time to the evenings to draft and ready my post for the next day. I moved my commenting to intermittent times during the day and met some new slicers and regained my productivity.

March Slicing  Time

Writing Time

After 8 pm for the next day

Drafting & pre-setting publication time

Regained Writing Time 5- 6:30

250 – 400 words

Noted more revision & pre-planning across the day

What data do you collect about your own writing or reading?

Is it formative?  Is it summative?

How do you really use it to make decisions?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL17: Revising Writing with Data


Screenshot 2017-08-22 at 11.17.55 AM

First Day

The bus turns the corner and I check once more to see that everything is in my car.  One picture down although it’s kind of gloomy and there is no sunshine on this auspicious day.

The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “Smile, just one more picture!”  He takes three steps, turns, and looks as I snap the photo and then he resumes his journey up the steps.

I’m sure it’s blurred, I think as tears stream down my cheeks. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat in the third row behind his friends.

He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window. The driver looks down, closes the door, and the bus lumbers down the road.

I hop in my car because it’s just five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture. It’s 1995, The First Day of School, and there are no digital pictures.




Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 12.17.43 PM.png

Dear Reader,

If this story felt familiar, you are absolutely correct.  This is a revised version of a “slice” posted on August 22nd here.

Which version do you like best – the revision above or the original posted in August?  And why? 

Continue to think about those two posts on the same topic as I explain . . . 




I found this really cool tool, SAS Writing Reviser, that can be added to google documents to help writers revise and strengthen their written work.  I wanted to put the tool to the test so I pulled up several documents and tested it out.

It was TOO much!

So then I had the brilliant idea of taking an “old slice” and checking out the data prior to a revision.  I really wanted to “test out” the theories that were already rolling around in my brain!




 

Data

My data.

My numbers.

My information to review, consider the implications, revise . . . or not!

I control my use of it.  I am headed straight to the statistics. (No starting at the beginning for me!)

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.53.25 AM

What do I find interesting?  

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 12.12.01 PM.png

The 27 sentences with an average sentence length of 7 words and where 12 are listed as simple sentences was a big surprise.  But I’m not yet sure what I am looking at.  So more data is needed.

Sentence Length Bar Chart

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 10.00.49 AM

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.59.07 AM

Confused?

The pop up box allows a limited view of the work so two screenshots were necessary!

Three sentences have 0 words.

What does that mean?

More.Data.PLEASE!

Sentence List

  1. The bus turns the corner.
  2. My last check to see that everything is in my car.
  3. One picture down.
  4. It’s kind of gloomy.
  5. No sunshine for this auspicious day.
  6. The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.
  7. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “
  8. Smile!
  9. Just one more picture!”
  10. He takes three steps, turns, and looks.
  11. I snap the photo.
  12. He starts up the steps.
  13. I’m sure it’s blurred.
  14. Tears stream down my cheeks.
  15. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.
  16. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat.
  17. Third row.
  18. Behind his friends.
  19. He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.
  20. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.
  21. The driver looks down.
  22. Closes the door and the bus lumbers down the road.
  23. I hop in my car.
  24. Five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.
  25. It’s 1995.
  26. The First Day of School.
  27. No digital pictures.

The title and sourcing information of the document was included in sentence 1 making that count over 25 words so that’s helpful information for future analyses.  The writing reviser is good.  It checks all written work, even the words and sentences that I have added to my working google doc.  Only two sentences were originally in the length range expected for essays.

And my mind is whirling with possible uses for this sentence list

for revision and editing purposes.

Hmmm . . .  Is it a formatting issue?

I have one sentence consisting of just one word that really looks like at least a negative number on the chart (8).  Two bars hit the “0” exactly and those seem to be the two sentences with two words ( 17, 25).  So the visual representation in the Sentence Length Bar Chart seems to be off.  Just seeing the sentences listed out verifies that I do have a lot of short sentences.  

Draft Thinking

What if I were to change the length of sentences?  Or even to put in a run on sentence or two, deliberately, for effect?  Those are choices that I could make as a result of reviewing all three pieces of data under the support tools. (leaving four other choices totally off the grid at this time)

Revision Statistics

 

Check out the statistics for the Revision. The Writing Reviser provides a side by side comparison of the original and the revision, but that didn’t work when I kept it totally separate in my Google doc so that I could “keep” the versions separate.

Statistics – Revision

Revision areas                                       Preliminary   Current

  • Words                                                            206
  • Sentences                                                        14
  • Paragraphs                                                       5
  • Average sentence length                              14
  • Possible wordiness                                          1
  • Prepositional phrases                                    18
  • Passive voice                                                     2
  • Relative clauses                                                0
  • Simple sentences                                              2
  • Possible sentence fragments                          1
  • Possible run-on sentences                               5
  • Subject-verb sentence openings                   11
  • Prepositional phrase sentence openings      0
  • Dependent clause sentence openings           0
  • Words used more than once                         33
  • Weak verbs                                                         9
  • Present tense verbs                                         30
  • Past tense verbs                                                 1
  • Cliches and jargon                                             0
  • Possible vague words                                       1
  • Possible pronoun problems                           11
  • Possible dangling modifiers                             0
  • Possible misplaced modifiers                          3
  • Areas to check for parallelism                         8

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 10.35.54 AM.png

Sentence List

  1. The bus turns the corner and I check once more to see that everything is in my car.
  2. One picture down although it’s kind of gloomy and there is no sunshine on this auspicious day.
  3. The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.
  4. I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended. “
  5. Smile, just one more picture!”
  6. He takes three steps, turns, and looks as I snap the photo and then he resumes his journey up the steps.
  7. I’m sure it’s blurred, I think as tears stream down my cheeks.
  8. This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.
  9. I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat in the third row behind his friends.
  10. He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.
  11. Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.
  12. The driver looks down, closes the door, and the bus lumbers down the road.
  13. I hop in my car because it’s just five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.
  14. It’s 1995, The First Day of School, and there are no digital pictures.

RESULTS:

Data confirmed that the visual bars are not correct as my shortest sentence is five words (5) and it looks to be about 4 words on the graph above.  Now eight of the 14 sentences are within the expected range or above according to the graph.

Do the numbers tell the whole story? The average sentence length in this version (14) is almost in the bottom of the range expected for an essay (15 to 20). In order to have longer sentences, I combined several so the second version has 14 instead of 27 sentences where now only two (down from 12, YAY!) are listed as simple sentences.  

What data do you find interesting?

What data would you give more credence to?

What data would you ignore?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016




The rest of the story:

My vote is for my original slice because:  a) the juxtaposition of the actions and my thinking as well as the varying sentence lengths, and b) the way it sounded when I read it out loud. The data and the Writing Reviser has great possibilities for students writing essays and informational texts.  I think the utility for narratives needs further exploration.

#SOL15: More Questions than Answers


So the data is in, now what?

Progress Monitoring and Intervention requirements are set by the system.

But how to focus?

What do students REALLY need?

What questions will help the teachers move forward?

How can we organize the data to use it?

Here is my thinking.

We have all this data from the screener used three times a year.

Step One:  What if I put student names into the boxes so I can “see” who the students are that both did and did not meet the benchmark criteria? I plan to also record the score after the name so I can see those students who just made the benchmark and those who maxed out that part. Similarly, I can see those students who just missed the benchmark and those who are farther out from the targets.

grade 1 data sort

Correction to Chart Above – Nonsense Words – Fall = 9, Winter = 15, Spring = 20

Grade 1 FAST TIER Data Sort

Step Two:  So what?

Should I use “Messy Sheets” to triangulate the data and look for patterns?  You can learn about “messy sheets” in the preview of Clare and Tammy’s Assessment in Perspective available here or in my post here.

Because this was a screener, there is no additional information about student performance/miscues.

What if we begin by looking at just the Sight Words subtest?

(Thinking about the fact that sight words, AKA snap words or heart words, drain time and brain power when a student has to stop and attempt to sound out “said” on every page of the book.)

What if we provide some instruction and begin to look for patterns in response to instruction?

Which students are successful?  

Which students are on target for the end of the year goals?

Does EVERYONE in the class need some work with sight words?

ONE way to sort this out might be to begin with the whole class.

blog one

Hmm . . . This adds more detail and now I am considering more than “red, green” and “does or does not meet the benchmark”.

But is this more helpful?

blog two

What do the students in the group scoring from 0-10 on sight words need?

Is it the same as those students in the 11-20 group?

Is there a difference in intensity for the interventions?  Frequency? Total time?  What will really close the gap and get the students on a trajectory to close the gap?

How do ALL students get what they need in order to continue making progress?

Are there some commonalities that ALL students may need?

questions

How do you handle this dilemma – When your data just causes more questions?

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Professional Development Model



Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsey for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

 

What is professional development?

Does your answer include a focus on student needs to drive decision-making, and student learning as the basis on which professional development is planned, implemented and evaluated?  If your answer also includes a focus on Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, please keep reading.  Leadership is also an important principle of professional development, whether it be the instructional leadership of the principal or the teachers within the building.  Simultaneity is another important principle to continue as no one action in school improvement occurs in a vacuum. Participative Decision Making would be a final principal for ongoing sustained professional development designed to improve student learning.

 

Do those principles sound familiar?

In Iowa, they form the chevron at the top of the Iowa Professional Development graphic pictured here.

Iowa PD Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the core beliefs in this model?

o All students can learn.
o The purpose of professional development is to increase student achievement.
o Professional development should be collective learning by all teachers and administrators with an emphasis on improving instruction.

The cycle of professional development includes many familiar steps:

  • Collecting/Analyzing Student Data
  • Goal Setting and Student Learning
  • Selecting Content
  • Designing a Process for Professional Development
  • and a mini-cycle that includes Training/learning opportunities; Collaboration/implementation; and Ongoing Data Collection/formative assessment
Cycles – Training/Learning, Collaboration, Formative Assessment . . . . .

With a focus on tight alignment between curriculum, instruction, and assessment, this model parallels many Professional Learning Community cycles including the functions of data teams.  The “name of the organizing framework” is not nearly as important as checking to ensure that all elements are present within any professional learning group!  Leadership needs to focus on how and when collaborative time can be provided so teachers can work together. The training includes modelling and gradual release of responsibility as the participants take over the leadership role.

Additional ideas from the Iowa Professional Development Model include:

To be able to transfer new learning into the classroom, teachers need multiple opportunities to see demonstrations, plan together, work out problems, rehearse new lessons, develop materials, engage in peer coaching, and observe each other.

Often, learning opportunities need to be interspersed with classroom practice so that questions that arise from early implementation efforts can be responded to in a timely manner.

. . participants are provided with multiple demonstrations of the teaching strategies within the model . . .[and] multiple
opportunities to practice the teaching behaviors. . .
Professional development must be designed to be sustained over time. The initiative must be designed to last until implementation data indicate that the teachers are implementing accurately and frequently and student performance goals are met. (Joyce and Showers, 1983, 2002; NSDC, 2001; Odden, et al., 2002; Wallace, LeMahieu, and Bickel, 1990.)  https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/IPDM_Guide.pdf

 

What elements are part of your professional development?
How do you know when your professional development model is really effective?  
How do you know when it is NOT effective?

April Showers and April Data Dump


slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

Image

April Showers have been devastating in many regions of the United States this week.  Equally devastating is the April Data Dump that is happening in many schools across the United States.  Are you drowning in data?

Image

How many of these pieces of data have you accumulated for each of your students?

 

  • National Assessments
  • Local Assessments
  • Benchmark Assessments 
  • MAP 
  • STAR Reading 
  • STAR Math
  • NWEA 
  • Accelerated Reader Tests
  • Unit Tests
  • Screeners
  • Formative Assessments
  • Book Logs
  • Rubrics
  • Checklists
  • Running Records
  • Observations

Do you have others that are not on the list?  Does each piece of data match up and tell the same story or is there a dissonance from conflicting data including the student’s work in the classroom during reading or writing workshop?  What is the role of data in instruction?

Which assessments REALLY inform your instruction?
What do you change, today, in your instruction as a result of your assessment data?
How do you make a mid-class period correction to ensure every student is learning?

When you have data collected, it needs to be organized and then it needs to be USED to inform instruction. This sounds simple but additional ideas about data are shared by Brianna Friedman at her blog entitled “Adventures in Staff Development” and more specifically in her February 18th post, “What Does the Data Say?”  In today’s slice, Jana tells a story from the view of teachers reviewing the data in “Data Review – – Evaluation or Judgement?”

The number of days left in this school year are finite.  If you are counting those days, my hope is that you have set your end goal targets and are counting the days in order to allocate precious, finite resources that will help all students reach the targets. Every minute, hour, and day is an opportunity for student learning!  

How are you utilizing data to inform instruction and maximize student learning in order to meet your end of the year goals?

 

 

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