Tag Archives: Messy Sheets

#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?


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


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