Data-Driven Instruction Can Be Easy

By on November 14, 2016

This school year, get more scientific about your teaching instruction and see your students grow like never before.

Robert Marzano in his book Formative Assessment & Standards-Based Grading and John Hattie in Visible Learning identify teaching practices that have the highest effect size on student improvement. Feedback (.64-.90/1.0) and quality instruction (.82-1.0/1.0) were two strategies that both researchers found to have a high impact on student achievement. According to Marzano and Hattie, these two strategies lead to a 16-25% improvement in scores.

My student data this year supports Marzano and Hattie’s work. Starting with a learning target/literacy standard, I gave a short Discovery Assessment to formatively assess what my students knew about reading and analyzing poetry.

Data-driven instruction graph 1

Although the results were poor, my assessment was targeted. I wasn't overwhelmed with a huge data dump that covered dozens of standards. I was focused on only a few standards which made teaching easier. And the results were immediate!

I shared the results with my students. We went over the test and talked about what they missed. Students were engaged because my Discovery Assessment did not go into the grade book. Students knew that they had an opportunity to learn and try again. My feedback focused on what they needed to know and we celebrated where we could. This type of feedback leads to major improvement.

Data-driven instruction graph 2

Students performed better on the Progress Assessment. The test included question types from the first test and new questions based on my direct instruction. The students scored higher and started to see the bar graph display more yellow and green. We were learning! And they were motivated. 

As you can imagine, students felt better about this assessment. During this step in the process, we set goals. Each student set a growth goal based on the latest scores. I used the results from the Progress Assessment to explicitly teach what students needed to learn and reviewed concepts that students had learned. It's important to note that teachers may want to offer a few Progress Assessments before giving the Growth Assessment. I also kept the Progress Assessment out of the grade book.

For the third and final assessment, I explicitly taught what students didn’t know and we talked as a class about how to “get more green” on the bar graph. Sometimes it’s that simple. Just tell students that you want to see more green.

Data-driven instruction graph 3
 
From the Discovery Assessment to the Growth Assessment, my students improved 27%. That is amazing! 27% is just above what Marzano and Hattie predicts will happen when students receive explicit instruction and good feedback. My students were so excited to see how much they had grown. And I was pleased to see that the work we were doing was making a difference.
 
Our Assessment Tool in the LTA Classroom makes all of this possible. Once again, LiteracyTA is turning research into practice.
 
Here is our proven methodology that is built on research.
 
LiteracyTA Methodology

Get started with this amazing process in the LTA Classroom. Don't wait. Let's get students moving forward and prepared for the state literacy exams.

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We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

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