Driven by Data
We all have sat in the staff meetings where your administration wants to see you showing progress and congratulating students on their achievement levels. Some schools require it even! When I first started teaching I wanted to showcase each one of my students – but… that didn’t work. Why??? Because I had over 120 students at the time! It was exhausting to say the least. After the first semester it fell to the waist side as I was too preoccupied with other more important things to accomplish than a focus wall.
I had to rethink the effort involved BUT still maintain a Data Wall for when an admin does those pesky walkthroughs or any evaluation for that matter. This is where I got the idea! “DRIVEN by DATA” is where I wanted to showcase my students scores and growth. You can use a plethora of different statistics to draw references from but I chose quarterly grades and pre- and post-test scores.
Since I am a math teacher I wanted to also show two different formats of graphs to really hone in on the growth model! My middle school students can readily read line graphs and histograms. Therefore, I felt those two options were the right choices. When I get into Box Plots, I might throw one out in order to really highlight the statistics within that unit. This may also bring to light my high achievers and low achievers. Be careful though, you don’t want to label the points with specific student names!
|My 1st Period Class is definitely in the lead during Quarter 1 with an average grade of 89.5%!
To keep your low achieving students thinking about the end in mind, I wanted to also have simple visual aids that remind them how to stay focused! The three motivational signs that are included really pinpoint some tips to kick them into gear and rev their engines!
|One of the three Motivational Traffic Signs
This is Bulletin Board is super easy to create but such an effective way to display your data while keeping your sanity! After each test, I take the average for all my classes to create the Bar Graphs from. Every year, the first few days we take a pre-test, this gives me an idea where my students are starting at and what knowledge they are lacking in terms of prerequisite skills.
For the Line Graphs, the data comes from averages for the overall grades. I use this as a Classroom Challenge, the class with the overall highest grade point average after four quarters recieves an ice cream party and we call it the “Pit Stop before Summer” End of Year Party!
Back to Bulletin Board, both styles of graphs require very little effort to maintain BUT it always gives off impressive looks and provides me with quality feedback from my administration. Now, you can be “Driven by Data” using this Focus Wall with your classroom! Plus – You don’t have to teach math to use it! It is very versatile and can fit well into any classroom! The traffic and race car theme is something that I enjoy because I always welcome my students with my Welcome banner of “RACING into the SCHOOL YEAR!”
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|Driven by Data Bulletin Board
I hope you enjoy using data properly and without the fuss that many focus walls require! Have a great school year and I hope you make a PIT STOP during SUMMER too!