Viewer Question for the week: What data can be used about students’ knowledge to help plan your lesson?
Data is important to student achievement. It presents to us what a student knows, what they should know, and what can be done to meet their academic need.
As one of the most powerful tools in the classroom, there are two forms of data that can be used to help you:
Formal data looks at standardized tests, teacher-made exams, projects, and how each student performs compared to others in his/her grade level.
Informal data focuses on group discussions, student-teacher conferences, and journal writing.
As a culturally responsive educator, it is necessary to use informal data to help plan your lessons. When thinking of data use or creating an equitable classroom, CRT falls right into the equation. Many schools around the country are making the connection between culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and data literacy — using multiple forms of data to guide instruction and improve learning outcomes for students.
“We cannot just look at numbers anymore,” Mercedes urged during our chat. “This pandemic has brought to the forefront all of the inequities with distance learning but also the systemic issues that were once in person; relationships matter more than ever when looking at that data.”
It is ideal that teachers begin to look beyond the formal data of test scores and instead create opportunities for more student-led discussions that highlight current events and whatever they are personally dealing with outside the classroom. As an example, check out the Discovery Topic, “Let’s Talk About Current Events.”