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Using data to drive instruction

posted Mar 3, 2017, 1:10 PM by Amy Bebell

February break is an excellent opportunity for us teachers to catch up on understanding the assessment data we have collected in our classes. Last week, I used part of my vacation week to dig into the NWEA scores from the fall and winter and look for growth trends to help inform my instruction. Overall, 4th and 5th graders made gains in math and reading, which tells me and Mrs. Tapley that the work that we are doing with our classes is on the right track. But on average, the students’ progress on the language NWEA test has stalled. This tells me that I need to put more effort into helping students to increase their time and focus on writing, spelling, and vocabulary.


Going into the spring, some strategies I plan to use in class include:

  • Spending more instructional time on writing conventions and and giving students time for focused practice while working on writing pieces and on iXL. Specifically, I plan on setting aside at least 10 minutes each day to practice targeted skills and then helping students apply those skills in their other assignments.
  • Meeting weekly to collaborate with Mrs. Tapley and Ms. Nawrot. We will pull our individual strengths as language arts teachers together so that we may best meet the needs of all writers in grades 4-8.
  • Increasing expectations on students’ individual progress in the vocabulary program by setting goals for students to meet each vocabulary week (they alternate with spelling weeks) and sharing progress with parents.
  • Continuing to individualize spelling practice to meet the needs of each student. Currently, almost every student in the class is studying spelling words that are at least one year above grade level.
  • Giving students more time to write a variety of writing pieces, including narrative writing, opinion and persuasive pieces, and informational writing.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions about my classes or your children’s progress. I am generally available to talk before or after school or between 11-12:00.

Mrs. Bebell

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