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DanielVenablesDataActionModelhashadaprofoundimpactonmyteachingcareer.

ThroughtheworkIhavedonewithmyPLC(ProfessionalLearningCommunity),Iamnowon
therighttrackwhenitcomestohowtoteachmystudentsandreflectontheirunderstandingof
theCommonCoreStateStandards(CCSS).Withthismodel,myteamandmyselfwereableto
identifycriticalgapsinlearningand/orinstructionalgaps.Wecollaboratedtodevelopa
goaldrivenactionplanandintheprocessevaluatedtheeffectivenessofourplaninorderto
producethenextcourseofaction.
TheDataActionModelisseparatedintofivesteps,thefirsttwoconsistingofGathering
andReviewingData.WhenmyteamandIfirstmettoreviewdataIwasalittlenervous.Before
decidingtobecomeateacher,Iwenttoschoolwiththedesiretomajorinfinance.Itookclasses
whereIhadtomanipulateandusedataanditwasveryoverwhelming.Therefore,whenIstarted
thisprocessIwasscaredtolookatmystudentsdata.However,Venablesmadethisprocessvery

easy.Heprovidedeasytousetemplatesandprotocolstofocusanddeepenourdata
conversations.
Venablestaughtusthedifferencebetweenmacrodataandmicrodataandhowitcanbe
usedtomeasureandanalyzeourstudents.Macrodata,providesgeneralinformationabout
studentmasteryofstandardsacrosssubgroupsandindicatesoverarchingtrendsinstudent
performance.Individualskillsmastered(ornot)byindividualstudentsarelessapparent,and
almostnothingaboutthespecificinstructionthatledtostudentsperformancecanbelearnedby
examiningsuchexpansive,cumulativedataVenables(2014,pp16).Examplesofthistypeof
dataareendofcourse/CCSSassessmentsand/orscoresonunitpretests,projects,etc.
Macrodataiswellsuitedforprovidingteacherteamswiththeinformationnecessarytoaskbig
questionsabouttheirstudentslearningVenables(2014,pp18).
Ourteamdecidedtolookatourcummulativemath6preassessmentweadministeredat
thebeginningoftheschoolyear.Wechosethisassessmentbecauseitwaseasytomanipulate
andseedatabasedonvariousdemographics,andmostimportantlyalignedtoourCommonCore
curriculum.Whenlookingatourpreassessmentdata,wenoticedthatthestudentswerelowerin
theirnumbersystemskillsasopposedtootherstandardsbeingtaughtthatschoolyear.
Fromthebeginning,VenablesteachersustousetheNoticeandWonderProtocolwhen
lookingatthemacrodata.Thistoolisverysimpleandtakesawaythefeelingofbeing
overwhelmed.Welookedatthedataseparately,andcameupwithourownwonderstatements
andwrotedownthingswenoticed,beforecomingtogethertocreateanexploratoryquestions.
AnExploratoryquestion,isaquestionswhoseanswertheteacherteambelieveswill
revealusefulinformationandpointitintherightdirectionofidentifyinglearninggaps

Venables(2014,pp31).Basedonourwonderandnoticestatementswecameupwiththe
followingexploratoryquestion,Howarewepresentlyteachingfractiondivision,andhowmust
weteachandassessfractiondivisioninamannerthatisconsistentwiththeCCSSfor
MathematicalPractice?Afterdecidingonourexploratoryquestions,wehadtocontinue
lookingatcurrentdatainordertotrackandidentifygaps.
Thisiswherethemicrodatacomesintoplay.Microdataisthesmallerdata,thatprovides
theinformationnecessarytoanswerthebiggerquestionsraisedbythebigdata.Venables
(2014,pp31).ThesmallerdatawegatheredconsistedoftheQuarter1and2Benchmarks,our
yearlongcalendar,anylessonsoractivitieswetaughtonfractiondivision,anytestswecreated
onfractiondivision,andanystudentworkonfractiondivision,etc.UsingVenables,Artifact
TrackingSheet,wewereabletoseeclueswithinthemicrodatathatwouldhelpusidentifygaps.
Infact,whilereviewingthedata,wenoticedthatthemajorityoftheissueswhereonthebehalf
oftheteachers,notthestudents.
Beforegoingthroughthisprocess,Iwouldhaveblamedmystudentsand/ortheirparents
andpastteachersfortheirlackofskills.HOwever,afterworkingthroughtheArtifactTracking
Sheet,andnoticingthatalotofthestudentslearninggapswherebecauseofinstructionalgaps,
myeyeswereopened.EventhoughtherearethingsaboutmystudentsandschoolthatIcannot
control,mystudentssuccessisareflectionofme.Ihadtostepupanddomoreformystudents.
Insteadofpushingtestscorestotheside,Ihadtoreallyreflectonthemandlookatsimilarities
and/orcommonalitieswithinthedata.
Oncewereflectontheinstructionalandstudentlearninggoals,wearetocomeupwitha
goal,andspecificallyaS.M.A.R.T.goal.AS.M.A.R.T.goalisonethatisspecific,measurable,

attainable,realistic,andtimely.Inadditiontocreatingagoaltheteammustselectanassessment
theywillusetoknowthegoalhasbeenachieved.Thisprocessremindsmeofbackwards
mapping.Inbackwardsmapping,beforeIcreatelessonsand/oractivitiesformystudentsImust
createapostassessmentorsummativeassessmenttoseewhereIwantthemtogo.Venables
DataActionModel,worksinthesamewaybeforetheteamsfindslessonsand/oractivitiesto
reteachtheymustestablishagoalandcreateoruseanassessmentthatwillhelpdetermineifthe
goalhasbeenmet.
Thegoalourteamdecidedtoworkonwas,BytheendofApril80%ofthe6thgrade
interventionstudentswillbeabletodividefractionsontheassignedperformancetask,withat
least85%accuracy.Becausewestartedthisprocessfairlylateintotheschoolyear,wedecided
toreteachaconceptalreadytaughtratherthanworkonanewconceptbecausewedidnotwant
tofeelrushedtocomeupwithsomethingtoteachourstudents.Sincewewerefocusingona
conceptwetaughtpreviouslywehadmoretimetoreflectonwhatmayhavewentwrongthefirst
timearoundandtweakourinstruction.
Thenextstepintheprocesswastodevelopanactionplan.Venables(2014,pp5960)
talksabouthowthepurposeofourdataactionplanistodosomethingdifferentfromwhatwe
currentlyaredoingtoimprovestudentlearning.Inordertodothis,ourstudenthadtofind
resourcesthatwecouldusetohelpourstudentsmasterfractiondivision.Ireallylikethat
Venablespushesthatteamtodoresearchandrefinetheirteachingskills.Iftheteamteachesthe
samewaytheydidbefore,theywouldproducethesameresults.
Ourteamwantedourstudentstohavenumerousopportunitiestolearnwithoutalways
havingdirectinstructionfromusandwethoughtthewecouldusethisblendedlearningmodel

asasolutiontoourproblem.WefoundanarticleontheBlendedLearningModelspecifically
withafocusonmath,andwelearnedthatusingthismodelinourclassroomswouldgiveus
moretimeforoneononelessonsand/orprovideourstudentswithachancetoworkinsmall
groupsattheirownpace.
Theimplementationoftheactionplanisthemostimportantpartoftheprocess.As
Venablesnotes,Unlesschangeshappenattheclassroomlevel,alltheworkthePLChas
done...willlargelybeinvain(2014,71)Duringthefourweekimplementationprocess,there
werenumerousrewardsandchallenges.
Ilovedourgroupbecauseweallcomefromdifferent
backgrounds/experiencesinteachingandweallbroughtsomethingdifferenttothetable.Our
groupwashighfunctioningbecausewehadacommongoalofbuildingstudentlearningandthat
wemustbetransparentnotonlywithourselvesbutwithourstudentsinordertobeasuccess.We
alldecidedpriortoreviewingstrategieswhateachmemberwouldlookforIwasresponsiblefor
findingsourcesonline,theothermathteacherwasresponsibleforfindingsourceswithinthe
textbook,andthePDLTlookedforactivitiesthathadaliteracycomponenttoitinordertohelp
ourstudentswithwordproblems.Wegatherednumerousactivities/lessonsgearedtoward
fractiondivisionanddecidedonwhichwereofthe"highestquality".Wenoticedthatsome
activities/lessonsmayworkwellwithmyESOLandSPEDstudentsbutwouldnotbeas
beneficialwithherHonorsclasses.Therubricreallymadeusthinkaboutwhatwewereteaching
inourclassroomslikeVenablesmentioned,Itoohaveassignedaprojectwherestudentsmadeit
lookamazingbutcouldnotexplainthecontentontheirpresentation.IfeellikeIhaveawhole
newmindsetonhowtoapproachmyclassroom.

Theworkwedidwassoimpactful,thatourPDLTdecidedtodiscussreviewingdataat
ourStaffMeetingyesterday.Ireallythinkourschoolisheadedintherightdirectionwhenit
comestodata.Wecareaboutourstudentsandwantthemtobeasuccessinlifeandusingthese
meetingsandstepshelpsus(teachers/administrators)focusonwhat'simportantandwhatwould
havethemostimpactonstudentachievement.Infact,myprincipalhasdecidedtohosta
summeracademygearedtowardourESOlstudentsandwouldliketoassignthemapretestatthe
endoftheschoolyearsothatwecanplancurriculumgearedtowardstheirneeds!
Ithinkmybiggestchallengesduringthisprocess,whenimplementingthedataaction
planwastimeandspace.Iwaschosentobe"floater"teacherduringstatestandardizedtesting
soithasjustbeenhardformetosetupmyactivitiesthatIwanttodoinsomeoneelse'sroom.
SomeoftheteachersthatIfloattodon'tusetheirprojectororElmosoittakesmeaminutetoget
allofmytechnologysetupiftheydon'thaveitreadilyavailable.Inaddition,Iamoutevery
MondayforGrandJuryduty,sothatcontributedtolosttimewithmystudentsaswell.
AllinalltheDataActionModelhasrefinedthewayIwillteachinthefuture.Ilook
forwardtostartingoverwiththeprocessoverthesummersoIcanspendalotoftime
researchingnewstrategiestousewithmystudents.Thismodelcannotbecompletedalonea
teamofdedicatedindividualsneedstoworktogetherinordertobrainstormideasandworkto
createsuccessfulstudents.Decideinthebeginningtobetransparentandignorethethingsthat
youcannotcontrol.

References:
Venables,D.(2014).
HowTeachersCanTurnDataintoAction
.Alexandria,Virginia:ASCD