For the last six years, data has been part of our “secret sauce” here at Bronson Elementary School in Bronson, Fla. Many of our students come from economically disadvantaged homes so we know we need to continually work harder than most schools to help our students succeed academically—and data helps us do this.
Our teachers and administrators are constantly looking at data trends—including data over periods of time, across grade levels, and for individual teachers and subgroups of students—to help drive instruction and student achievement. Specifically, Bronson uses schoolwide data to determine core instructional needs and proficiency targets. We use grade-level data for insight into groups for intervention, classroom data to support differentiation in the classroom and teacher effectiveness goals, and student data to identify intervention needs and IEP goals.
The data we analyze is collected from various sources, including the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) in reading and math for grades 3-5 and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test Science for grade 5. We also use diagnostic data that we collect three times a year using the i-Ready program for reading and math in grades K-5.
Below are three effective strategies for using this data to support all of our students.
Talk with each student about his or her goals.
Setting goals is important for everyone, including students—the more students are involved in the process, the more motivated they are to succeed. Our teachers have data chats with students prior to their diagnostics to discuss where they want to score. This sets expectations and helps students take ownership of their own learning.