As part of the Education Innovation Fellowship, each Fellow designs a summer pilot program that uses personalized and blended learning to solve a specific problem in our classrooms. For my pilot, I wanted to give students and their families better access to the various data points we use to measure student success. Our charter network (KIPP DC) does a great job tracking a lot of different student metrics, but unfortunately, these aren’t always shared with students and families in a way that’s easy for non-educators to understand. So I developed a student data snapshot (Student Success Sheet) to share data in a more accessible way.
One of my biggest opportunities (and points of anxiety) for piloting my Student Success Sheet was that I wouldn’t be physically running it—it would be largely controlled by a lead classroom teacher (I teach a technology class, so I work alongside many teachers). It’s not that I don’t trust my fellow teachers—they are amazing!—but I knew that I had to get it right if I was going to run a program with another teacher’s students.
So, working with an outstanding 2nd grade teacher, Mr. Lewis, we chose the six most important metrics for student success (aside from grades!). Since Mr. Lewis knows his kids best, I got his thoughts on what might be most impactful to track. We thought about which metrics best show a students’ growth over the year and settled on the following:
- Usage of two reading and math programs (iReady and ST Math)
- Growth on leveled reading (Fountas and Pinnell)
- Growth on NWEA’s MAP for fall, winter and spring
- Absences and tardies for the current term
All of this data, which comes from three different sources, is then compiled into a one-page document for each student. It shows a student’s performance and the class average or year-end goal for 2nd grade. Students also have space to set a goal for the upcoming week, and parents have a section where they can share their goals for their students.
Mr. Lewis’ students were already having an informal weekly check-in during their morning meeting, so we turned that up a few notches to include structured time for students to look at their snapshots and reflect on their progress towards goals. On Mondays, when new reports come out, students write down their goals for the week. The rest of the week, they review those goals and their progress during the previous week, then discuss where they are towards achieving their goals.
We’ve just finished our first week with the pilot. After spending countless hours collaborating with the data specialist from our network’s headquarters, pulling data from our reading and math programs, and fighting with Mail Merge to pull all of this data in, I was proud of how the report looked. But as I observed the first goal-setting meeting, I was most proud of the interactions and thinking I observed students engaging in.
For example, by looking at the different data points, one of our students, Carlos, was able to clearly articulate his bright point for the week (he had beat the class average for tardies and absences) and his opportunity for growth (his time on task for iReady reading was much lower than the class average). Likewise, he developed clear and measurable goals for growth.
As we continue to refine the report and get feedback from families, I am hopeful that our insights will help influence future digital and physical data reports our network creates. We already have the information; we just need to find the best way to communicate it.
My pilot is also a finalist for the Symantec Innovation in Teaching Award, and if it is one of five winners, my school will get a $1500 grant to further this work. I’ll also receive additional professional development! You can vote for my pilot here.