April 30, 2013

Data Wall

Check out this awesome visual that we created below to see the "big picture" as far as our students reading levels.  A data wall unites a school by bringing a staff together to see students as "our students" versus his students or her students.  We are going to use it to help identify students for reading interventions, to visualize common trends in data, and to set goals for where we want our students to be.  We keep the data wall in the hallway that leads to our teacher's lounge.  It is not out in the open for students/parents to see.

Here is the best I could do at getting a "full snapshot" of the data wall.

Here's another shot of part of the data wall above and below.

Each card on the data wall represents a student in our school.  We used little stickers to identify students who are have had a reading intervention outside of the language arts block this year, are identified as special education in reading and/or writing, are English Language Learners, and Gifted and Talented.

This is the key for the data wall.  Each student is represented by a different notecard.  Each color of card represents a different grade level.  We use the Fountas and Pinnell grade level expectations.  It is a leveled continuum from A-Z that is measured by the Benchmark Assessment.  We use students' benchmark levels to work with students during guided reading.


Currently, at this point in the year, our 5th graders are expected to be reading at a level U or above, our 6th graders are expected to be at a level X or above, and our 7th and 8th graders are supposed to be at a level Z or Z+.  

Each student notecard contains the student's ID number, their benchmark score from the first, second, and third round on benchmarking, and any stickers to identify students with different circumstances.

That's it!  That's our data wall!  So excited that it's up and ready for us to use!

14 comments :

  1. Question- so when the kids move up a reading level, do you move their card? I am assuming yes but I am just double checking.

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    1. Hi Laura! We benchmark up to three times per year for some of our students, so yes, after a round of benchmarking we would update the benchmark levels on each student's card and move their card to their current benchmark level! :)

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  2. I love your data wall. It is such a helpful visual and I'm sure you must find it very easy to see at glance, who is at what level. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's a great tool to get a quick visual in where we are at as a school and to help us see where our highest need students are as far as students in need of reading interventions. It also unifies the school in taking accountability and questioning the literacy initiative and what we're up to in Language Arts. Thanks for your feedback! :)

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  3. This was a very interesting and informative post. Thank you for taking the time to include so many details. I saw something like this a few years ago. I would love to do this in our school but with math data. Any suggestions on how to make that jump? Thanks

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      I think this is most definitely possible to do with math data. If I were you, I would replace the letters that we used to represent students' reading levels and replace that with a form of measurement that would be the equivelent to a math assessment that you use in your school to measure student progress. From there, I think the same elements would apply: make a key for how to read the data wall, pick a way to identify students without writing their names, decide how many times you are going to update the data per year depending on the amount of testing you do and leave that many spaces available on each student's card in order to keep the wall updated. Use different colors for different grade levels, use the stickers like I did to indicate math giftedness, math disabilities, etc. Good luck to you! It's a helpful tool and a great visual for the whole staff!

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  4. Kasey,

    I loved reading your posts and seeing your talents at work. Thank you for sharing your data wall and your process. We are implementing the data wall this year and you have given me a lot to think through. I think I will be back with questions once we get started. Any advice about what worked and what didn't now that you are on year 2 of the data wall? I hope to see you in Boston in February. :) Nell

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    1. Hey Nell,

      Basically our process is explained above. It is definitely a good visual representation for the entire staff....even for people who do not teach language arts. One piece of advice would be to put it somewhere usable where there will be chance to have discussion surrounding the data wall with a group of teachers. Besides that, the organization above went well! I can't wait to see you again out in Boston this year and catch up. It was great hearing from you!

      Kasey

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  5. Love this! I have a couple questions. What is the mirror under the key used for? Secondly, does your entire middle school staff level every single student three times per year, or does someone else in the building do it? Thanks for such a great idea!

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    1. Well the mirror is not meant to be there....it is in our teacher's lounge right outside of the women's restroom, so it's there by default. We assess all students at the beginning of the year to inform our reading instruction and where to begin specifically with guided reading. We then benchmark students as needed throughout the remainder of the year and do the end of the year benchmark to measure progress. Not every student three times per year though anymore.

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  6. Are those long narrow pocket charts that the data in on? If so, where did you purchase them? Looks great!!

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    1. They're actually just on colored index cards that are taped onto the data wall.

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  7. What do you have your cards taped too? Paper or material strips? Did you measure before hand to determine the width? I love this idea and I plan to incorporate this with our data wall this year as we work on improving guided reading during our Tier I time .

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    1. Hi Steph,

      We taped the cards to laminated construction paper. We just used the width of the construction paper. I love technology, but it's great to have an "in your face" visual as well that teachers and principals and all school staff see every day!

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