Data, Data, Data

As a teacher, data is always at the forefront.  How do you use data?  What does the data say?  Is that proven by data?

Personally, I love data.  It gives me reassurance that something I have implemented is working.  Data helps me see where my students are struggling so I don’t waste my own time or my students’.  I think it can be a great asset if used correctly.

In a previous post, I wrote about my implementation of centers to help my students understand concepts they may not remember from previous years and to review concepts we were covering in class.

During the second round of centers, students were learning contact and non-contact forces.  Center one had students working with me using magnets, static electricity, and gravity to determine the difference between contact and non-contact forces.  Center two had students reading through an article using Reading Apprenticeship strategies.  Students worked on the computers at center three using a states of matter simulation, and finally at station four students reviewed the seasons concept from their first round of centers.

To promote the use of data, and find out of my centers were truly effective, I decided to give a pre-test as well as a post-test.  On the pre-test, students took a three question test to determine where they were with the concept of contact and non-contact forces.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.17.32 PMThe first two questions asked students to determine contact forces and non-contact forces.  The last question asked students to think about a scenario that represented a non-contact force.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.15.46 PM

Based on the data, students struggled with identifying a contact force versus a non-contact force.  Overall, students were only 19% proficient with the standard on contact forces and non-contact forces.Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.25.46 PM

After the centers, I gave the same test on contact forces and non-contact forces.  This time, the students improved their proficiency on the questions.Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.30.34 PM

Students improved their scores with identifying non-contact forces from 66% proficient to 88% proficient.  Students continued to struggle with contact forces but improved their scores from 34% to 50%.  Finally, students improved their scores on identifying a scenario from 53% to 78%.  Overall, students became 40% proficient, which was a 21% increase from the pre-test!Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 2.36.00 PM

From this data, I have concluded that my centers-based approach continues to help students review concepts they may have forgotten from many years ago.  Throughout the school year, I will continue to implement centers every Friday!

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