August 16, 2013

Great Data Day!

Here it is, the Friday night before school starts, and what am I doing-writing!   I can’t help myself!  I feel totally motivated because something amazing happened today!  At my school we are beginning to dive into data!  Real data-data we can use and how to use it!  We are new to this, and it will take a little while, but it will have real impact.  So let me tell you about today!
Our presenter was the Director of Middle Schools, Mrs. Saunders.  During the summer, when she was hired, I read over her credentials and was very impressed.  Today, I am even more impressed!  She gave us an incredible presentation about what is really going on within the state and how our district will, finally, begin to remedy itself of the neglect that has gone on in our curriculum knowledge.  For many, this might have been overload.  A month ago, this would be overload for me! Today, it was CONFIRMATION! 
Our first activity was……put kids into the correct level of FCAT success!  Wait, I think that sounds familiar.  Next, determine what it takes for the students to gain points/levels that will cause even more success!  Exciting!  Use your new knowledge to determine remediation-BINGO!  I was secretly dancing in my seat!  Even more fun-I got to use my handy-dandy chart I made this summer!  And so did my whole team!  We were data recording like crazy!  And in a way that made sense and was usable!  We can target kids and KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THOSE CRAZY NUMBERS!  The greatest part-new knowledge coming-we know what it takes to raise the lowest quartile students-the ones and twos-to get them to make a years worth of growth!  AWESOME!!!!  Can I say, it felt really good to be there mentally, and I really think I need to thank Jody O’Meara’s book RTI with Differentiated Instruction for that!  She really got me thinking and diving into what needed to be done!  A successful day for sure!  
Our district may be in a tough spot right now, but, for the first time I can see how putting a person who is strong in data, strong in character, and strong in her convictions can make a true difference.  I still know it will hurt a little, or a lot, but I think I’m ready!  I’m glad I have five great team members to go with me on this journey!  Thanks Lisa, Emily, Teri, and Keli for going with me! 

Julie :O)

P.S.  Today I made a Math Data Chart to record the FCAT scores on.  You can find that here.

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