What is Data-Driven Instruction?
Data-driven instruction (DDI) is a concept that was introduced to me in August 2013. EngageNY describes data-driven instruction as “assessment, analysis and action and is a key framework for school-wide support of all student success.” This process asks three questions that include: Where are we in our goals? What phase are students in for preparation for college/career readiness? And how do we get students to that place?
Since September, I have participated in a data-driven study group. The purpose of this group is to learn how to implement the concept at school. Twice a week for one hour, I have met with a group of my school’s teachers to learn about DDI in three phases:
- Phase 1: Driven By Data
- Phase 2: Digging In Deeper Chapter Reading and Reflections
- Phase 3: Data Analysis and Action Planning
We collaborated and communicated. We learned exactly what DDI is, and how to implement it at school. We had a mix of special-area teachers, special-education teachers, math and reading AIS teachers, the school psychologist, grade-level teachers and teaching assistants. We used the book, “Driven by Data: A Practical Guide to Improve Instruction” by Paul Bambrick-Santoyo, as the guide to our study group. The text emphasizes how vital it is to have quality over quantity for tests, and allowing teachers time to assess the data to determine whether students meet standards or need assistance. This happens through data meetings with a team.
This study group has massive amounts of information. As a new teacher, there were times I felt overwhelmed. But, after attending more sessions, I became more familiar and comfortable with this concept of DDI. More importantly, how could I make DDI relevant to my data and students that come to library special?
How Does DDI Relate To The Library Media Center?
My district has chosen to adopt the modules from EngageNY. Assessments are built into the modules, and these are given frequently mid-unit and at the end of each unit. Students also take local assessments: STAR, SRI and DRA. There are no modules or local assessments for information-literacy and technology-related skills. So, how do I assess my students?
My school has a fixed scheduled for library special. Students come in once a week for a 30-minute lesson and a 10-minute book exchange. I’m lucky if I see all my classes once a week; there are snow days, delays, PD days, half days, testings, trainings to lead, field trips, assemblies and so much more that might prevent specials. These questions frequently popped into my head the first few weeks of school:
- What set of standards do I use?
- How will I grade my students based off the standards?
- What kind of assessments can I give that are relevant and realistic for the situation?
- How do I assess students and analyze data if I only see students for a half-hour block a week?
- Will I have the same assessments as the other three elementary teacher-librarians?
Part 2 & 3 coming soon: A breakdown of these questions and a sample Excel spreadsheet to show how data is gathered and analyzed.