Chapter 1 in Seravallo’s book is about Collecting Data. Even though the intended audience is classroom teachers, there are many practical ideas that I took away after reading it.
One of the most helpful suggestions is to look for artifacts from things that already exist. She said, teachers are likely able to find “data” from what students are already doing, such as reading logs, sticky notes from books, and writing samples. In my first attempt at implementing formative assessment, I was creating additional work, such as a survey, when all along I could have been looking at what students were already doing or creating to guide my instruction.
She also suggested that teachers view the artifacts through lenses to help them search for data. For example, the lenses for reading may include: 1) reading engagement, 2) reading fluency, 3) print work /decoding, 4) reading comprehension, and 5) conversation.
There are also lenses for writing which may include “Assessing Writing Engagement” and Assessing Qualities of Good Writing.” To collect data about writing engagement a teacher may look at how much students write, motivation to write and use of the writing process. Data for Qualities of Good Writing may include meaning, structure, organization, elaboration and conventions. For example, a lot of scaffolded learning must take place in order for students to conduct research and present their findings.
Seravallo’s description clarified and simplified the data collection process. My challenge is to apply this thinking to the media center. I decided to collect data from a collaborative project that I am working on with an amazing fourth grade teacher, Geri Keeley. Students are working in groups to create and research a question about Ohio History. They are using a shared Google (GAFE) document to collaborate. The finished project will include a question, an answer and multimedia (video, audio, pictures) that will be posted to our Ohio-opolis website.
Although this is technically a Social Studies project, I decided to incorporate and collect data related Common Core Language Arts standards because they lend themselves to the Media Center standards. In the past I would have looked at the standard and created a lesson to teach it. Now I will look at projects students are working on determine what they need to achieve the standard.
A few of the Common Core Language Arts Standards that we will cover are listed below:
Speaking and Listening
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or theme; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Add audio recordings and visual displays to presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.