TNReady ELA Data Tracker

What is Data-Driven Instruction?

A data-driven teacher is tactical; she has a strategic rationale for every procedure, lesson, and subsequent assignment or assessment. A data-driven teacher understands that data drives every aspect of instruction. It isn’t mechanical or manipulative; it is the way to get at the hear of student misunderstandings and plan reteaches. It is a constant cycle of data collection (formative assessments), analysis and planning, testing what students know (summative assessments), and tracking progress against goals.

Take a look at the infographic below to understand the key components of the data analysis cycle.
4TNReady Tracker

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TN Ready Question Types for ELA Test


TN Ready is the Tennessee State Assessment that is replacing TCAP beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

It was originally framed as a mixture of Common Core and State Performance Indicators (SPIs), but it appears based on what has been released to focus almost exclusively on Common Core.

Information about the design of the test has slowly been released throughout spring 2015, but has not been widely distributed to teachers. The Tennessee Department of Education’s website includes PDFs outlining the test design and percentage each type of question accounts for on the test, and a basic overview of what the test is and why it matters.

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What Does Data-Driven Mean in ELA & 7 Ways Grade Cam Revolutionizes Data-Driven Decisions

51ghsQ9md0LThinking back on the teacher education courses I took in college and graduate school, I don’t recall a single professor discussing the importance of data-driven instruction or what implementing it looked like in a classroom setting. I can’t recall reading any research-based or pragmatic approaches for what a teacher should do after developing and administering a test, multiple-choice or not.

Analyzing data is certainly not the easiest, most glamorous, or quick endeavor for a teacher. However, it’s the only way to ensure that instruction is relevant and skills that need remediation are retaught in a different way.

I first became familiar with data directing what a teacher teaches when reading excerpts of Driven By Data by Paul Bambrick Santoyo, a text devoted to detailing, explaining, and providing examples of teachers making data central to their daily practice.

I worked at a charter school where we had weekly data meeting that required teachers to prepare a data sheet analyzing questions and skills students struggled with most, so we could prepare a re-teach plan with our coaches. We epitomized data-driven. During my first semester teaching there, this was a new challenge for me and the school because I taught a writing composition class, which meant I had to develop a system for identifying student strengths and weaknesses without compromising the organic nature of a writing workshop. I used rubrics provided by the state and developed by the school I worked at to grade student work within the four traditional categories off which we assess writing: development, focus/organization, conventions, and language. The problem was that each category was so vast that there was no easy way to understand what students struggled with specifically in each assignment.

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