Guest Blogger, Jennifer Ungermultiple pieces of large chart paper displaying data analysis that creates a hand-drawn data wall

When TERC’s Using Data facilitators work with schools and districts, we assist with establishing a continuous improvement culture that is grounded on collaborative inquiry. In the process, a lot of chart-paper-sized posters are created. There’s a sound and productive reason for this large-format paper trail!

Anyone who has engaged in data analysis with Using Data’s protocols and processes knows that we value public recording on chart paper because it gets everyone literally “on the same page” and talking together as they uncover learning challenges, own them, and identify strategic solutions. (more…)

GUEST BLOGGER: Mary Anne Mather, Using Data Facilitator & Social Media Liaison on Twitter & FaceBook

“’Go Visual’ with your data to help construct meaning, make sense,
and prepare to engage in meaningful dialogue.

The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students

Teachers have access to rich and varied student data, often provided in a variety of computer-generated documents with lots of numbers. Where does a data team begin their dialogue about what the numbers show? How can the team integrate multiple sources of data to tell a coherent story? How can a data team bring to life pages of numbers, so that the data can paint a picture about student learning? One way to illuminate the stories within the data is for data teams to create their own visual display of the data. We call it “Go Visual.”
visual of steps in  4-phase data dialog process“Go Visual” is the second stage in a four-phase process that guides data teams through deep discussion about data and helps them derive meaning from the data. (more…)

GUEST BLOGGER: Mary Anne Mather, Using Data Facilitator & Social Media Liaison on Twitter & FaceBook

Following my PLN (professional learning network) on Twitter is inspiring, and something I consider a precious asset as a lifelong learner. Not a day goes by that I don’t discover an interesting idea, resource, or news bit — all brought right to my doorstep (eDoorstep?). It’s like getting the education version of a good old-fashioned newspaper delivered daily, without the need to recycle. newspaper on slate with apple

Each day confirms again that there is a network of amazing educators out there, as well as informed stakeholders who honor and support them. It allays my growing annoyance with the regular assault on U.S. teacher competency that the news-waves currently pass along. As one recent tweet so aptly noted, “Teachers are not simply tools to be used by bureaucrats to implement policy.” I agree.

I especially enjoy when some of the news that crosses my path helps me to “connect the dots” with the work I do as a TERC Using Data Facilitator. (more…)

GUEST BLOGGER: Mary Anne Mather, Using Data Facilitator & the face behind Using Data on Twitter & FaceBook

An interesting guest blog by eighth grade teacher Blake Unger Dvorchik via was just called to my attention. Entitled “Training the Next Generation of Data Specialists,” it places a very interesting spin on using data—getting students to use it. 12 people standing on a data lineI see the posting has also attracted several thoughtful comments. One in particular, by Ian, prompted me to join the discussion… (more…)

We’ve all been in school a few weeks now. We know more about our new students than we did a few weeks ago. And somewhere in the mix, we’ve seen some data about our school’s student achievement gains or losses.   Or we’ve heard someone deliver a description of where our data stands. Do you have a “data dashboard” in front of you? Is the hope that having access to a continuous stream of data going to improve learning in your classes? (more…)