Friday, November 30, 2012

Data: The Proof is in the Spreadsheet

I'd say that I'm a pretty sequential person.  I need things to go in order so that I can logically move from one thing to the next.  This is why I love following set units in Math. The state of  Georgia has provided us with a scope and sequence in order to give us direction in teaching.  This year, with the adoption of Common Core, we were given a new list of Math units that cover all of the Common Core standards.  

In order to successfully teach these units, my 5th grade team needed an idea of a "big picture" so I began looking into the 5th grade CCSS in detail in order to create assessments that would give us an idea of how to determine the amount of mastery our students are achieving.  I ended up creating 7 final tests (assessments) for each of the 7 units.  These are my 5th Grade Math Tests that I wrote about in my previous blog post.  

Nowadays, one of the most important things for teachers to do is provide evidence that their students are showing growth during the year.  Proving this growth is something that can be difficult.  We've been lucky in this day and age because technology has given is new incredible resources that have built-in growth charts:  Star Reading and Math,,, etc.  

Data expectations in education are increasing, even at the elementary level.  In order to provide evidence of student growth with my math tests, I've added Excel data sheets to go along with each unit.  

Each spreadsheet contains columns for each test item (question), along with the Common Core standard associated with the problem.  

Teachers can input data from their unit pre-test in order to get an idea of which skills students have already mastered prior to the unit, and which skills have not.  This helps with planning, grouping, and differentiation.  Data can be observed for each student as well as each skill.

**Are you unsure how to use Excel?  Are you uncomfortable with advanced technology? My  Math Test Excel Data Sheets come with a complete explanation and step-by-step tutorial pages to help with setting up the spreadsheet and navigating it.**  
After giving the pre-test and using your data to decide how to go about tackling this unit (do I spend more time on adding fractions or subtracting fractions?) you give your post-test to your students.  In the excel worksheet, there is a summary section that can show a percentage of the pre-test and post-test score so you can compare them for each student as well as the class average.  All of these figures are calculated from what you put into the spreadsheet, so you don't have to do any match calculations or averaging.  The directions all of this are included.  In addition, each file has a separate spreadsheet for varying class sizes.  This way, if you get a new student or have a different class size in the future, you don't have to worry about re-formatting, adding a new row, etc.  All the work is done for you!

With the increased demand for data and proof of mastery/growth from administration, I've found that these resources have been a great help in just proving what I already know is happening in my classroom.  



  1. My school is all about showing mastery/growth too, they would love this! I'm your newest follower!

  2. Don't forget, you'll be featured this Tuesday on my blog!
    :) Dana
    Fun in 1st Grade