By: Lori Furgerson
A few years ago a friend and I were on vacation in Pennsylvania. We had some time and decided to take a tour of the QVC studios. I was amazed when they showed us how they use data to drive how they sell. They had a huge monitor that was showing in real time the sales as the people were on television selling the item. They said when they would see a spike in sales, they would tell the host to repeat what they had just said or done because it had been successful in getting people to purchase the item.
My friend, who is also in education, and I were amazed at how in depth they look at their data and likened it to how we look at the data of students.
Often times people give children assessments and don’t really look at the results and plan the instruction around it.
Giving assessments means nothing if we don’t analyze it and come up with a plan for how we are going to use it. After an assessment is administered, time needs to be taken to look at it and see where the areas are the student is struggling. Once the areas are identified, a plan must be created as to how the child’s gaps are going to be closed.
For example, if you have a child who struggles with reading, the area they need support in is not always obvious. An assessment needs to be administered to get the details. Are they just not reading quickly enough, are they lacking the skills to sound out words, or is it that they still struggle with phonemic awareness? None of this is known without administering an assessment. It is not enough to administer the assessment. Take the time to look at the data and create a plan for how you are going to meet the needs of that student. The sooner you give them an intervention, the quicker they will be successful.
QVC, who does about $7.8 billion in sales, knows the importance of looking at their data and making adjustments where needed to be successful. We need to do the same with our students.
Lori Furgerson is a national literacy consultant who has provided technical assistance to school sites and professional development to teachers across the country. She has been in education for 17 years and has taught in three under performing schools with great success. She has been a reading intervention teacher, as well as State Implementation Advisor to the state of Hawaii. Skillful use of a variety of core reading and intervention programs has allowed Lori to professionally shape leadership at the state, district, and local levels while increasing their instructional ability to successfully execute effective instruction. She works with teachers daily as an instructional coach and has a true passion for seeing them succeed and become the best they can be. She is on a mission to help teachers and parents meet the needs of struggling readers. Grab these two FREE assessments to see exactly where your student needs support.