Educators understand and use data to drive their instruction and support students in achieving their learning goals.

2.7.a Offer alternative assessments

Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate competency and reflect on their learning using technology. 

2.7.b Use tech to create assessments

Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction. 

2.7.c Use data to guide progress

Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.

Educators rely on data to inform instruction. We gather data from multiple sources and in various ways. Throughout the year, we collect data about our students using observations, anecdotes, formative assessments, interviews and summative assessments. 

Using technology to provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate their understanding (2.7.a) is imperative if we want students to take ownership of their learning.  In our inquiry unit in migration, the culminating activity is for students to tell their own migration or a family member’s migration story by choosing an activity on the migration choice board. 

Figure 1: Migration Unit Culminating Activity – Choice Board

In math, pre-assessments are given to students as a way of gleaning key information about what students already know before any instruction. The data gathered from pre-assessments proves instrumental in shaping daily lesson plans, crafting activities and tasks, forming small groups and determining the instructional pace. Moreover, this data can be used to assist students in setting their learning goals. As the unit unfolds, teachers adapt their approach based on students’ responses to the content being taught. Additionally, a mid-unit formative assessment or check-in serves as a valuable tool for gauging students’ progress. Concluding the unit with summative assessments serves as an effective method to solidify student learning. Presenting students with data from both the initial and concluding parts of the unit becomes an empowering experience, as it highlights the significant progress they’ve made through their dedicated hard work and applied effort in the learning process (2.7.b).

Figure 2: Sample question for a pre-assessment task

In preparation for teaching any unit, our Grade 4 professional learning community, consisting of 5 homeroom teachers, 1 EAL teacher, and 5 assistant teachers, dedicates time to unpack the unit, focusing on essential questions, goals, and objectives. In math, we analyze data from the pre-assessment task to identify specific areas where our students require additional attention, allowing us to allocate more time for instruction and guided practice. Our math lessons begin with learning objectives that serve as checkpoints at the conclusion of the lesson to assess student comprehension. I use daily student work, as well as observe students’ attitudes toward math learning to effectively monitor and evaluate their progress. At the end of a lesson, I do a quick check-in with students about what we just learned using the traffic lights visual as seen below.

Figure 3: Check-in using traffic lights

While working in small groups, I take the opportunity to confer with individual students, particularly those that require additional support.  In case there are specific concerns regarding a student, I communicate with parents to keep them informed and schedule additional meetings when needed (2.7.c). 

Establishing partnerships between home and school is of utmost importance because it promotes student success and produces positive outcomes, not just for individual students but for the entire school community. At our school, we invite parents to come to campus for parent-teacher conferences four times throughout the year.  These meetings are designed to foster open communication, keep families informed about their child’s progress, establish shared goals, and celebrate their growth (2.7.c).

6 Facilitator