Yesterday, Darrell and I went to a Tiger's baseball game in Detroit. It was a day-trip. One of those--"let's-do-it-because-we-can" kind of trips. The day was picture perfect and the game exciting. In the 9th inning the score was tied: 2-2 against the Blue Jays. It went into extra innings.
Hoping for some runs so the Tigers would win, I began analyzing the stats of the players. Brennan Boesch was up to bat and his Home Run record was eleven, with the RBI-49. Looked pretty good, but no hit! Then came Prince Fielder with Home Run-22 and RBI-89. Looked pretty good...no hit. All of a sudden, I realized I was analyzing data. That's what people in sports do!
Actually, I did that when I was a high school track coach. When I worked with distance runners, I helped them make goals based on past races. After that we set strategies to use in practice to reach those goals. We were using data to drive their behavior.
This week when I went to the dentist for my teeth cleaning, my dental hygienist not only cleaned my teeth but also took measurements of the pockets in my gums. Since I have a history of gum disease, that is important. She finds what areas need more work and gives me strategies to use in those areas. I use her data to drive my behavior.
That's exactly what teachers are doing at the beginning of the year. As they give Dibels, mclass math, Acuity, NWEA tests and also look over IRead3 and ISTEP scores, they are checking data. With the information they gather, they will know what strategies to use to drive their instruction with each individual.
Yes, it is true...data doesn't lie AND it actually HELPS us be better teachers! By the way, the Tigers WON!!!