2.5: How Did It Happen?
Two weeks after the above was filmed, the teachers were shown a somewhat longer version of the video clips just seen. They were asked how did it happen? How did they get to the point where they regularly and systematically went over indicators of student achievement, analyzed them in relation to academic goals, and discussed instruction and curriculum to promote higher levels of academic development, which are typically not seen in grade level meetings. How did they come to be able to do it so effectively and, seemingly, so naturally? Note: One of the grade-level co-chairs makes reference to the "AALT." This is the Academic Achievement Leadership Team (see Section 4). The "AALT process" they refer to is part of Getting Results--teachers work on specific student learning goals (drawn from standards or the curriculum); bring in samples of student work or data indicating student performance; examine/analyze student data with respect to agreed upon goals; plan subsequent instruction based on the analyses; and so on. The grade level chairs also refer to a Getting Results institute they had attended the previous summer.
Diana We really took off when we saw where our kids were. Saw that this process really could be valuable, that we really could learn what our kids were doing and really, wow! Then we're going to have a middle assessment and an end assessment and I think that's where we really started to understand the process. Yael I really think we just keep getting more and more organized. We're getting better and better at doing it so we're becoming more efficient. And each year we see where our kids are and where they need that extra push and we focus more in on that. Diana The AALT strategy which is very specific about assessing evaluating, developing strategies and then assessing again. Yael Right. Diana Which is like a very clear cut step process- Yael Right, they have helped us a lot in shedding light. Sandy And when I took over and went to the AALT meetings, the thing that I learned: 1) was I learned the process because I was able to go the AALT meeting with all the kindergarten teachers from ten schools- Interviewer Mhm. Sandy --and I found that the, one of the common problems that people were having was collecting the assessments in a timely manner. And the more I thought about it and when I heard about it in school, I also um realized maybe the teachers didn't really understand why this was so important because at the AALT meeting it became really clear to me why it needed to be done. So what I did then, I went and I put it in graph format so when we shared it in the meeting it wasn't just numbers we could look at, we could really have a picture. Interviewer: yeah those pie charts are just... beautiful. Sandy And as soon as we did that, I think, I mean, I've never had a problem since then now. Everybody gets their things in on time. Diana They understand the process. Sandy It made a big difference and it has saved us time in our meeting as well. Gerardo Yeah because everybody buys into the importance of assessing and evaluating everything that we need to strategize for, like the specific strategies for sight words we were talking about; the sounding out. I mean, we've gotten data from looking at our children. This is where they need to go.