Among the various types of in-school support we at DS offer, the most exciting to me is helping teaching teams discover what they have been teaching well, and where they can make changes to improve their instruction, changes that will benefit a whole grade, not just a student or classroom.  

Most schools, at this point, have been looking at data.  They look at classroom data and student’s data to determine what each student needs and what he or she is learning or still needs to learn.   These data reviews are very important to meet each child at his or her level.

In order to make large scale instructional improvement we need to look at data from a different point of view.   We need to look at what is happening, on the whole, in the classroom for tier 1 instruction. What is being taught well year to year, and what needs improvement year after year?

For example, I can look at the results of my classroom assessment and see that three or four of my students need quite bit of extra help with geometry and three or four of my students need a little help with geometry.  I can also see that most of my class is doing well with comparing fractions, but most are struggling with adding mixed numbers. From this information I can determine with whom I should spend some extra time and perhaps how I can re-teach the missing information.  

What I am not seeing is, that in my colleague’s classes, the same thing is happening.   Three or four of her students also need intense work with geometry, while three or four need a little help.  Most of their students also are struggling with adding mixed numbers. If I look even further, I might see that this has been happening year after year.   This would indicate that some changes need to be made to the TIER 1 instruction. Working with individual students will not change the whole picture. I need to dig more deeply to determine why my students, as a whole, over time, are not successful with adding mixed numbers.

While looking at individual student’s results is important to inform RTI decisions and differentiation in the classroom, large scale instructional changes can only be determined by looking at the larger picture of assessment results for grade levels over multiple years.


Ann Mordeci, DS Math Specialist, is pictured working with local high school students. 

If you would like to learn how Demonstrated Success can support your school for the 2018-2019 academic year, please contact us for details.