collecting student data blog

This week #slowchatpe is being moderated by @NicholasEndlich. This is a man who not only knows technology he implements it!!!

3 years ago my district made some building changes that moved me from teaching K-4th grade to teaching K-6th grade.  This wasn’t a huge deal except for the fact that for the first time in 7 years I would have to formally assess/grade students.

The first year was really rough!  Although 2 other physical education teachers in my district had taught these grade levels previously we didn’t have any time to meet, collaborate or discuss units, resources or assessments.  And like an infant trying to walk, I failed and failed often, sometimes falling right on my face.

At the time I was relatively involved with #pechat and connecting with other #physed teachers through Twitter.  It was through these interactions and learning that I was able to start to transform the way I collected student data.

In my first year I had students using HR monitors during class and recording their heart rates via paper and pencil.  I would then have to go in on a daily/weekly basis and enter the student data into a spreadsheet in order to calculate their average heart rate over the course of a semester.  Their average heart rate was used as one form of assessment for their overall grade.  The problem came when I couldn’t keep up with the data entry and became VERY overwhelmed. 

The other issue was that I was only using this data for grading purposes, which was ok because I needed to provide evidence of student achievement.  However, I wanted to see how active my students were during specific lessons.  This would provide me with some data about the lessons I was planning and how active they made the students.

As I re-evaluated my practices I realized that I needed to do more with the data I collect.  I also needed to collect more data.  This is were my love affair with Google Forms and QR codes began!  I am fortunate enough to have access to a classroom set of iPods.  Last year I began collecting student data in a variety of forms for multiple uses.

First I collect student data as a means of assessment.  On a daily basis students are using HR monitors and/or pedometers to measure student activity level during class.  Each class has its own Google Form with the add-on Doc Appender running on it.  Doc Appender is linked to a Google Doc that the students wrote their personal fitness goals on at the beginning of the year.  The way Doc Appender works is that every time a students submits a response through the designated Google Form it automatically updates their Fitness Goal Doc as represented by the table below.  I have it set to Append the Time stamp and number of steps taken in a horizontal table.

Doc Appender. FitnessGoals

By combining Google Forms and Google Classroom I can seamlessly push out the assignment to my students at the beginning of the year and use that same document to track not only their pedometer steps and heart rates, but any other assessment.

So what data am I collecting and what do I do with it?  As mentioned, I daily collect pedometer steps and/or heart rates.  I love to use Google Forms as Exit Tickets during units to check students understanding of key concepts and skills.  I use this information to plan future lessons.  For example, this year I introduced Tchouckball to my 6th grade students, but when I had them complete an exit ticket the data showed me that the students weren’t understanding the skills necessary to “get open in space.”  My next lesson then focused on moving without the ball, faking, cutting, and give-and-go activities.  The summary of responses from a Google Form will break down the percentage of students who answered a particular question a certain way.  This is a very quick way to check the understanding of your students and make adjustments to your lessons.

The other way I utilize Google Forms is to take student surveys.  Each year I ask my students to complete a survey in which they get to rank various units that we “may” participate in during the school year.  As I plan the units I use this data to determine what activities to teach.  I will also use this information to provide various activities that the students can choose from.

As I move forward and continue to try to improve my instruction and assessment I try to ask myself several questions.

1.  What types of student data do you collect?

2.  How do you determine what types of assessments/data to collect?  Teacher Assessment? Peer Assessment? Self Assessment? Exit Tickets? Student Surveys?

3.  How do you collect data and/or administer the assessment? Individual? Partner? Whole Class? Written? Digital?

4.  How do you use Student Data?  Assessment/Grades?  Provide data driven instruction? Student Understanding? Lesson Planning?

5.  What are your favorite tools/apps/websites for collecting Student Data?


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