If you thought September went by fast, October probably went by even faster. And while we all enjoyed the free pass of focusing solely on routines and reinforcement in September (and maybe a buffer month of October as well) it’s now time to get to it. If you haven’t started taking data yet – it’s time to rip the band aid. If you have started taking data but maybe your system isn’t going so well or it’s not as easy and efficient as you’d like – it’s time to do some revamping.
If it's broke, fix it.
That’s not a typo and I know that’s not the saying. But sometimes it’s something we need reminded of. In our classrooms, we get unnecessarily stubborn. We try to shove a square peg into a round hole in mission of avoiding adding more work to our ever growing plate of responsibilities. We try to carry on with a schedule that doesn’t quite work because we already printed all the color versions for our students. We keep students in the same groups even though a better option we be more optimal because we already laminated all of the group labels We keep try to take data on data sheets that are too complicated and difficult to find when we need them because we already setup a data binder. I get it. We’ve all been there. But sometimes spending some extra time now to fix what isn’t working will make the whole rest of the year a lot better.
If data hasn't even come close to being on your radar, don't feel bad.
It’s possible that when you read the title of this post you had a instant pang of guilt because you have been so dang busy with everything else this school year that you haven’t even thought about data. I’m not saying haven’t taken an data – but haven’t even thought about it. Not once. Not even for a fleeting second. That’s okay too. Don’t be mad at yourself. You’ve spent the first few months of this school year focusing on building a strong foundation with your students and staff. I will have a lot of posts coming up on where to start when it comes to data collection and how to prioritize your energy in this area.
So this month we will venture into the data world. I hope to convert you to a data loving nerd like me. Data is the most powerful tool and strategy we have. It tells us if what we are doing is working, what to do next, and when things need to change. I think data can get a bad rap because it can be time consuming or challenging to do. That is not the kind of data I love. I love data that is efficient. It’s so easy to take that you almost wouldn’t even consider not taking it because it’s kinda always right there and ready to go.