Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello and welcome!

One of my goals for the 2014 is to start a blog that helps teachers incorporate data analysis into their daily, weekly, and monthly routines, so... mission accomplished!

The trickier part, of course, will be keeping up with the blog. I hope to post roughly once a week, bringing you advice, freebies, and guides to using data to differentiate instruction. The inspiration for this came from reading lots of books and blogs and attending professional development. Differentiation, RTI, data analysis, and interactive notebooks were all things I was learning about, but no one seemed to be connecting those pieces into one, unified framework. After all this knowledge swirled around in my head for awhile, it started to take form into practices that I use in my classroom and have shared with others at PD conferences under the name 'Data is Not a Four-Letter Word.' Not to toot my own horn, but one woman actually told me that my talk was the best of the whole Virginia Association of Science Teachers conference--and that really meant something, because my presentation happened during the very last time slot!

I chose the original title for my presentation because, at my current school, when you hear someone say that they have to analyze their data, you often also hear several other four-letter words used to describe their annoyance and frustration with the process. It doesn't have to be that way, people! Data analysis can be really useful, really fast, and really easy, and, dare I say, maybe even kind of fun and rewarding! I still, of course, use all the data analysis tools required by my district, but I have found that I am much happier about the whole process when I also incorporate other tools that I have developed into the mix. Data has become almost like a helpful little buddy to me in my career (hence the friendlier title of this blog), and it can be for you as well, so get excited to meet your new education BFF!

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