Using data to inform instruction transcript

Elaine Stanley:

Today we're going to analyse a whole-class progress monitoring dataset, and we'll be using the data to plan for next-step instruction: 

  • Tier 1 instruction for the whole grade
  • Tier 2 instruction with targeted focus teaching groups
  • Tier 3 one-to-one instruction for students needing that highest level of support.

In our last live session for Topic 4, we demonstrated how to use the Literacy Hub progress monitoring assessments and how to fill in the spreadsheet with your results. We'd encourage you, if you haven't seen that session or you'd like to access those progress monitoring resources, to go and have a look at Topic 4 and we'll put the link in the chat for you now so you can access those.

The progress monitoring assessment we're going to look at today is for Phase 8 in our Literacy Hub progression. Here on the screen, we can see the student reference page which the student looks at during the assessment; the teacher marking sheet; and the spreadsheet for recording results for that phase.

You can see that in Phase 8 we're up to teaching consonant digraphs, and students are now working at reading and spelling CCVC words and CVCC. So, they're moving beyond that CVC level.

Before we jump into the data, I just want to pause and have a look at this diagram, which shows us a Response to Intervention framework, which can be used to guide our instruction and our decision-making about the tiers of support we need to provide for students to really help them progress.

This model tells us that with high-quality Tier 1 evidence-based instruction, 80% of students in a typical grade should be able to progress in their learning without any specific areas of difficulty or the need for any additional tiers of support.

Then 15% of any grade will typically fall into the Tier 2 category. These students will need some additional support and increased guided practice with the teacher, usually given in a small-group setting, for them to progress in their learning as we would expect.

And then 5% of students in a grade will fall into Tier 3 category, which means they will require the greatest level of teacher support and intensive guided practice in order to make progress in their learning. These are often students with additional learning needs and challenges, and these students will require the greatest level of support over the longest period of time, usually provided outside of the classroom, not always though.

Achieving 80% mark for mastery at Tier 1 tells you that your whole-class instruction is working well to capture most students in them being able to understand and apply their learning. Attaining this 80% marker also makes supporting the other 20% of students more manageable in terms of being able to resource, providing those extra levels of support that they need in order to progress.

Sometimes schools, when they might start to look at their data with this framework in mind, sometimes schools almost find they have an inverse pyramid to start with, where their data shows that the highest numbers of students are in Tier 2 and Tier 3, which can be quite overwhelming for teachers and schools in trying to resource that additional support for students. If you find that's happening when you look at your data and have a look at where the numbers are, the first place to look is at your Tier 1 instruction. If most students are not progressing as expected there, then you really need to evaluate why that might be. Why is your Tier 1 instruction not being as effective as you would like it to be? Because if you can get that right and working to maximum effect, then your grade or your students will naturally fall into these sorts of ranges of the tiers of intervention.

Leading on from the Response to Intervention model, this diagram shows us what instruction is going to look like at these different levels of support. We've got gradual release of responsibility across tiers of intervention, with gradual release of responsibility being the amount of support and guided practice that's provided by the teacher.

As we move through the tiers, we can see that as the level of teacher support increases, the size of the group decreases. And key to success is the amount of guided support or ‘We do’ time that the teacher spends with the students, practising and applying what they're learning with that increased level of support and guidance.

In an ideal situation, the smaller the group size, the more highly trained the teacher will be that's working with the students. But if this is not achievable, then what is really important is that you train whoever is working with the students at that Tier 2 and Tier 3 level, to follow the same instructional model, same routines and procedures and expectations of students, as in Tier 1 instruction.

The real power of this model is that students are receiving more of the same instruction, just at that greater level of intensity to really help them progress. And the model really falls down when students are given instruction in Tier 2 and Tier 3 that's different from what they received in Tier 1, because then they don't get to reinforce what they've learned in Tier 2 and Tier 3 sessions and practise it back in the classroom as well. Just something to keep in mind there.

We are going to show how we put all of that into action now using our data to help us plan. Here's our completed dataset for Phase 8. We've hidden some of the columns in this view that you can see here, just so you can view the data more easily on the screen, so it may look a little bit different to when you are looking at the progress monitoring tools because there'll be a bit more spread out, but it's essentially exactly the same.

What we can see is on the left we've got the students' names and then any notes of diagnoses or relevant background information for students. Then we've got our data. Green shows us the correct responses, and red the incorrect responses. And on the right, we've got notes on areas identified during assessment for follow-up or for further instruction. All of that was collected during the progress monitoring assessment.

[Progress monitoring tools were covered in]

Now row six is really important because there we can see across that row the overall whole-grade percentages for each part of the assessment. These will be used to inform us about whether the class as a whole has achieved mastery in each particular area of the assessment, with mastery being 80% correct or above.

There are a few students here that we've mentioned before in our PL series. They're in bold down the side there on the left. And in our live session for Topic 2, we demonstrated how you would run a whole-class Tier 1 phonics lesson, including how to differentiate within that lesson to cater for different students' needs.

In that lesson, we showed how we would differentiate for Sam, who's got the peach colour there next to his name. Now, he's currently working at Phase 1 in our progression, and he's learning those letter–sound correspondences from Phase 1, and he's also building his skills at segmenting and blending sounds. We also showed in our whole-class lesson how we would support Sadie, with the yellow next to her name at the bottom there, and Marco as well. And they're both still building their skills of blending and segmenting sounds at the word level, mostly, for reading and spelling.

We're going to look at this dataset to determine what additional support can be provided for these students outside of that whole-class phonics lesson, as well as supporting all our other students as well. A couple of other things that I just want to point out here. We've got Naomi, who's the top student there. She's new to the school this term. She hasn't been taught using systematic synthetic phonics before. She doesn't have all her letter–sound correspondences from previous phases up to this point, and she relies heavily on guessing at the word level. She's not using all the letters and sounds yet when she's reading or spelling.

And, if we have a quick look at our notes there on the right, we can see that Sam is working at the letter–sound correspondence level, which is why the whole assessment hasn't been completed for him in this phase because he's not able to do that at this stage.

Some students are working at the word level, some are building their fluency at sentence level, and some are ready for a comprehension or vocab focus at the text level, because their phonics skills are progressing so well at this stage. With the books they're reading, for example, they could really focus on that comprehension and vocabulary, because they've really mastered the phonics skills up to this point.

Analysing our dataset and percentages today is going to help us determine the following things. We're going to look for areas for increased focus in our daily review sessions – that's with content students have already mastered – and we're just going to help them build their fluency and develop that real automatic recall and application of what they've learned. Then we're going to identify areas of increased focus for our whole-class phonics lessons, so our explicit teaching. And we're also going to identify students and plan next-step instruction at Tier 2 level, and also the same at Tier 3.

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