At each school I have taught at there has been a need to use interventions with certain students, and to track the effectiveness of these interventions using data. This intervention process often has a different name depending on where you teach. The two most common that I have come across are: Response to Intervention (RTI) and Student Assistance Team (SAT). However, I've also seen it called (SST) Student Support Team, and even (Triple I) Immediate Intensive Intervention. Whatever it's called at your school, it means finding interventions that will close gaps for students to give them the best chance at success. And whatever you call it, in order to do it successfully, you must have a way of knowing if what you're doing is helping our students. This means you have to collect data.
Unfortunately, this often means more class time needed to collect that data, which we don't always have. So this year I have worked hard on using technology to help me collect some of that data. Saves class time, and teacher sanity! Here are the tech tools I've used:
1.) Google Forms - Using Google Forms is a great way to create a simple, pinpointed quiz for any topic that your students are struggling with. For reading, this could be a comprehension quiz. For phonics, you could insert a picture and ask students to choose the correctly written word. For math, it could be a few questions on a specific topic.
Any multiple choice questions assigned through Google Forms will be graded for you, with only open ended questions left for you to grade. You also have the choice of students taking the quiz once, or multiple times. You can release the "correct answers" to your students, or choose not to. You can assign the test to one student or to your whole class. The options are so limitless!
For intervention students, I use Google Forms in 2 ways. First, I pull data from the weekly quizzes I give to all of my students in order to see if my kiddos are applying what they're learning in small group with me to their "mainstream" activities. Secondly, I have a few quizzes for common skills that I give only to my students working on those skills. I make a copy just for them and have them take the same quiz multiple times (every 2 weeks for so) so that I can track how they are achieving on that specific skill.
2.) XtraMath - Basic math fact fluency is often one of my student's intervention goals. Increasing understanding of how numbers go together and increasing speed of retrieving facts are also both vital for students working on more complex math standards - like problem solving. Working on math fact fluency in small group is easy, right? You work on patterns, songs, flash cards, games, etc. However, collecting the data can be more complex.
For a long time, I used my Math Fact Quizzes because I could easily have students date them and use them to keep track of fact fluency data. However, we are now restricted on the number of copies we can make because administration wants us using our Chromebooks to their full capacity. So now I use the website XtraMath. Students work on it for 10 - 15 minutes a day and I get a full report of what problems they attempted, what problems they mastered and what problems they maintained.
3.) Flipgrid - We all know that the best way to assess knowledge of a subject is to sit one on one with each child. However, time rarely allows for that in the classroom. Instead, I use the website Flipgrid for students to create videos on themselves discussing their thinking.
Math problem solving is a common skill I work on during intervention time. Obviously math word problems is your go-to assessment for if they are able to solve the problem correctly. However, to truly understand how my kiddos are getting to their answers, I need them to explain their thinking. So, I have my students record their thinking into Flipgrid and use those videos to assess their understanding and determine where I need to intervene.
Additionally, reading fluency is super easy to assess using Flipgrid because you can set the timer to create a 1 minute video. Students read their set passage for 1 minute, close the computer and move on. You can then go back and watch the videos, count the words and really get a picture of their fluency. In addition, you can play those videos for parents during their SAT meeting. How much more powerful is a video of their kiddo reading than you telling them "She currently reads 35 words per minute."
Collecting data on students is not my favorite part of the job, but these tech tools have made it so much more manageable. This type of data collection has also made the focus truly on getting better interventions, instead of just on having data to put on forms for meetings. Since our focus should be on kids instead of data, I'd say that is a win, win!
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