Data Driven Instruction
Data Driven Instruction
Madrona's Academic Achievement Plan is designed around
measurable goals with action steps that lay out how we will achieve
these goals. We use our achievement data to revise our plan and change
necessary components. It is our goal and mission to ensure that each
Madrona student receives an education that will prepare them for college
and life and further that students leave their grade level ready for
academic success in the next grade level.
Our plan is designed based on our belief that good schools do a few things very well:
- Use data to guide all instructional decisions – This is why we
assess all students regularly so instruction can be targeted to meet
- Use time effectively and efficiently for student learning.
- Use materials consistently and appropriately across grade levels
and from K-8 to support student learning across the whole school.
- Use high-quality, research-tested, teaching practices across the school.
four times each year (September, December, February and
June) students are evaluated in literacy and math using a benchmark
assessment. We use the data from these assessments to look at where we
are as a school and set goals, and also to tailor instruction to student
needs. Benchmark data is shared with students and families on a regular
basis. We actively engage students and families in academic goal
setting by sharing where students are in reading and math currently,
discussing what we're doing to improve achievement, how each student
needs to change, how we will support each student in changing, and how
each student's family can support the changes needed for success.
Teachers meet regularly in grade level teams to discuss individual
student progress and intervention strategies to ensure that no student
is without significant academic growth throughout the year.
When students are identified assessment as needing extra support with a
literacy or math concept, those students are referred to the "I-Team"
otherwise known as the Intervention Team. Led by our math and reading
specialists, this group of teachers and instructional assistants meet
individually with small groups of students outside of the regular math
or literacy time to help them master a specific skill. Three-week
sessions of literacy and math are alternated through out the school
year. While some students will receive help from the I-Team on a regular
basis, most will only attend for a few sessions.
Organization of the School Year
The use of time is one of the most important ways we can support student
achievement. We structure every day, week, month, and year to ensure
that we "make every minute count." This applies to our purposeful daily
schedule, the extended time targeted to increase reading and math
achievement for all students, intervention built into the day, and
summer and spring break intensives. We expect our students to
participate all day long and in the extended day programs offered to
Our building protects the academic time in the building every morning
for literacy and math instruction with no interruptions allowed.
Structured schedules for literacy and math for K-2, 3-4, and 5-8 allows
administration, support staff, and instructional coaches to support
student learning in classrooms all day, every day.
We also provide structured opportunities for students to receive
instruction targeted to their instructional level in addition to the
90-minute reading class. Opportunities include afternoon intensive
period (allows for targeted instruction for intervention, target, and
enrichment students using I-Team to pull intervention students for 40
minutes of specific instruction while leaving target and enrichment
students with classrooms teachers. Other interventions include extended
day for reading and math (1st-8th grades), Team Read, Reading Leaders,
cross-grade tutoring, Treehouse, and EXCEL
Professional Development Focus
Team and staff meetings focused on academic achievement every week
including looking at data, student work, planning, and K-8 curriculum
All time together will have an intensive focus on student learning
through structured and purposeful analysis of data as whole staff, grade
level teams, and individual teachers – How are we doing with respect to
our schoolwide targets? How are we doing at each grade level? In each
classroom? For each student? Next, what steps will we take to mid-course
This allows us to plan for and teach every child at his/her instructional level:
- Target: Use small flexible groups with appropriately leveled materials within classrooms (guided reading, centers, etc.).
- Intervention: Use scaffolding strategies to support lower readers and create a literacy action plan for each student below standard.
- Enrichment: Create extension activities for students above grade level.
Writer's Workshop at Madrona K-8
Madrona has been the pilot K-8 school for implementing the Columbia University Teachers College Writer's Workshop
in all classrooms from kindergarten through eighth grade. We're excited
about the transformative effect that we've seen writing have on each
student and on the school culture as a whole.
We want to take this opportunity to tell you about what writing looks
like in our classrooms. As you know, writing is one of the most
important subjects in school, and it impacts all other subject areas.
Its importance continues to grow as standardized tests, colleges, and
employers demand writing samples as evidence of one's ability to
communicate effectively. All students will grow in dramatic ways as
writers this year.
When you visit our classrooms, you'll notice that we set aside time
every day for writing. We refer to our writing time as writing workshop
because that's a term published authors use. It makes sense to borrow
their term because the children will follow a writing process used by
published authors of novels, poems, short stories, essays, and articles.
In our classrooms, the writing workshop lasts for approximately an hour
each day. It begins with a 10-minute writing lesson (which we call a
minilesson) in which teachers explicitly teach the skills of good
writing. Workshop starts with all writers gathering in a meeting space
together for large group direct instruction. Writers are taught a
strategy or method that they can use to make their writing stronger,
clearer, and more correct. After the minilesson, the students work on
their own writing for 40-45 minutes. As the students work, the teachers
meet with small groups of writers who share the same instructional
needs. Teachers also confer with individual writers. After the students
work on their writing, they gather again for a teaching share time. This
gives the teachers an opportunity for further instruction and gives our
writers an opportunity show each other what they've accomplished.
You will notice enormous growth in your child's writing this year as we
move from one unit to the next during writing workshop. Throughout this
first month or so of school, your children will be writing personal
narratives, which are true stories from their lives. This unit is meant
not only to teach them qualities of good personal narrative writing, but
it's also designed to help them develop stamina, focus, structure,
detail, a sense of purpose, an appreciation for conventions, and an
enthusiasm for writing.
As the year progresses, your child will learn to write in a variety of
genre, including essay, literary essay, short fiction, poetry, and
memoir. The year will be divided into month-long units. During each
unit, your child will learn more about qualities of good writing and
about writing processes. They'll also learn a variety of strategies to
draw upon during each stage of the writing process.
We believe that writing well is a skill that can be taught and learned,
and we are committed to teach children to write well-organized,
detailed, compelling texts. Good writers must also know the conventions
of good writing, which include punctuation, grammar, and strategies for
accurate spelling. Much of the instruction on the conventions (or
mechanics) will take place during our daily word study time, and your
child's growing proficiency with the conventions of writing will
transfer into their work during writing workshop. We encourage children
to write first draft writing without belaboring each word, which means
that this first draft writing will not be perfectly conventional. Over
time, it will be very important that children develop better and better
habits, so that it becomes second-nature for them to punctuate,
paragraph and to spell high-frequency words correctly. Of course,
children will edit and correct their drafts before publishing them.
You may wonder how you can help your child to prosper as a writer this
year. The first thing we'd like to remind you of is that for most of us,
writing can be frightening. Please encourage your child by helping your
child realize that daily life brings with it stories that deserve to be
told. When your family hears a noise behind the wall and you use a
flashlight to find that the noise comes from a bird who has been living
there, remind your child that this would make a great entry in his or
her writer's notebook! When you get the chance to see your child's
writing, please give your child what every writer needs above all: an
interested, appreciative reader. Read the child's writing not as a
judge, but as a reader, paying attention to the content. If you do this,
you will make your child feel like an author, and you'll make it much
more likely that your child will care about writing and will be ready to
invest in the hard work required to grow as a writer.
We will have many celebrations of our writing throughout the year, and
we will hang our published pieces of writing in the halls for all to
read at the end of each unit.