Monday, November 19, 2012

D is for Data: No Friends We Can't Escape It

This is the face I make every year preparing for evaluations.
Today I was preparing for my evaluation this year and don't get me started because it's absurd to me. So before I get on my soap box let me focus on the current trend I see in counseling: data. We are becoming a data driven program, and the data we use is just as important as the data teachers use. We can't escape it, data data everywhere.

So what are you doing to gather data?
Here's how I am trying to incorporate my data.

First, our teachers sit down monthly for "data meetings." During this meeting our amazing intervention teacher goes through each student looking at the numbers. They discuss who is showing improvement, who needs additional help, who can move out of intervention, etc. I sit in and give them generic information "well there is so home issues I am working on with that student so just remember that when looking at the data."  These meetings are very productive, we often can't fit everything we want to into the meeting. Here is how I see my role in the meetings:
1) Reminding them of the child and the history/story behind the numbers.
2) Getting referrals for small groups (this is a great place to hear teachers talk about so and so and his/her anger).
3) Identifying the students that might slip through the cracks. I like finding the students that are doing fine, but perhaps with a small group on study skills could be even better.

Here is what I take to "Data Monday's":

Permission Forms to see students we think would benefit from a small group.
A schedule of dates for teachers and copy for each student in the group.

Sample invitation to a small group.
Since I just started attending regularly my goal is to track the students I see in small groups for two years and chart their improvement in standardized testing as well as classroom grades. Check out Mrs. Bunyi's list of "Assessments A-Z."

Mrs. Bunyi's List of Assessments A-Z

Second, surveys. I give a survey for everything. Survey Monkey is the easiest way to collect data and administer pre and post tests, so I send out surveys for everything.

Here are a few examples:
Internet Use Survey-

What Do You Worry About-

Team Building Survey-

How Can Your School Counselor Help You-

Here is another great self assessment I found for small groups  so students can gather their own data. I don't remember where I found it, but if I had to guess it was the ASCA Scene.

Third, I track participation. I have data showing how many parents attend my workshops, how each topic we do a workshop on does as far as participation numbers, the best times and months for workshops, numbers on how many students receive my services, etc. I have a lot of numbers.

Sample of a newsletter I sent out to teachers. It included data for our teachers to see that I don't just sit around all day.

Lastly, I look at behavior by the numbers. This year our school incorporated the behavior section of AimsWeb. It asks teachers complete a behavior survey on every child three times a year, which I know it's timely but it can be so helpful. It also asks students complete a self survey. This program has it's pro's and con's but it makes for good data.

My new favorite data tidbit! Love Pinterest.

Speaking of data, I just started following a super cute website "Life With a Pit Bull By Your Side."
She has a super cute and funny entry on data and facts. For example, did you know in Miami you can own a tiger, but not a pit bull. Also, did you know that in canine temperament tests the data shows that about 86% of pit bulls passed showing no signs of aggression, higher than many other dogs including Beagles.
Don't believe just look at the data:

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