What A Data Wall Looks Like



Preface: Data-driven instruction is becoming increasingly popular in outcomes-based and standards-driven learning environments. Data visualization, then, is by proximity going to become increasingly important: what fresh, relevant data looks like, and how it cane be packaged so that it is accessible and usable for teachers on a daily basis. So it was with this in mind that we found instructional coach Kasey Kiel’s post on her blog interesting. Her original post appears below.

by Kasey Kiel, Literacy Coach

A data wall unites a school by bringing a staff together to see students as “our students” versus his students or her students.

In our school, we use it to help identify students for reading interventions, to visualize common trends in data, and to set goals for where we want our students to be.  We keep the data wall in the hallway that leads to our teacher’s lounge.  It is not out in the open for students/parents to see.

Here is the best I could do at getting a “full snapshot” of the data wall.
Here’s another shot of part of the data wall above and below.
Each card on the data wall represents a student in our school.  We used little stickers to identify students who are have had a reading intervention outside of the language arts block this year, are identified as special education in reading and/or writing, are English Language Learners, and Gifted and Talented.

This is the key for the data wall.  Each student is represented by a different notecard.  Each color of card represents a different grade level.  We use the Fountas and Pinnell grade level expectations.  It is a leveled continuum from A-Z that is measured by the Benchmark Assessment.  We use students’ benchmark levels to work with students during guided reading.

Currently, at this point in the year, our 5th graders are expected to be reading at a level U or above, our 6th graders are expected to be at a level X or above, and our 7th and 8th graders are supposed to be at a level Z or Z+.

Each student notecard contains the student’s ID number, their benchmark score from the first, second, and third round on benchmarking, and any stickers to identify students with different circumstances.

Editor’s Note: Another example of a data wall can be seen below, from photobucket user Megan_Wheeler.

Data Wall photo DSC02236.jpg

What A Data Wall Looks Like; 2 Data Wall Examples

  • bencassel

    This violates student privacy on many levels. FERPA prohibits public disclosure of certain educational information to any but specified people. School officials must have a “legitimate educational interest,” which would not include more than a handful of people who might happen to walk down the hallway to the teachers’ lounge. The information you are disclosing includes special education/IEP status; ELL and Gifted & Talented status; educational interventions attempted; and their test scores and education level.

    But aside from its violation of the law, this violates the trust that students and their parents place in us. Any principal who would advocate such a vehicle for humiliation, and the teachers who would obey such a directive, have a great deal to learn about teaching. Shame on you.

    31-year veteran teacher
    2012 District Teacher of the Year

    • terryheick

      I’m not sure I follow.

    • Randy Rodgers

      Might want to take a closer look there. I don’t see any student names. How, exactly, is this a breach of privacy? A huge time-wasting task for teachers that reduces students to bits of data and gives credence to intended outcomes (i.e. test scores–let’s be honest here) that have zero lifelong value for kids, sure, but an invasion of privacy? No.

  • h4everbt

    Teacher evaluations require teachers to post goals and have students track their own data. There are no names, but it is required in order for teachers to receive high evaluation scores. Yes, it takes too much time, although students do enjoy and get motivated to meet and exceed goals. There is NO violation of FERPA!