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  • Writer's pictureLaShawnna Harris


I hope your character parades and dress-up days were fun. It was one of my favorite days of the school year. Today is also the beginning of the mad dash to the long holiday break. By this time, you should have your baseline/beginning-of-the-year data ready for analysis and action. Your tone and expectations for how data (all types) inform your decision-making are critical. Below are a few things to consider as you and your teams close this first data cycle.

EQs: How well do you know your students? What do you do with that information?


Do you have a system or process for getting to know all of your students, including their backgrounds, hopes, and needs? Who is responsible for creating, managing, and sharing that information with you? What happens with that information? How will you know that things are going well or there is an issue?


What teaching methods are working best? What learning is prioritized? How are you keeping track of students’ learning? How are students keeping track of their learning? How are families informed about students’ learning?

Gems from LH

  • You need a plan aligned with your goals to make data-informed decisions that map how data will be collected, analyzed, and used. Then you need to fill the gaps for people who don’t know how to do that.

  • Allocate enough time for your team to actually do what you expect of them. One period is not enough time to dig deep into assessment results AND plan the next steps

  • Make sure you do something with the results of your data analysis and planning sessions. Share the findings and next steps with your school community. Let them know what part they play in the next steps.

  • "Small groups" is not a teaching methodology; it is a configuration of children. There must be intentionality about how students will be taught, the type of practice that is appropriate, and the feedback that will be provided while in this configuration.

As always, I’m here to support you. So reach out if you need me.



Quote of the Month

“These vague plans fail because, without a robust, inclusive, detailed planning process, we diffuse a lot of precious energy. The absence of clarity and specifics in an action plan leaves faculty members wondering what to do next every day and all school year. Vagueness is exhausting and frustrating for teachers and staff of any organization.” Chris Briggs-Hale (ASCD, 2022)

What We Are Reading/Listening To

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran & Michael Lennington

The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end, more important stuff gets done, and the impact on results is profound. The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. (Google Books)

Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey

In this book, Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, encourages us to connect to the liberating power of rest, daydreaming, and naps as a foundation for healing and justice. What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? (Google Books)

Tools We Are Using

WRAP requires students to work in pairs. Students are provided with a writing prompt. After writing, the pair takes turns reading their work to their partner and then asking clarifying questions (they take turns). Subsequently, each partner revises (adds to) their writing adding to what they wrote based on the discussion and recommendations from their partners. (Teaching Matters)

Organizations You Should Know About

IGNITE by AJ AJ is n NYC-based educator and consultant who provides teachers with reading support with a focus on understanding students’ reading needs and providing targeted guiding reading instruction. If your teachers struggle with making meaning from running records and planning small group instruction, AJ is your person.

Research Opportunity

Here is an opportunity for principals to participate in research. Remember, researchers need to hear from people like you to make sure their data represents the true experiences of principals.


As always, you can find us at, by email at, or on Instagram at creativestationnyc.

Please forward this message to anyone you think could use these tips.

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