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What Do Coaches Do? Facilitating a Data PLC, Ep. 120 Buzzing with Ms. B: The Coaching Podcast

Chrissy Beltran smiling working on a laptop with the words "What Do Coaches Do? Facilitating a Data PLC"

“Not ANOTHER data meeting?”

“Do we really need to review data AGAIN?”

You’ve probably heard this from your team before. Looking at data can feel like a chore, and teachers are often resistant to yet another meeting where they are expected to dig into numbers. But if we approach data review with a different mindset, it can be a powerful tool for driving instruction and student learning.

In episode 120 of The Coaching Podcast, we discuss facilitating a data PLC and how coaches can help teachers make meaning of data. I share the seven steps I use during a data meeting and what they look like in action. You’ll learn how to keep teachers focused on the data, what data to use, and how to identify areas of need.

Seven Steps for a Data Meeting

Most instructional coaches are asked to work with professional learning communities (PLCs). The purpose of a data PLC is to help educators understand how their students are performing and target areas for improvement. Data PLCs can provide a structure for educators to come together and analyze student data.

You’ll need to prepare for the meeting, guide the discussion, and help the group come up with actionable items to improve instruction. Below are the seven steps I use when facilitating a data PLC.

  1. Set a purpose
  2. Provide teachers with no name data
  3. Flip through students’ tests to note strategies and processes
  4. Record percentages on a blank copy
  5. Differentiate your plans for next steps
  6. Use student names to create small groups for intervention
  7. Share strength by modeling

In the episode, I explain the steps and how to use each with your teachers, so they leave with a plan. I also share some challenges you might face when leading a data PLC and how to overcome them.

Topics and Questions Discussed in Episode 120 – What Do Coaches Do? Facilitating a Data PLC

  • How to review data with teachers and use it to modify instruction
  • Seven steps for a successful data PLC
  • Ideas for what to do when teachers justify the data
  • Ways to keep data meetings on track and what to do if they get off track
  • Focusing dialogue in data meetings on student growth
  • Why data doesn’t give us the entire picture and what to look at to get a complete understanding of student performance
  • Ways to use data purposefully
  • Establishing norms when facilitating a data PLC
  • How to set the tone for professional learning communities
  • Why use no name data during meetings
  • How to differentiate based on data
  • Looking at student responses on tests and putting that data in context
  • Finding patterns in questions and question types on tests that students struggle with
  • Tips and strategies when making small groups for intervention
  • Encouraging teachers to share what is working in their classrooms

If you’re looking for ways to help your teachers make data-driven instructional decisions, this episode is for you! You’ll walk away with a new framework for looking at data and ideas to help your teachers make meaning of it.

Ready to listen? You can listen below with the media player, or search for Buzzing with MS. B: The Coaching Podcast anywhere you listen to podcasts!

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Front view of Chrissy Beltran holding a laptop smiling with writing about the Confident Literacy Coach Course

Thank you for listening to Buzzing with Ms. B: the Coaching Podcast. Want more coaching ideas?

Check me out at buzzingwithmsb.com and on Instagram @buzzingwithmsb.

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Podcast produced by Fernie Ceniceros of Crowd & Town Creative

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