Professional learning communities (PLCs) gather to help their students succeed but they can’t do that without an accurate picture of how their students are performing across classes and teachers. GradeCam is a tool for providing PLCs with not only a quick and effective way to gather data from student assessments, but also combine that data for reports showing student achievement across the board.
Kristi Hardy and Vale Crain are high school math teachers with Issaquah School District, Issaquah, Washington. They shared with us why using GradeCam has helped them quickly diagnose problem areas and address them with their students.
The Power of Working Together
Kristi and Vale bring up many great benefits to using GradeCam’s data gathering and reporting tools:
Save Time Planning and Creating Assessments
If a PLC or team teachers are planning together and teaching the same material, teachers can collaborate and use the same assessments. With GradeCam’s administrative features, PLCs can create class groups and share assessments. They can also print and scan forms for collectively for all classes in the group.
More information about managing class groups in GradeCam Go! Please note: This feature is only available for those with a school or district account.
“We give the same free response and multiple choice tests. So when it comes to multiple-choice problems, it’s really easy for us to see which of our students did well on which problems.” – Kristi Hardy, high school math teacher, Issaquah School District, WA.
Identify The Problem, Not Point Fingers
Working together in a PLC is not about exposing teacher deficiencies, it’s about identifying problem areas and working together to find solutions.
Vale understands the hesitancy in working with your fellow teachers.
“GradeCam has really encouraged collaboration. I think that you have to get over yourself and not feel that my students didn’t do well so she’s going to look at me and say “I’m a terrible teacher.” – Vale Crain, high school math teacher, Issaquah School District, WA.
When the GradeCam reports were analyzed for an Algebra II common assessment and one problem stumped students across the board, they dug deeper to identify the issue. Once they diagnosed the problem it exposed a flaw in the curriculum, not individual teaching.
That may not be the outcome for all issues, but shared assessments and reports helps bring the focus off of individual teachers and onto what’s important – individual student success.
More Data Helps More Students
The broader the data collection and reporting extends, the more students can be helped. We had the opportunity to investigate this at the school level with administrator Steve Kane and James Bowie High School.
“When teachers and admins are able to access timely, specific, and actionable data, they can design systems that truly help students improve.” – Steve Kane, an administrator from James Bowie High School
Read more about how one school empowered teachers to increase efficiency and effectiveness while improving student performance – even among high-achieving students – and became a National Model PLC School: Download the case study.
Get the Power of GradeCam
Teachers and administrators often know they need to improve student performance and even create tools to do so, but identifying HOW to do that is the hard part. GradeCam’s powerful data collection and reporting tools can quickly and effectively pinpoint those areas of opportunity so all students thrive.
If you’d like to pilot GradeCam in your school or district, request one here.