Formative Assessments

Why Every Teacher Should Go See “Hidden Figures”

Hidden FiguresLast month I saw the movie “Hidden Figures” and I was so incredibly inspired.

I am a former English teacher, so my love is words and writing and reading. But I ventured to see this movie because it empowers women and sheds light on some pretty amazing mathematicians who had the power to make this word-loving English teacher a fan of math.  I mean, as a teacher I’ve always loved data, but for me, seeing this movie reinforced why numbers are just as important as words.

We look at data a lot in education, but most of the time I believe we are just looking at numbers and not really grasping the full story data can tell us.

Data does tell a story.

Sometimes it’s a story we don’t want to hear; sometimes it’s a story we already know and we’re just validated. Sometimes it’s a story we never gave any thought and a whole new path is opened for us. If the data you look at regularly is just numbers on a screen and it’s not telling you a story, maybe some insights from “Hidden Figures” will help. Continue reading


Know Before You Go: The Power of Formative Assessments

signA few years ago, not long after I first learned to drive, a family friend allowed me the opportunity to borrow his car.

The rule of the road was “if it has two digits, it goes around the city in a circle and you can’t get lost, it’ll always bring you back.”

When I began driving with my friend, I noticed I was a bit lost, but was fortunate enough to see the I-95 sign. It had two digits, the 9 and 5, so that must have meant it would loop around and I’d be back in no time. An hour later, I pulled off at an exit to ask for directions, to find I was now an hour and a half away from home.

Continue reading