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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Data and Inferences

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


April 08, 2013

For the month of April, the Sustaining the Journey will focus on the Five Forms of Feedback. Each week we will provide information for you to consider in deepening your understanding of this concept.

As coaches, the focus of feedback is on providing data and questions. When we use inferences, we move into the Evaluation Support Function. There is sometimes a fine line between data and inferences. Data is observable and objective. For example, five students were tapping their pencils at 9:15. An inference is usually based on some observable data, but a conclusion has been drawn regarding the data. Note the difference between the data about students tapping their pencils and the inference, “Your students were distracted.” Think about the statement, “Your students were off task.” Can you explain why it is an inference and not data?

Practice differentiating data and inferences by correctly labeling the statements below. Do this with a friend and check each other’s answers.

You worked hard on this.

Half of the class scored at the proficient level.

That lesson was a real hit!

She is even better this year than last year.

A parent called me today and asked about your field trip.

You are so patient.

The in-service was relevant and worthy of our time.

If your team doesn’t start running and quit playing lazy soccer, you will lose all your games.

Every teacher joined in the dialogue.

You’re the last one to arrive.

The lesson was too long and the kids were bored.

You have used three formative assessments this week.

Every student was engaged.

Modeling the procedure was a key for the students understanding the activity.

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