how to use data driven instruction in the classroom episode 814

How to Use Data Driven Instruction in the Classroom

Today we'll dive deep into the transformative power of data analytics for your classroom! Think data is just for statisticians or administrators? Think again! Today, we're joined by Victoria Setaro, an expert in making data analytics approachable and actionable for everyday teachers like you. We'll explore how you can harness the power of both ‘cold' and ‘warm' data to not only understand your students better but also to significantly improve their performance. From tackling chronic absenteeism to boosting math proficiency rates, data-driven instruction is a game-changer. So if you want to elevate your teaching and empower your students, this episode is a must-listen. Stay tuned!

Subscribe to the Show

10 minute teacher podcas audible

This week's sponsor

EVERFI - Free Digital Lessons for All Ages

Want to prepare your students for career and life success but short on time? Busy teachers use EVERFI’s standards-aligned, research-based digital lessons, recently awarded with the ISTE Seal for high-quality curriculum, to teach students to thrive in an ever-changing world. Interactive, game-based lessons designed by experienced educators help you engage students at all grade levels and bring critical real-world skills like financial education, early literacy, character education, health & wellness, and more to your classroom. Thanks to partners, these lessons are FREE for all K-12 schools and students. With back-to-school season gearing up, now is an exciting time to give your students a jumpstart on their future. Go to to learn more and sign up to get a virtual swag bag full of free goodies to get the school year off to a great start.
Click Here

This week's guest

Victoria Setaro is currently an instructional lead focused on data analytics and professional development for Ulster BOCES in New York State. She has been a school and district leader in public education for over 20 years. Experiences such as assistant principal, classroom teacher, technology integrator, district special education liaison, and professional development specialist have provided Victoria incredible insight on how to best support teaching and learning. Current areas of interest and speciality include data visualization, humanization of data analytics, and inspiring educators to take risks and fall in love with the process of teaching and learning.


Hosts, Guests & Featured People:

Key Segments in this Podcast

Key Moments from the Podcast Transcript


  • 00:00:00:02 – 00:00:03:12: John Davis introduces the 10 Minutes Teacher podcast with host Vicki Davis.

Sponsor Message

  • 00:00:03:12 – 00:00:25:19: Vicki Davis talks about the sponsor EVERFI, which offers interactive and free digital lessons for educators.

Guest Introduction

  • 00:00:25:21 – 00:00:49:23: Vicki Davis introduces Victoria Setaro, who is known for making data analytics approachable for everyday teachers.

Importance of Data in Education

  • 00:00:50:00 – 00:01:00:13: Vicki Davis emphasizes the importance of data analytics in making classrooms more effective.

Victoria's Perspective on Data Analytics

  • 00:01:03:17 – 00:02:22:00: Victoria Setaro discusses how data analytics can help teachers understand their students better and invites educators to take control of the data they have.

Chronic Absenteeism

  • 00:02:33:11 – 00:03:07:21: Vicki Davis and Victoria discuss the issue of chronic absenteeism and its data implications.

Cold Data vs. Warm Data

  • 00:03:30:15 – 00:04:04:22: Victoria explains the difference between “cold data” and “warm data,” emphasizing the importance of understanding the underlying causes behind data points.

Implementing Data Analytics in Schools

  • 00:04:54:10 – 00:05:56:17: Vicki and Victoria discuss the challenges and considerations when introducing data analytics in schools, including the need for time and commitment.

Privacy Concerns

  • 00:07:16:09 – 00:07:53:19: The conversation shifts to the ethical considerations of using data analytics, particularly concerning student privacy.

Success Story

  • 00:08:36:05 – 00:10:57:05: Victoria shares a success story where data analytics led to a significant improvement in math proficiency rates in a school district.

Closing Remarks

  • 00:11:18:04 – 00:11:58:12: Vicki Davis thanks Victoria for her insights and emphasizes the importance of data analytics in education.

Sponsor Message

  • 00:11:58:14 – 00:12:31:15: Vicki Davis again mentions EVERFI and encourages teachers to sign up for their free lessons.


  • 00:12:31:19 – 00:12:44:06: John Davis closes the podcast and provides information on where to find more content from Vicki Davis.


00:00:00:02 – 00:00:03:12

John Davis

This is the 10 Minutes Teacher podcast with your host, Vicki Davis.


00:00:03:12 – 00:00:25:19

Vicki Davis – EVERFI – Today’s Sponsor:

Looking to revolutionize your classroom with exciting, interactive, and free digital lessons? Stay tuned to learn how EVERFI can empower you to bring real-world skills to your students, even if you're short on time. Take a step into the future of education with EVERFI, right after today's show.

Introducing Victoria Setaro


Welcome, Remarkable educators. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting Victoria Setaro.


00:00:25:21 – 00:00:49:23

Vicki Davis

She is a pioneer in making data analytics very approachable in her BOCES region and is kind of known for, you know, “let's make sense of it and let's make it applicable to everyday teachers,” which is why we wanted to have her on the show. So she's been using data creatively to help teachers and school administrators improve the learning experience for our students.


00:00:50:00 – 00:01:00:13

Vicki Davis

So if you are wondering if data can make your job easier and your classroom more effective, stay tuned to this episode. Thanks for coming on the show, Victoria.


00:01:00:15 – 00:01:03:14

Victoria S.

Oh, thank you so much for having me. I'm very, very happy to be here today.


How Can Data Analytics Help a Regular Classroom Teacher Understand Students Better


00:01:03:17 – 00:01:14:16

Vicki Davis

So, Victoria, could you break down for us how data analytics can help a regular teacher in their classroom and can it actually help us understand students better?


00:01:14:20 – 00:01:34:04

Victoria S.

Okay. I love that you're asking this, and I'm going to frame it in a very particular way. So data is sometimes something that gets done to a teacher, but I'm going to invite all educators to step into the driver's seat and don't let data get done to you. So I want you to think critically about the array of data that you have.


00:01:34:05 – 00:02:02:03

Victoria S.

I work in New York State and we have no shortage of data. It might not be accurate, but there's no shortage of it. And then a lot of it, it's not actionable. So if you're a classroom teacher and you're thinking, how do I make data actionable or how do I perform some analysis, what I would urge you to do is to think about demographics, attendance, education, data, any achievement data that might come out from your classroom as called data.


00:02:02:03 – 00:02:22:00

Victoria S.

And then I want you to think about all the stuff that you know, how to be either really good leader or really great teacher in the classroom. So, you know, when your little Victor is in a bad mood, you know, when little Victor’s, mother, you're not going to talk to her because she's not approachable right now, you know, heaps and heaps and heaps of real people data.


00:02:22:02 – 00:02:33:11

Victoria S.

And I'm going to call that warm data. So there are a few different ways that we can get into about how to glean that warm data and systematize all the things that you know to make your life easier.


Chronic Absenteeism – Getting to the Data Behind It


00:02:33:11 – 00:02:59:15

Vicki Davis

I just read in the Washington Post today an article that said 33% of U.S. students have chronic absenteeism, which means they missed more than a month. They shared a tiny tidbit of data. I thought that I emailed our administrators, and it said they found that half of the students who miss 2 to 4 days in September will miss more than a month.


00:02:59:17 – 00:03:07:21

Vicki Davis

The whole school year, even though we might think, oh, attendance, attendance. You would you call attendance warm data? Is that warm data or is that not warm data?


00:03:07:21 – 00:03:30:14

Victoria S.

The outcome of it, like the number of days that a child misses? That's a cool data piece, but all the many reasons why and it is very complicated chronic absenteeism goes for everything from like family issues, not having a car, health, wellness, patterns of chronic absenteeism in the classroom, in the district for the family, even something as simple as laundry.


“Cold Data” vs. “Warm Data” and why the Warm Data Matters


00:03:30:15 – 00:03:55:11

Victoria S.

Right. So and one of the districts that I'm working in, we do a lot for chronic absenteeism. So when you start getting under, you have to listen to the stories of the families to actually get the good warm data to be able to act. Because unless you know that everyone's problem is getting medical care, if that's the issue, you might consider putting a clinic into or get a van your school to remedy the problem.


00:03:55:11 – 00:04:04:22

Victoria S.

But if that's not your problem, those numbers can't tell you the underlying causes. So to me, it's you need to look at the data for the number and then the warm is like the underneath the why.


00:04:04:22 – 00:04:29:08

Vicki Davis

Oh, I love that because I actually in there it mentioned laundry that some kids don't go to school if they don't have enough clothes and if their clothes aren't cleaned. And I was like, okay, I can think of status that applies to like, I think that is actually an issue. So that's fascinating. You've got the cold data, which would be like the days I miss, but then the warm data is like, why is this really happening?


00:04:29:11 – 00:04:44:16

Victoria S.

Yes. And then you can make clusters of the data within it and really look at it and be like, okay, ten students are laundry like, So then what's going to be our expenditure? How can we remedy it for them? Can we work with a local laundromat? Can we bring in a washer dryer at our school? Can we do those kinds of things?


00:04:44:22 – 00:04:54:08

Victoria S.

Or is it just a matter of like kindergarten, and they've no one to watch them? So can we do a walking around? Right? So it's like, what are the actions that we can take? You would never know unless you ask straight.


Data Work is TeamWork and How to Promote Change

00:04:54:10 – 00:05:08:22

Vicki Davis

So, you know, change can really be a challenge. So can you share some of your experience of introducing data analytics in schools and what kind of hurdles do teachers and administrators expect, and how can those be managed to.

  • A commitment to make change happen


00:05:09:02 – 00:05:32:07

Victoria S.

So data work is teamwork, right? It's you're expected to look at something and make a change. So a large pitfall is sometimes teachers don't have the green light to act upon the changes that they wish. So can the actors who are in the meeting looking at the data, who are passionate because it's about their students, are they committed to make change?


00:05:32:07 – 00:05:56:17

Victoria S.

So that's like one huge thing that needs to be discussed even before the data meeting, because otherwise we're just admiring a problem. If you're not allowed to act upon or you're suggesting a solution, but then it becomes a little defeatist. So in the people where we want people to stay energized, happy about what they're thinking about, and another huge pitfall that in the summer months is really great for administrators to think about is time.

  • Make the time to talk about data and what changes need to happen


00:05:56:17 – 00:06:22:02

Victoria S.

Educators need time to routinely need to talk about data again and again. Some data are annual. Like in our state, we have a yearly exam they take, but in schools typically you have quarterly or per unit. You might even have a daily exit ticket. So it's about those teacher teams coming together and looking not at the autopsy data, things they can't really affect except in large term trends.


00:06:22:04 – 00:06:38:16

Victoria S.

But what can they actually change for the kids that are in front of them today? So to be able to do that, they need the time to meet and the meetings need to happen on a regular basis, not get pulled, not change. And I know I was building lead. I understand that is way easier said than done, especially with our cyber shortage everywhere.

  • The challenge to involve everyone


00:06:38:17 – 00:06:54:09

Victoria S.

So it's it's a real challenge. But those would be the two issues. And then beyond that, if I can add, if I can, I add one more in the mix. My last big one that I would add is a really human element. We're all just kind of afraid of looking down. We are at sometimes our 15 year old self and we show it that way.


00:06:54:09 – 00:07:13:05

Victoria S.

Sometimes we get to show up as our beautiful kindergarten selves and sometimes we show up like in an awkward moment and a data team meeting. If everyone does not understand the tasks that are in front of them, they might not speak up. I think a lot of times people a system or a scoring profile of a cohort and be like, that's the bell curve.


00:07:13:07 – 00:07:16:09

Victoria S.

But I think we really need to push ourselves to design to the edges.


How Can We Protect Privacy While Looking at the Data?


00:07:16:09 – 00:07:29:12

Vicki Davis

So let's talk of privacy for just a minute because we've packed a lot in here. But privacy is a concern. Any time we talk about data. So how can we use data analytics ethically to protect the privacy of our individual students?


00:07:29:16 – 00:07:53:19

Victoria S.

In light of data privacy, I would suggest redacting names and dealing with cohorts only and eliminating homeroom. So if you're use third grade again, you have five home rooms, three home rooms. I would suggest looking at the whole cohort, looking for a larger problem, a practice that you're going to be addressing or with a few different teaching strategies to to remedy what the kids are showing up with that year or in that particular unit.


00:07:53:21 – 00:08:15:00

Victoria S.

So that would be one way. And another way to do is to make sure that free app is awesome that you want to use like use your basic RD compliant knowledge. You don't put your students names into apps and, you know, always check if you have a tech director. We have a whole system in New York State for vetting products that we use inside our classrooms.


Gains in Performance Through Data Analysis


00:08:15:05 – 00:08:36:03

Vicki Davis

Okay. So let's finish up. Can you share at least one story of how you helped a school implement data analytics so you don't have to say the name of the school, but that's led to noticeable improvements. And what are some of the benefits that an average everyday classroom could have as we teachers get better at using data analytics?


00:08:36:05 – 00:08:55:12

Victoria S.

There was a moment in time when I was in a particular school district that had different academic struggles and the proficiency rate in mathematics was about 2%. And in two years time, using data analytics routine and I'll go into a few different of the routines that we use, we ended up at 23% proficiency. So that is a huge gain.


How Improvements Happened with Data Analytics

00:08:55:14 – 00:09:18:14

Victoria S.

And it was just because teachers started noticing the right thing. I made sure that there was time for the data teams to meet and then beyond the time being really precious, what you do within that time is very precious. Data team meetings kind of exist in your districts, ecosphere of meeting style. So, you know, meetings are productive control on time in your district.


00:09:18:14 – 00:09:53:00

Victoria S.

Then the data team meetings are if they're kind of a nebulous and no one really has an agenda and it's a bit more confusing on that end of the spectrum, the data team meetings are going to fall into that too. The beauty is, is that even though that is a problem because the data team has its own little kind of leash, you if you're reading it, even if you are a wonderful grade level lead and you are charged with, you know, setting the agenda, look to products like I love Meeting Wise from Harvard School of Education and they really show you how to use every minute because every minute counts, especially when you're meeting on


00:09:53:00 – 00:10:16:18

Victoria S.

preps. And so what we did in this school was we carved out the time so that teachers met once every three weeks. Only for this focus, we did a gap analysis. The standards that were meeting the most improvement to date test scores, but also through the tests that they were being given often maybe like every six weeks. But then the children also had a daily exit ticket.


00:10:16:20 – 00:10:33:16

Victoria S.

So we tagged those with the same standards to match the gap analysis so that they could see how that was growing. And the teachers got together and they were able to come up with very specific teaching strategies that they would try and then come back in three weeks and be like, Yeah, it went well, Yeah, I didn't go well.


00:10:33:22 – 00:10:57:05

Victoria S.

And then as teachers got very comfortable with that, we started building an entire visitation where in between the three weeks there would be times that they could go see each other practice and try this strategy. And the proof was in the pudding. Either the kids were starting to lift their level of achievement or not. And we did that across many different standards, many different strands, but it really did lead to demonstrable gains on the test.


00:10:57:05 – 00:11:18:03

Vicki Davis

We want our kids, you know, good isn't good enough if better is possible. So we want to help our kids do better. Oh, so many things we could go into. Definitely. I've learned a lot. Victoria Satera, thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for talking data analytics. Thank you for helping us understand that this is something that every school and every teacher can apply.


00:11:18:04 – 00:11:58:12

Vicki Davis

There's a lot of data at all of our fingertips. Having these conversations is just so important. Thanks, Victoria. 


Sponsor: Check Out the Free Lessons from EVERFI

Want to prepare your Students for Career and Life Success but short on time? Busy teachers use EVERFI’s standards-aligned research-based digital lessons recently awarded with the ISTE Seal for high-quality curriculum to teach students to thrive in an ever-changing world.


00:11:58:14 – 00:12:10:11

Vicki Davis

Interactive game-based lessons designed by experienced educators help you engage students at all grade levels and bring critical real-world skills like financial education, early literacy, character education, health and wellness, and more to your classroom. Thanks to partners, these lessons are free for all K-12 schools and students. With back- to-school season gearing up, now is an exciting time to give your students a jumpstart on their future.


00:12:10:11 – 00:12:31:15

Vicki Davis

Go to that's to learn more and sign up to get a virtual swag bag full of free goodies to get the school year off right to a great start. So sign up for EVERFI today.


00:12:31:19 – 00:12:41:22

John Davis

You've been listening to the 10 Minute Teacher podcast. If you want more content from Vicki Davis, you can find her on Facebook,, TikTok, Threads, Instagram, Blue Sky and YouTube.


00:12:42:01 – 00:12:44:06

John Davis

@coolcatteacher. Thank you for listening.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Never miss an episode

Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit
Picture of Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

All Posts »

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere