Red Hot Academy Blog



Oct 26, 2022



Imagine the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz all gathered around Dorothy fearful and wondering.   Then Glenda appears all sparkly and asks what everyone wants to know.

“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”


Just like the benchmark data.  Was it a good test or a bad test?  Annnnd… the data.  Is it good or bad?  Should you jump around singing in high pitched voices, or should you run and hide? Or are you the person who must over analyze it and come up with some elaborate intervention plan for every piece of disappointing data?

Should you start painting students red, yellow and green so you can tell who needs to be shuffled into different treatments?


Scratch all this.


You are not in the Land of Oz. Let’s take a trip to the Land of Ah Ha’s instead and do some RED Hot reality checks.  


  • First of all, data is information, numbers, statistics.  
  • Secondly, that benchmark test is one set of questions students answer on one day out of their life. 
  • Thirdly, data chats get to be neutral noticings of how students respond to questions on that test.
  • This is all.


If you’re tempted to say, “Yeah, but…”, reconnect with the purpose of benchmark testing.  You do it to monitor progress toward your end of year learning targets.


It follows that the purpose of the data chat noticings can inform next steps.


Three things to avoid during data chats are:

  1. No blame
  2. No shame
  3. No judgment.  (Data is neutral information that informs your next steps!)


Four things to include in your data chats are:

  1. What do you notice about this data? (Not “your” data.  Data isn’t personal.)
  2. What would you like to see change with this data?
  3. What can we do differently to make these changes occur?
  4. What do we want students to do differently to make these changes occur?


And here’s the ten million dollar RED Hot question.


5. How can we reframe our habits of thinking about teaching and learning to see the changes we want to see in this data?  


Just like any other part of life where you experience a lack of satisfaction, you get to examine your thoughts.  Remember, thoughts become things.  What you think will happen influences your actions.  Your action influences your results.  Want to change your results?  Change your thinking.  That’s the RED HOT way of being.  Don’t stay stuck in struggle and failure.

Reframe and Empower Different Habits of Thinking that serve your purpose and provide you with satisfaction and positive results.


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