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The Joy of Six

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This is a six step process to humanize data that teachers and schools have on students in order to increase attainment. A spreadsheet called "Putting a face to data" forms step 1 in the process and allows teachers or school teams to identify the number of students at each proficiency level in a given area of the curriculum. The Joy of Six contains questions to answer during PLC meetings. These questions make up steps 2-6 of the process.


This is a set of two documents. The first is a proficiency table named: Putting a Face to Data.

Step 1: Gathering Data. It is an Excel sheet split into four main categories:

  • Proficient and Higher
  • Close
  • Far to Go but Likely to become Proficient
  • Far to Go but Not Likely to become Proficient.

There is a space where one indicates the number and percentage of students at each level. All the information is sorted by the teacher. The second represents a continuation of the proficiency table. Following the elaboration of a SMART goal based on the data, five actions are identified to help students attain the learning cycle objective. This is detailed in the second document.


Context For Use

The initial step of this activity should be carried out by individual teachers recording data on their students. Steps 2-6  may be carried out in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) meeting with a group of teachers from a specific subject area.


  • Knowledge management: This exercise allows schools to comprehensively gather, organize, share and analyze the information it holds on its students.
  • Knowledge mobilization: TEachers are then encouraged to use the available knowledge to make positive changes for their students to improve results.


  • The document "Putting a Face to Data" provides quick access to information about the number and percentage of students at each proficiency level. These results are useful when elaborating strong and pertinent SMART goals.  
  • All members of the team must be present so that consensus can be reached on which common strategies and actions to implement.
  • Participants would benefit from an introductory workshop on data collection and analysis prior to using this activity..

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