For a humanities instructor, Arthur Wachholz analyzes data like a seasoned scientist. As an 11th-grade history teacher, Wachholz has as much homework, if not more, than his students at Bogan College Preparatory High school in Chicago, IL. Wachholz arrives to every class with a three-page lesson plan prepared. His emphasis on course structure and student data analysis is the cornerstone of his teaching method. Wachholz's data-driven teaching technique doesn't mean his classes suffer from a lack of creativity. Wachholz uses student data to determine which types of critical thinking projects will best suit his students' skills and needs. Many of these activities are quite inventive. One shining example: he turned his classroom into a historical mock trial where students played the roles of different historical figures, from witness to attorney to journalist.
At Bogan, with its heavily minority student population and over 60 percent qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch, Wachholz maintains high expectations for student achievement. As leader of the school's data committee, he collaborates with teacher representatives from all different academic departments to establish protocols and procedures for using student data to drive instruction. Wachholz interprets information from incoming reading comprehension skills and test scores. He then finds students with similar strengths and then groups them with those having opposite strengths to help one another improve in different areas. To date, Wachholz students' average ACT scores have increased by two points from fall to spring, a very significant ACT score improvement. Wachholz later moved to Minnesota to be closer to family. He began a new path in his career as a Reading Specialist at Rockford High School in Rockford, MN. This small rural school district was a far cry from downtown Chicago. However, Wachholz found his niche working with struggling readers. In 2012, he earned his license as a Reading Specialist and started using his data analysis skills to improve critical literacy skills for all students. He eventually brought these skills back to a diverse learning community and the humanities classroom at Park Center Senior High in Brooklyn Park, MN. Here he teaches history to struggling readers in 10th and 11th grade. He utilizes a variety of differentiation methods and a wide array of data to track his students overall growth. He has seen an average level of improvement of one grade level in reading for all of his students. Wachholz continues to use creativity with data driven methodology so students achieve succeess.
2000 University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.A., National Louis University - M.A.T, St. Mary's University - Reading Certificate
Reading Specialist K-12