Tracking Student Data

Four years ago in a faculty meeting my principal challenged us to find a way to have our students monitor their own progress. Having taught fourth grade for eight years before moving down to the primary grades (5 years in first, 2 years as a first/second combination, and now just in second), I knew it would be easier for older children to do this, but my first graders? Several teachers sat down and talked how we could do this. We knew the importance and that it would both motivate and challenge our students to work harder and push themselves in ways that we couldn't. But what were we to do with all of that data? Math standards from unit tests ... reading levels ... iStation reports ...
We decided charts would be the easiest for us to create. Our report cards are standards based for kindergarten through second grade, so a 4-3-2-1 vertical chart made the most sense to us. The first year we made math charts for first and second grades and had them in chronological order according to our pacing guide.

During the summer after that first year I wondered how I could add in spelling. That year I was teaching the combination class and the number of words on the tests were different, so I created different charts using the percentages that they could color in after the weekly tests.

With all that said, here's what we came up with.

These are my folders this year. (In my combination classes I had different color folders to keep them easily sorted.)
This is what the math standards charts look like. The SOL (Standard of Learning in Virginia) is listed at the top, along with what part of the school year we covered it. But our pacing guide changed over the summer after we had already copied all of our folders, so we left them for this year.

The green section was from one test - identifying ordinal positions and writing the ordinal position. I sometimes take summative grades that I use for my data folders in a large unit, but other times, in smaller units, I take just one for several parts of the standard.

Depending on how well they do on the summative assessments correlates with what is colored in on the chart.
When students do not show mastery of a skill, we pull something that matches the content and place in the back of their folder. That work is used to drive our intervention time one to two times a week as needed.
This is what the spelling sheets look like. At times it has been a real struggle to get the charts colored in each week due to time constraints. This afternoon when I was having mini conferences with my students to color in their charts from our test, several were excited that they had improved this week's score from last week's. It made me smile!
Here's a link to get the spelling charts to use in your classroom. There are 3 completed ones - with 10 words, 12 words, and 16 words - as well as a blank one to edit as you need.
Do you use data folders or charts? Pros and cons of them? Do you include something different in yours?

I will be honest - it's a lot of work at the beginning, but once you have it finished, you shouldn't need to change it (unless your pacing guide changes!) and not only is it a motivator for your students, but a great piece of information to use in parent conferences.

Until next time,

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