Today's Tuesday Tip: ORGANIZE!
You see this big black binder? It's old, not cutesy-and as a matter of fact, it's the same binder that held my lesson plans when I did my student teaching umpteen years ago-but it works! (I guess I'm cheap---thrifty sounds like a nicer word!---ANYWAY, where was I?) This black binder holds ongoing records for each of my students in my classroom. It makes it easy to pull information for SSMTs, RTI data, you name it.
Here's what I did.
I used my big black binder, and put several (enough for each student in my classroom and a few extra for other important information) page protectors in it. I designated one page protector per student, and put them in alphabetical/numerical order. **If you put your students in alphabetical order, and assign them a corresponding number at the beginning of the year, it makes filing much easier. They can just write their number on each page. ** The pages hold a variety of information. See below (I apologize for the images--I am bad about using my phone)
My school is big on Star/Early Literacy Data for our information, so I keep my students log-in information handy in the front, and a copy of the reports from the benchmarking periods.
At the beginning of the year I recorded their running record level. Nothing fancy, I just quickly wrote it down for my personal record and stuck inside the binder.
I also made up an assessment/quick check for the beginning of the year. This was based off of Ohio's content standards from several years back. I tested on letter sounds, letter names (bother upper and lower), Kindergarten sight words, color words, rhyming words, and number recognition. (This was before I knew of AimsWeb and other easier data recording sheets to access. Thanks to my wonderful coworker for taking my handwritten copy and typing it for me!) **If you are wondering how we used it, we didn't record it in order, we went down on our chart, instead of left to right.**
Why did I use this? Our benchmarking period is late fall, and I've already had my students for a month before we utilize the data the school wants us using. I wanted a way to see what my students know coming into me from the first week. This also shows progress of students that have been struggling all year. It marks their progress from week one.
I also put our beginning of the year math pretest, collect a variety of writing samples, and I put running records inside the sleeve as well. If I get "THOSE" parent notes, or if I've referred a student to the office, I put those in there too. It's a way to keep all my information on each child at my fingertips.
Then, when I want to see the progress of each student, I can pull out a page and compare. This is one of my strugglers. The picture on the left is from the second week of school, and the picture on the left was just last week. He has added more details. There's some progress showing. I can pull it out and show it at conferences, or as I said, it is easy to access when going through your referral process if needed.
I even keep sight word check lists in it. (This was pre -Super Reader) ;)
It's something so simple to do, yet I only started doing it this year. In years past I used folders, and labeled each folder for each child. Then I had to go through the filing process of pages, and then find a place to store all of the files, or where to store my crate of files. This sits just perfectly on my teacher counter, and can be accessed by the intervention teachers that I work with. I can take it to meetings with me by carrying the whole binder, or just the files that I need.
Why didn't I do this years ago?