Hello fellow teachers.
I have a confession to make.
Please don’t hate me…because…
I seriously love data.
I love testing my students and tracking their growth with them. I love to see the progress we make throughout the year and I love to see their excitement when they realize they have reached a goal.
Disclaimer: I know testing has gotten out of hand and we as teachers are TIRED of it. I hate that many teachers feel like they have to spend all of their time teaching to a test. That is no way to teach. I am telling you right now: this is not the kind of data I love. Mandated testing is a huge problem and I have no solutions.
The kind of testing I am talking about is much, much different. It is an opportunity to turn that testing you hate into something enjoyable. It is a relationship between teacher and student like no other I have found and I want to share that love with you.
Here are a few of the many benefits I have found in tracking data with my students:
- Better understanding of one another: I know exactly where my students are at any given time because we test together. They know how much I want them to succeed because I get to celebrate their growth so often.
- Classroom community: We set goals together and help each other reach them. When a student masters something like a sight word list or their letter sounds, I yell something like “Woo hoo! Jesus mastered his alphabet!” and the whole class cheers. Every. Single. Time. Talk about heart warming!
- Better instruction: when I test a student and he is obviously struggling with something, I jot down a note to make sure I cover it in small group. I have closed so many gaps this way!
- More directed small groups: I know exactly who needs to come to my teacher table together and why. My groups are literally always changing because students are mastering different things at different paces. Our time together is meaningful and focused and therefore very valuable.
The first picture shows my student’s alphabet mastery at the beginning of the year. The second shows our mastery after one month of focused instruction. My kindergarten class is at 89% mastery! I will tell you, I have a really great group this year and we have worked hard this month! Each one of my students has a “brain book” (that is what we call our data notebooks) with several data pages.
This is what my alphabet page looked like. Can you believe this growth?! Our class had a dance party after testing on September first!
After I posted those photos, I was asked to share my files. I decided to create a whole literacy brain book for Kindergarten! This is my first teachers pay teachers project and is definitely a leap of faith for me. It is free for a short time in the hopes I will get feedback on things that could be changed or adjusted. If you decide to download it, please email me with changes you would like to see! If you love it as much as I do, please review it on teachers pay teachers! I would really appreciate it!
You will see several posts about tracking data with students because I love it so much and feel it is so under utilized in teaching these days. I definitely do not want to overwhelm anyone so I am going to take it slow. I will be posting more specific strategies and benefits as well so please subscribe if you are interested!
Thank you for joining me in this journey to discover the best way to help our students succeed!