Thursday, July 20, 2017

Data Tracking in the Classroom

Are you tracking your students' data in the classroom? If not, you definitely should be!๐Ÿ˜ƒ  It is so great to see the students strive to meet a certain goal and have it displayed in the classroom as a constant reminder.  My first year teaching, I had no idea how I was going to implement data tracking in my classroom.  The only things I did know were that it was a requirement by admin and that it should have some sort of percentage involved.  So, I stuck with the basic percentage, 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%.  Next on my mind was, "Where do I put this?", "How do I design it?", and "How are we going to manage it in the classroom?"๐Ÿ˜•.  Some teachers had bulls eye targets and I even saw some thermometers but I am NOT an artist, so I definitely wasn't going to draw any of that.  Then, my team lead gave me a sample of something another teacher had done for her class.  I printed what she gave me, stapled it onto the wall, and thought..."This will do!".  Well, of course, everything is trial and error...because I spent the rest of the year re-stapling those little signs to my wall.  The clips were just to heavy and the signs were just too low.  I gotta say, I was THRILLED to rip that data wall down at the end of the year๐Ÿ˜†.  So over the summer, I thought, I need to revamp this idea.  It was so simple but I needed to make it work.  So I made bigger signs, added some motivational quotes and used the dependable binder rings!  
Finally, I had my data tracker.  I placed it in my room along with my standards tracker and it worked AMAZINGLY all year long.  

The way it works.
Our school has three diagnostic tests that the students take.  One at the beginning of the year, one mid-year, and one at the end.  Before the students take the first test, they are initially put on 0%, each with their own clip.  The students write their numbers on their clips as well as decorate them if their clips are big enough.  As soon as we complete the administration of this test, each student creates a goal, one for reading and one for math (so of course, we have TWO data trackers in the classroom).  

The goals were created based on their test results, their weaknesses, and what is needed to be mastered for the specific standard they are struggling with.  After the next test administration, I calculate how far they get with their goal.  For example, if their goal was a score of 195 and they received a score of 193, they would have achieved 75% of their goal.  At this point, we would have a short recognition "ceremony" in class and students are told in class what percentage they achieved and they were in charge of moving their own clips up.  

At first, students do get a little disappointed that they don't reach 100% right away but this is when I stress, this is a year long goal NOT a mid-year goal. There are students that definitely achieve the 100% goal mid-year and this is when we sit down, re-evaluate our goal, and change it up.  When students do reach the 100% I do remind them that with the new goal, there is the possibility that at the end of the year they may go down a percentage. You can also choose to move those students back down to 0% after a new goal has been made, it is definitely up to you, since you know your students best. 

Now, there are always students that don't make any progress at all (most of the times, these were my lovely students that didn't really put any effort into the test๐Ÿ˜‘) and of course, that's when I referred to the positive language on the data tracker.  I always noticed after the first "recognition ceremony" in class, students realized that they too wanted to move up on that chart, so I definitely saw a MAJOR improvement in effort on the last test administration.  

I hope after reading this you'll start some data tracking in your classroom and if you want a little starter go ahead to my FREEBIES and download my Data Tracking Clip Chart or just simply click on the picture in this post! Don't forget to share how you're going to use my Data Tracker in your classroom, I would LOVE to see it in action!!! 
Enjoy and HAPPY TRACKING!
-Erika

P.S. I would love to know the amazing different ways that you are tracking in your classroom! Go ahead and share them in the comment section!