Thursday, September 11, 2014

Show me the data!

Give me a D-A-T-A...what does that spell? Data! Everyone's favorite thing! (Do you hear any sarcasm?)  It's one of those love/hate things...sometimes it's a pain to get the data, organize the data, analyze the data. But when all that getting and organizing and analyzing is done, your students will be much better for it because you'll know EXACTLY what they need to improve. Preachin' to the choir, I know.

I wanted to share one of the systems I use for data. It's nothing fancy (I didn't take as much time as I normally would to make it all cutesy because this time of the year is cray-cray- maybe later in the year I'll jazz it up a bit). 

I have a ton of built in storage in my classroom and decided to utilize some of the surface space for my data walls. As you can see, I thought of this AFTER I had already put my class jobs up. My OCDness tells me to take it down and put all the data together but my exhausted self says just leave it for now. I think I'll just leave it for now. ;)

Like I said, nothing fancy. I just laminated some bright card stock and used scotch tape to put them on the cabinets. (If you decide to do this, don't skip the laminating since this is an interactive tool.) Then I quickly created some headings and labels. Here's what data I've included:

*What is my current reading level?

*I can write my full name!

*I know all my letters and sounds!

* I can count to 100!

*I can identify and write numbers to 20!

*How many words can I read and write?

I wanted this to double as a motivational tool for my kids, not just for me or the administrators to look at when they are doing walk-throughs. I made the higher DRA levels and the 30, 40 and 50 labels stars instead of squares like the lower levels. I tell my kids that it's great they can read at a 2 or 3 or know 15 or 20 words but they are super stars if they can get to an even higher reading level or know even more words. Once they reach a "star" level they get a treat from me (we will decide together as a class what the treat will be).

For the middle wall, I simply put their name on the specific skill they have mastered. They get a treat and also a positive trip to the principal's office to brag on themselves. As you can see, only one little sweetie can write his full name. I have a few more who can write their first name but are still working on their last. 

Another note on the reading levels: since formal DRA testing is only done 3 times a year, I use the leveled readers from Reading A-Z to gauge their current levels. I don't want a kid's name to be on level A from January to June- there wouldn't be a purpose for this wall if that was the case and I'm sure that would be discouraging for the kids!

I hope this gives you some ideas. Data doesn't have to be dreadful- some bright paper and cute fonts make it fun and easy! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Currently

I am ALWAYS late getting my currently up! My goal for October is to be one of the first 50 to link up with Miss Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade (who I got the pleasure of being in the same room with at the Austin blogger meetup a couple weeks ago- not gonna lie, a little starstruck!). Here's a pic of the wonderful gals at the meetup. What other talented bloggers do you recognize?? 

Annnnd, here's my currently!

Go link up if you haven't already! Remember to be respectful and follow the rules for this linky. :)