Empower Your Students {Doable Data}

Inviting children to be part of their own data collection is very empowering, especially for our most fragile young readers who worry they're "not getting it" {this "mystery" called reading} and who wonder if they're making any progress at all.  I love the practice of keeping data folders with children... it makes them keenly aware of their growth and success and sets the stage for helping them identify their specific needs and set goals.  The data folders become very personal to them and they take great pride in the ownership of them.  I love how the folders are private, honoring each child's growth rate and protecting their self-esteem.

With all the data we're asked to keep on our students, I like finding age-appropriate ways the children can be part of the progress monitoring plan. The pictures below are a few ways Matthew has been monitoring his own progress in reading.  {These are photos from the beginning of the school year.  I'll update with more current photos soon.}





It's really fun to listen to children share their data folders with the parents during conferences.  :)  They take such pride and ownership in the document itself and in explaining their growth over time and their goals for higher achievement.  

Teach the children how to think critically about their data folder.  Once a month, show them how to look through their data and notice successes and coach them through goal setting where needs are noticed.  {I recommend doing this privately, either one-on-one or in small groups.} Then, in a classroom with a healthy culture of respect and a genuine love for learning, you'll be able to gather all the children on the floor with their data folders and invite them to share out successes and new goals.  I only "invite" them to do this publicly if they choose to, always just asking for volunteers... they have to feel safe and believe they're in a non-threatening environment to do this.  When children share, it might sound like this:  "I'm really excited because I'm getting good at hearing all the sounds in a word... that will help me when I'm writing words.  Something I want to work on this month is reading more smoothly, like trying to put my words together when I'm reading them."

These student data graph templates and goal setting sheets are available in my TPT store.  The item includes graphs for skills most appropriate for K/1 students and 2nd grade students who are not yet meeting their expectations.  You can see some of the sample pages below, or visit the store link and read more about it there.


{Helping Children Set Goals and Track Their Own Growth}


Your Turn:  Do you have a system set up for helping children set goals and track their own growth?  What has worked for you?


UPDATE: 2/20/15

Hey everyone!  I recently updated this packet to include blackline copies of many of the graphs.  (I originally made this set back when color copies weren't an issue, but with current copy costs on the rise, black-and-white is definitely the way to go.  Plus they're cuter because the kids are coloring them.)  I also added a few more graphs in the ELA section to help children track their growth with sound segmentation.

Here are some sample graphs from Elizabeth's data folder:






Happy teaching!  :)

22 comments:

  1. I love this idea! Going to check out that pack now!

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  2. Thank you, Q Harris. My intention is to keep adding graphs to this document as I go along. {Any that I add later will be available at no extra charge for anyone who has already purchased the item.} Thanks for stopping by... have a really great day! :)

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  3. This looks great! I just added it to my TpT wish list. Thanks!
    We currently use goal-setting system in our school where the students use "passports" to record their goals. They receive points when they are demonstrating action towards attaining their individual goals. It's a pretty great system, but I love the idea of the kids being involved in tracking their own progress.

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    1. The idea of "passports" is fun... like we're on an educational journey! :)

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  4. Love these! They look awesome! I too do data binders in my classroom and love when the kids talk with their parents at the conferences! I also love hearing the goals they set for each other! It looks like Matthew rocks!!

    BuzzIntoKinder

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    1. Matthew is coming along. He's such a sweet boy and he really enjoys "owning" this folder... it makes him feel important and it's cute the way he takes care of it. :)

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  5. We came across these and fit correlate well to a discussion we just had at our literacy committee meeting. Your data graphs are simple and look like a great way to introduce the idea of students tracking their own progress with our young kiddos. So glad we came upon this post!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

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    1. Thank you. I plan on adding a few more next year. I think there's so much the children could do... I like to have options. :)

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  6. You had me at "finding age-appropriate ways the children can be part of the progress monitoring plan". Your suggestion will help me finally provide a realistic way to try to meet one of the components of my district's (Houston ISD)teacher evaluation system. Ya know, it's kind of hard for a Kindergartener "to articulate their learning goals for the school year and what progress they are making towards their goals". Gosh, the hoops we jump threw!
    Thanks!

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    1. You're right. A generation ago, our kindergarteners were making homemade play dough, negotiating who would get to use the broom in the housekeeping corner, and learning how not to overuse liquid glue. :)

      The expectations of our kids certainly has changed, that's for sure.

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  7. I had students monitor their own progress in math fact learning, but I hadn't thought about using the same strategy in reading. Thank you for the great idea and product! I am wishlisting it now!
    Forever A Teacher, Forever A Learner

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    1. I'm so glad you like it. Thanks for taking the time to write in! :)

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  8. This self-monitoring data collection is a wonderful idea. I think we get so focused in collecting the data about the children that we sometimes forget to empower the children themselves with their own progress monitoring. It's so good for them to measure their own growth rather than to look at a grade or just hear something like "good job". This packet lets them know specifics in their math and reading skills such as word knowledge and shape identification. They're also practicing graphing skills in a real life setting! Well done.

    Zoom Zoom Classroom

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  9. These work AMAZINGLY well in Kindergarten!!! They motivate my students and keep them accountable for their learning. In my classroom, students keep them at their tables so they can pull them out and self monitor their learning. I often see/hear my students "coaching" each other and helping each other practice sight words, letters and sounds using these folders! I use the language "making their bar go higher" when beginning certain lessons, so they see/feel a connection to the folders (referring to the bars on each page). We goal set too! This is one teaching tool I would not want to do without! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! ...data folders in Kindergarten!! Robin

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  10. These data sheets look GREAT! I've always wanted to use them, but have been a little intimidated with another thing for the kids to keep up with. I think I'll give it a try next year. Thanks!

    Annie

    Three Cheers for First Grade!

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  11. Love this idea for tracking data, would love to see some end of the year pictures too! :) What a great resource!

    ~Jessica
    Fun in PreK-1

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  12. This looks great and it's in my cart now! Is that cute round data cover included in the packet? Thanks!! firstandsecondlooptroop@gmail.com

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  13. Thank you for sharing these Andrea! I have been looking for a way to help my Year 1 Students understand what their goals are and what they need to do to achieve them. Some of these sheets have definitely helped! I especially like the blank words page, as I can differentiate with it; some students have sight words and other have spelling words.

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    1. Thanks, Meagan! :) It's hard to make something that works for every teacher... each class is SO different. I'm glad the blank page will work for you so you can customize it for each child.

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  14. Andrea, I absolutely love these! You are such a brilliant teacher! I can see how kids would be so empowered and proud of their achievements when they are keeping track of their progress in their own little folders! I just loved it!

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  15. Hey Andrea,

    First, remarkable work here. Some of the best examples of student involved assessment that I've ever seen happening in the primary grades.

    Second, a question: I present to teachers about student involved assessment all the time. I was wondering if I could use the images in this post in my presentations to convince teachers that primary kids really can do this.

    I'll be sure to give you full credit, to point people to this blog post, and to point people to your templates on Teachers Pay Teachers in every presentation.

    Would that be OK with you?
    Bill Ferriter

    --a fellow NC teacher! Sixth grade in Wake County.

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