How to Track Data…LIKE A BOSS!

Do you hear the word “data” and cringe? Curse? Wish you had a hot poker so that you could stick it in your eye?

Okay, maybe that is a bit extreme, but I am definitely guilty of the first two.

What I don’t like about data is that it often takes real life out of the equation. I just don’t believe that numbers are the only answer. However, while I have my issues with data, I do know that it can be helpful in spotting trends and “locating” the little ones that tend to fly under the radar.

Any teacher worth his or her salt and with a few years under his or her belt can pretty much tell you what their students are struggling with and why. But, gone are the days when a teacher could simply say “my kiddos are struggling with regrouping in subtraction” and then be given the autonomy to remedy the situation.

Image result for teacher data memes

As trends began shifting more and more towards collecting data, I personally struggled. I’m not a natural number cruncher, nor am I always the most organized. It was very disheartening to attend my summative, talk about all the good things that went on in my classroom, explain what I did in order to meet students’ needs, and then get no credit for it because it wasn’t presented in writing.

(P.S. When administrators ask for data, they should also provide the format and expectations (even training) for that requirement. Also, the format should: a) remain consistent, and: b)not change every year.)

Do I sound resentful?

I got to thinking about how I could “prove” what I was doing.

My own personal style is paper and pencil. If it’s in a computer file…well… out of sight out of mind. I needed something easy to use, that wasn’t an Excel spreadsheet, and that I could just print off and stick in a binder.

So, I created it.

#necessityisthemotherofinvention

I started with the second grade math TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge Skills) and then went on to add kinder and first. I have also created kinder, first, and second grade data tracking worksheets for the Common Core Math Standards. Now, I know I said that I’m a pencil and paper kind of gal, but I’ve got all of you technologically-minded folk covered…all files are editable!

So…here is what is included in each package:

  • a complete set of whole group forms for all the grade level math standards
  • a complete set of individual student data tracking worksheets for all the grade level math standards
  • a set of small group forms that can be used with any standard
  • a set of completely blank forms that can be used with any subject or standard

Whole Group worksheets are great for gathering initial sets of data, but one thing that I need to make a note of…I took the liberty of breaking down several of the standards a little further. For example, take the following second grade TEKS standard:

(4)  Number and operations. The student applies mathematical process standards to develop and use strategies and methods for whole number computations in order to solve addition and subtraction problems with efficiency and accuracy. The student is expected to:

(A)  recall basic facts to add and subtract within 20 with automaticity

Experience has taught me that just because my students could recall their addition facts does not necessarily mean they had their subtraction facts down. So I just split them into two standards. Easy peasy… lemon squeezy.

Or how about this TEKS standard:

(4)  Number and operations. The student applies mathematical process standards to develop and use strategies and methods for whole number computations in order to solve addition and subtraction problems with efficiency and accuracy. The student is expected to:

(C)  solve one-step and multi-step word problems involving addition and subtraction within 1,000 using a variety of strategies based on place value, including algorithms

Need I say more?

Individual student worksheets are set up a little differently:

There are those pesky word problem standards again. In fact you can see that I broke 2.4A, 2.5B, 2.4C, and 2.4D down into smaller, more focused, individual standards. You can use the spaces provided to jot down notes, write in dates, grades… whatever works for you.

Small Group Worksheets are organized by reporting category (or domain in the case of Common Core standards) only and allow the teacher to just plug in whatever particular standard within that category they are working on.

Again, I’m the kind of person that likes a printed copy that I can just write on. But, the editable forms are super user friendly. They are PDFs, so all you have to do is insert your cursor and type. How easy is that?!

You can find all Painless Data sets here.

P.S. I welcome comments and feedback!

Until next time,

Happy Teaching

-Karen

 

 

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