Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Data, Data, Data!

So, one aspect of teaching that's FOREVER changing is the way that we teachers collect data in the classroom. It seems like the expectations put on teachers each year grows and grows. Our to-do list is forever long! The last couple of years I've tried multiple different strategies to collect reading/literacy data in my classroom. I've found one method that truly works for me!

Each year I start by digging out my trusty 3 ring binder. I bought numbered tabs from Staples to keep my data organized. I assign my kiddos numbers at the start of the each number corresponds to one student in my classroom.

Behind each numbered tab I keep copies of reading and comprehension assessments, writing samples, or any other piece that will be useful during conferences. I then copy 3 of my reading data sheets (one  sheet each for the Fall, Winter, and Spring). I use these sheets during independent conferences. The post-it note section is where I keep sticky notes from guided reading, book clubs, or whole group observations.

 At our school we use the Fountas and Pinnell BAS reading assessment to determine reading level in students. For this reason part of our school-wide reading assessment includes keeping record of each student's independent reading level (what they can read and comprehend on their own) as well as their instructional reading level (what they can read and comprehend with the help of their teacher). So, I went ahead and included a reading scale for reference. I've also listed some independent reading behaviors that are expectations during my reader's workshop. Together, I talk with each student about the reading behaviors and whether they showing those behaviors during reader's workshop. At the top of this data collection tool I've listed some reading skills as strengths and goals. I highlight these objectives while listening to students read.

I've used this tool for the last 3 years and have found that it is great to reference during parent/teacher conferences as well as at problem solving meetings. I would LOVE to hear about the data collection tools you use in your classroom! Comment and share your ideas below! If you'd like a copy of this data tool to use in your classroom click here to download the pdf or click the data collection tool above! ENJOY! :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Student Centered Reading Binders this summer one of my many goals has been to create a reading binder that fits my reader's workshop block like a glove! & I think I've done just that! Each year my kiddos bring a 3 ring binder to start the school year and I've found that I am often rushing to throw things together that we may or may not use throughout the year! I wanted a solid resource that was student BEHOLD, my reading binder was born!

So, I started by creating a SUPER cute binder cover that each student can decorate and make their own. As you can see, I chose to go with a little rainbow action! My reading binder has 5 literacy tabs, color coded that are just peeking out of the side of the binder. This was intended to help with easy use and organization for my kiddos. I went ahead and printed the binder tabs on card stock for durability, cut the circles out and glued them to each cover page.

The first tab of my reading binder is entitled "read to self." During my reading block this is where students are reading independently from books chosen from their book bins. This tab has several different tools that students may use during the school year. The first is a reading stamina bar graph. This is an activity that I do at the beginning of the year, where, as a class, we graph how long we can all read independently during read to self. This graph is a HUGE motivator for students. The rules are everyone MUST be in their reading spot, MUST be focused, and MUST be really reading. The kids love to watch the bars grow. The second is a rating system that students use to grade their reading behavior each day for read to self. You will see a calendar for each month. The rubric is below...a 4 means EXCELLENT reading behavior, while a 1 is could be better. The last part of this tab includes a "flag your thinking" reading strategy used in my classroom. Students use sticky notes and symbols to track their thinking as they read independently. The students really love this tool!

The second tab is called "My Reading Progress". This tab includes reading data collected by the students throughout the year. It includes a reading log and a reading goal page. Again, the goal page has a rubric for students to choose from. This will make a GREAT tool for one-on-one conferences!

Third, is a tab titled "My Mini Lessons". Do you find that you copy really awesome anchor charts for students to reference and then find those very charts in the recycle bin the next day? AH! This tab gives a home to all of those useful charts that you encourage students to reference during the year. I created a mini lesson handout table of contents.

This is perhaps my favorite section of the reading binder!! Behind the "Working with Words" tab is a student dictionary for letters A - Z. Each letter page has Dolch sight words for grades PreK- 3rd. The lines on each letter page allow students to add words throughout the year. My plan is to have students add spelling and sight words to this section weekly.

So, the last section is a tab reserved for reading groups. I've called it "Reading Groups and Book Clubs". I know, first hand, how different every teacher's reading block looks. For this reason I've only included a story review and map that can accompany any book. This year I am excited to try out book clubs, but wanted to keep a tab for guided case I experience any epic fails! :)

That pretty much sums up my new reading binder. I am SO excited to give this a try this year! I think my students are really going to enjoy the freedom that this binder offers. You can find this reading binder at my TPT store! I would love to hear about what others use for their reading and literacy binders...comment below!!