For years, I've been trying to find a way to efficiently track data in the 8th grade classroom so that it would be not only meaningful to me, but most importantly meaningful to my students. It needed to be student friendly so that they could take ownership in their own learning and know what their strengths and weaknesses were.
I HAVE FINALLY FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKS!!
I've had these incentive charts (horizontal layout) for years, along with a ton of tiny circle stickers. I never could figure out what to do with them...I used them a few times to let the students track the assignments they had completed when we were preparing for the STAAR test. But I think I've finally found the perfect use for them!
I wrote the student names along the left side (by class) and the TEKS along the top (with a short, student friendly title of what the TEKS entailed). For example: 8.7B Moon Phases
Every 6 weeks, our district gives the students a Curriculum Based Assessment (or Benchmark test). The test is broken down by the TEKS. I use the data from this test to decide if a student has "mastered" a particular TEKS or not. We have Eduphoria, which aggregates the data for us, so I am pretty fortunate, but this could be done by hand. I only give a student a sticker for the TEKS if they showed 100% mastery. For example, if there were 4 questions on the test that tested TEKS 8.7B and the student only got 3 of those questions correct, he/she would not earn that particular sticker.
As we begin to prepare for the STAAR test, this is a great visual for the students to see which TEKS are their stronger ones and which ones need some work. I would rather tailor my STAAR prep to the individual student rather than the masses.
I find my students studying the boards in their "free time" to see how they compare to their classmates. I have made it a motivational strategy and not a personal embarrassment for the kids. Before posting them, we talked about the fact that EVERYONE has strengths and weaknesses and instead of pretending like they don't exist, the best way to get better and grow as a learner, is to acknowledge and address your weaknesses. Don't live in denial...face your truth! I also explained how the sticker only means 100% mastery and that an individual may have gotten 4 out of 5 questions right (which is nothing to be ashamed of at all), but it just wasn't deserving of a mastery sticker. The students will never know exactly where their classmates fall in that percentage range (only if they had 100%).
How do you track student data throughout the year? I'd love to hear/see what other people do. What works? How do you get the students involved in the process so they take ownership?