Data Management...Or Something Like It.

First and foremost I have big news to share: the air condition in my classroom has FINALLY been fixed!!! Cue, loud fireworks, applause and sighs of relief. It had only been nine weeks, students were estatic on Friday it mine as well have been a holiday. And in positive news you won't have to read about how hot and cranky I am.
Another Sunday has come and I am just getting back to my poor neglected blog. I promise myself/my blog each week that I will post at least one post during the week, and then life happens. It's boring, not even worth discussing odds and ends that keep me clean, fed, clothed and sometimes mildly entertained.  It's sort of like me promising myself I will go to the gym 3+ times a week, and I only make it once a week.
Shrug, I at least get an A for effort right?!?
And with that statement I lead into a very enlightening post on my data management. Ok, scratch that just a post on data management. Let's set the expectations a bit more realistically.
My data management is very much geared toward middle schoolers but considering I just make it all up as I go along this could be false.  Here is your free copy if you would like to download it from my TPT store!
I have about 160+ students filter through my room on a given day, and I need to be able to keep track quickly of attendance, detentions, daily grades and warm up grades.
I have my AMAZING clipboard, its hot pink so its nothing short of amazing. And I use a excel spreadsheet for each class.  Every Friday I print the new excel sheet and have all 6 ready to go for Monday.  Each spreadsheet is divided up with a section for attendance, warm up grades, daily grades and notes.  And because I am SUPER OCD I use a different color pen for each day so my notes can easily be tracked to a specific day.

My students need instant gratification, as most probably do, so they know as I walk around and grade warm ups and check off their name they are already receiving 100's and we are not even 10 minutes into class. Its amazing the difference in effort I received when I started the clipboard method, I get to a student and they have not done their warm up. I stand their patiently clipboard and pen in hand, say "warm up" and walk to the next student. They race to get something on their paper. I will keep moving around the room and suddenly I hear "Ms come back, I did it" my clipboard has special powers.
I also try and take daily grades on the spreadsheet as well. I will come around and meet with groups/individual students and check progress, notes, etc. If a student is on task I make a little tally. Sometimes I get around twice or three times, so having their box full means they earned a 100 for the day. And then depending on the classes progress as a whole I will mark down points for students missing tallies.
Another great thing about the spreadsheet is it allows me to mark absent in their daily grade boxes if they aren't here, so I know to not give them a zero. In electives students get pulled out ALL the time; group meetings, CIS, counslors, administration, etc. So a student can complete the warm up but be pulled away for the daily grade part of class and all I have to do is make the notation in the appropriate box.  Because lets get real I would never remember that Susie Q spent most of the class in the nurses office last Tuesday.
One of the other really nice things about the spreadsheet method is I can make notes and then go back and enter referrals or enter the the information in ESCT after school or later in the week. With so many students I would never be able to remember who was tardy, ran out, had detention without keeping little notes on my spreadsheet.
Something new I started doing this year was I color coded their printed names based on their accomodations. We have to keep track of SPED, 504 and LEP students. So on each spreadsheet I have labeled their names with yellow, green or blue depending on their accomodation. If anyone got a hold of my clipboard they would have no clue who was what, just that I like random colors.
Another amazing use of my spreadsheet is notes for class progress, I teach 3 different Robotics courses and all three classes have different needs and personalities. I am able to mark at the top of the spreadsheet where we left off, what needs to be readdressed the next day or even classroom management issues.
For example, Thursday 2nd period lost their minds and decided to stack up headphones in my turn in box rather than put them in the headphone boxes. Don't ask me why. Really its not a big deal, sometimes I think that that bell rings and they just all go into panic mode, must leave class as quickly as possible screw all of my belongings. But still the item needed to be addressed on Friday as handling supplies correctly is VERY important in my classroom. Honestly: after seeing 3 other classes on Thursday, staff meeting, dealing with AC technicans and actually seeing Mr. B for the first time all week, headphones were the last thing on my mind when I got to school Friday. But looking at my spreadsheet reminded me what needed to be addressed with the class.
At the end of each six weeks I take all 6 spreadsheets for each class and file them away in my data binder just in case something happens and I need my documentation.
I know that every teacher has their own method of keeping up with data. I also know that being an elective teacher at middle school means I have a lot more freedom with how I keep up with daily data. But considering last year as a first year teacher I had no clue how to keep up with this properly I thought I would share.  Here is the link at my TPT store to download it for free:
Hopefully tomorrow's post will be part 2 of Data Management, grading for a class of students who don't actually have to pass your class. Sounds riveting!
The Babbling Box!

No comments