Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Rolling File: Yes, There's Still a Need for Paper

I'm buying a rolling file today.  A file that I can pull around the classroom with me as I teach and work. A file that I can drag to RTI and PLC meetings when we discuss and share lots of data.

We enhanced our PLC efforts this year, and began RTI in earnest.  I'm a fan as these approaches help us target our collaborative instruction better.  We are meeting student needs and students are happy that they are getting just right instruction.

We collect a lot of data.  We use this data as we discuss students' instructional plans for best effect.  We'll also use the data at upcoming parent conferences.

The rolling file is a good solution.  It will be a useful, accessible way to store and access the data. I can take the file with me to in-house meetings and easily pull a child's file, then spread the data sheets and work examples out on a table for all to see and discuss.  I can also organize the papers in many different ways to share a story of a child's academic profile.

In the past, students created hard-copy portfolios, and that served as a wonderful data point, but this year students have placed their portfolios online, and I find that parents don't access those portfolios often, and they are difficult to share at parent conferences.

I have a lot of data on the computer as well, and have used that in the past, but I find it's not as "friendly" a format yet for parent and/or parent/student conferences. In the future, I can imagine that we'll meet at tables like the one below and use the computers readily to share information, but for now I think the rolling file will serve my purpose well as I move from table to table, and room to room to work with students and confer with the team: family members, students, educators and administrators.

Do you use the rolling file or do you have a better data collection device for student scores, work samples and other paper work?  How do you arrange the data you collect, and how do you share that work with others?  I look forward to your responses as I devise a simple, easy-to-access file system that compliments our PLC, RTI and other collaborative work.

Media Table