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Friday, June 26, 2015

Accurate Records

Thinking carefully about the records you will keep during the school year ahead of time can help you to collect, analyze, and report data accurately.

What kinds of data do you collect on a regular basis?

Attendance
This is a daily record. At the end of the year, the students created a good laminated check-in system chart that students signed each morning with their lunch choice. It was easy to look at the large chart and fill in the attendance form. Yet, some mornings I forgot to pick up the attendance form so I have to make that part of my routine--passing the office, checking the mail, then starting the day. We'll have an attendance helper.

Lunch Count
The lunch slips were always missing. We need a big colorful container for the lunch slips so we know where they are every day. It's important to have a good organization table and board that includes the attendance chart, lunch count slips, and other important information. We'll have a designated lunch count helper.

Mailboxes
I ordered a neat mail box with a slot for each child. This will make it easier to pass out forms and papers which in turn will make it easier to collect the forms and papers. I'll assign a couple of mail helpers at the start of the year to help out.

Permissions Slips, Checks, and Other Forms
We need to have folders, student check-off lists, reporting forms, and extra copies with regard to the many types of forms students bring back and forth to school every day. This paperwork needs a secure and easy-to-access place in the teacher's coaching corner/desk or at the organization table. It's best to share online copies of these forms with families as part of the weekly newsletter.

Weekly Newsletter
It's best to publish this online and also have some hard copies for families that can't access information online. Setting up a newsletter website provides a good resource for families, students, and educators as they navigate the school year.

Student Information Lists
It's important to have student name lists of all kinds. Lists with family names and contact information are important to have handy wherever you do your student-related work. It's also important to have plenty of check-off lists too. Many teachers match each student name with a number to make sorting and filing easier. Again, having copies of these lists available online is helpful. Further, at our school, the administrative staff print us multiple copies of student name stickers which come in handy too.

Data Reports
We create and maintain a large number of student data lists including the following:
  • ELA data including Dibels, Dorf, GRADE, MCAS/PARCC.
  • Writing data including pre- and post-assessment scores for each genre
  • Reading lists including books, book groups, and other related information.
  • Math data including standardized tests, system-wide tests, fact assessments, unit assessments, and data for report card standards areas. 
  • Narrative lists that track student efforts related to RTI, after school programs, special projects, subject areas, and more. 

Supplies and Orders
A list of the materials we order and/or desire. Having this list and modifying year to year makes this work efficient and targeted. 

Report Cards
We report data on these cards twice a year, and the cards are filed both online and offline.

Curriculum Websites
The information in these websites provides valuable links, images, films, and other information that makes the learning accessible to the learning team: students, families, colleagues, leaders, and community members. 

I'll revisit this list again as I set up start-of-year files in late August. Until then, if you have any additions for this list, please let me know.