Setting Up Your Student Data Binders

I know data binders are really in right now, and I have always found them to be a great student motivator.  Since they are personalized for the child, you can really sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in – and which that he or she could be working on.  Perfect for showing parents student progress as well!

Data binders are personalized for the child and you can sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in and what he or she could be working on.

I have traditionally used basic data graphs to show student performance in various subjects, which I then used in my student led parent conferences.  {If you are interested in those data binder forms or my Complete Guide to Student Led Conferences product, you can find those HERE.}

With the Common Core State Standards being so readily adopted by many districts across the US, I thought of a way to incorporate CC standards with a data binder in order to hit all the bases at once!  I have a few pictures, so that if you already have your materials, you can set up your own as well!

Materials Needed to Make Your Student Data Folders:

First, grab a two-pocket folder with brads, and some baggies.  The baggies can be any size, but the name brand will hold up better than the store brand in this instance.

Data binders are personalized for the child and you can sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in and what he or she could be working on.

On your baggie, use some duct tape (in this case, thick patterned duct tape will be better than the decorative packing tape I typically use) and line it across the bottom edge of the baggie.  You could also run it up either side, depending on your preference.  I wanted to keep mine a little more simple.  Then, print out your labels for your baggie on labels and place the labels right onto your baggie. Mine are from a set from Organized Educator.

Data binders are personalized for the child and you can sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in and what he or she could be working on.

Make sure to hole punch your baggie.  The duct tape will make it super hard for it to rip.

Add the Common Core skill ring cards and an o-ring (in case of a rip or a dump out, all the cards will be held safely on the ring) to the bag as the students earn them.

You might want to check out:

Assessment eBook Cover

Need some new ideas for your assessment and parent conference routine?  This 114 page digital book has you covered!

Includes 17 articles from Organized Classroom, including topics such as:

  • Saving Grading Time
  • 65 Report Card Comments
  • Custom Sticky Notes and Rubrics
  • How to Set Up Student Data Folders
  • Self-Assessment for Students
  • Managing Your Centers
  • Quick Informal Assessment Hacks

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Includes 9 additional freebie files!  No need to enter in an email address for each one separately – just click and go!

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Print off the I Can Student Checklist standards, hole punch, and place in the brads.  Put your baggie behind or in front of the standards.

Data binders are personalized for the child and you can sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in and what he or she could be working on.

Last, as students show mastery of the standards, they will be able to add more skill ring cards to their ring inside their baggie, and highlight the standards. 

Both will be very visual for showing students AND parents which standards have been learned, and which they still need to work on.  Perfect for students to really see the “WHY” they are in school part – and to remind them occasionally how much they really have learned throughout the course of a year. 

One last idea is o use a different colored highlighter for each marking period so that the visual is even more distinct!

Data binders are personalized for the child and you can sit with each student to discuss what he or she excels in and what he or she could be working on.

Enjoy putting your CCSS Data Binders together and I look forward to hearing how they go for you!

Are there any tricks to collecting student data?

Staying organized is critical.  You will have a ton of numbers, papers, and charts that are unique to each individual child.  Housing all the data folder components in a teacher binder will keep everything within arm’s reach.

In my binder, I like to include:

  • student goal setting template
  • my student data
  • any additional worksheets I might be required to fill out for administration
  • Other printable masters for incoming new students throughout the year

The best way I have personally to do data collection in an elementary classroom, is to do it as a “center” during small group work time.

I pull out the individual student data tracker binder, along with any assessment materials I need to collect the data, and call over students one-by-one while the rest of the class works on their center learning.  Without having the resources to be able to assess outside of the classroom, this is the next best thing.

Classroom organization will play a huge role in your data displays and recording.  If you have a system in place to collect it, then ultimately share it with students, parents, and colleagues, you will be way ahead of the curve.

I have grown to love student data tracking, mainly because I can physically SHOW my students how much they are learning.  That is such an abstract concept to them.  They don’t see the lightbulb moments every day.  Using this method, I can really show each child how much he or she is capable of doing in a relatively short amount of time.

How students can track self-improvement goals?

Progress monitoring forms for your data binder are really only as good as the data you are actually collecting from students.  The goal sheets for students should be kid friendly.  Even for littles. They need to know what their student growth goals are and being a part of tracking their own data will be the key to knowing how far they have come.

In addition to individual student data, I love having a classroom data wall where the students are able to see how much they have grown as a group.  This visual needs to have easy access so students are able to clearly see the class goals for the school year.

Just grabbing a free student data tracking sheet – like a blank line graph template – is the best place to start.  Begin by taking a class average of a pre-assessment at the beginning of a subject unit.  Then, after the post-assessment scores are in, take another class average.

Make it a fun game by having the students try to correctly guess what the new average is now that they have learned the curriculum.  {They will really get in to this part.}

After a classroom drumroll, mark the new average and connect those dots.  Students will be in awe of how far the line goes up.  Use that visual weekly, if not daily, to reinforce just how much the children are learning throughout the year.

While it might not seem like a lot day by day, having that constant reminder on the wall will keep the class motivated to continue the upward trend.  It is also perfect for parent teacher conference night.  Students get super excited to share the wall with their loved ones.

Goal setting for the next “higher dot” is now fun instead of a chore.  The group really helps to cheer one another one in order to increase the level of achievement across the board, without singling any one child out.

While student data binders are wonderful for one-on-one student growth goals, the classroom data wall is also an important classroom feature.

How have you set up your student growth data tracking measures in your classroom?  Sharing is caring and more ideas are better than one!  share with us in a comment below!

~Charity
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