Record Keeping Practices James Dallas
Record keeping is directly related to assessment and
goal setting. Consistent, ongoing documentation of student work
and progress ensures that teachers will have evidence of year-long
student growth. This evidence becomes vitally important in your
communications with students, parents and administrators as
the year goes on. Additionally, student work can and should
be used when teachers have questions about specific programs
that might be needed when referring students for special services.
It is important to begin the year with ideas for a record keeping
system that will be manageable for you and your students. Below
are some methods of record keeping that will help you get started:
Notebooks: Many teachers use notebooks to store and
collect student data. Simply tabbing a section for each student
proves to be an easy way to record data. Choose the assessment
measures to keep for each student and store in the tabbed
Index cards on a ring: When you use file cards, punch
a hole in the top left corner of the card and put it on a
ring. Write the name of each student on a file card in alphabetical
order. When the student's card is filled with the assessment
data you choose, you can remove it from the stack, store it
in a designated place and add a new card.
Individual student folders: Some teachers prefer
to keep all of the information they have gathered about students
in individual student folders. Folders can contain multiple
assessments and can be used particularly when conferencing
with parents. Be sure to have a place in the classroom to
store student folders when they are not being used. Plastic
crates or storage bins work well. Folders contain any type
of assessment data either in the pocket or attached in the
center. Some teachers like to write anecdotes directly in
the folder, while others write on sticky labels and then transfer
them to a folder.
Clipboard: Sometimes keeping a clipboard is the most
convenient way to collect assessment data for your students.
Teachers keep anecdotal record forms and other types of forms,
along with labels, in the clipboard. Be sure to write the
names of all your students either on the forms or labels,
depending on what type of data collection method you choose.
This will help ensure that you collect weekly data for each
of your students. You may want to place the forms or labels
alphabetically by student last name so when you need to retrieve
data, it is easy to locate a particular student. Later on,
place all of your documented information in the student file
Class Record Chart: Sometimes you need to collect
similar information for all of your students. A class record
chart helps you organize this type of record keeping. The
chart can be used to list the different genre students are
reading, a writing piece each student has chosen to revise
or edit, or student responses to a whole or small group lesson.
Checklists: Checklists are effective record keeping
tools that can be used to identify certain observable behaviors.
Teachers generally create their own checklists to reflect
what kind of learning is going on in the class and what individual
students are actually learning. After identifying specific
behaviors to document, teachers look specifically at those
items and then check them off as they are observed.
The primary purpose of classroom assessment is to inform
teaching and improve student learning. By using multiple assessments
and record keeping tools, teachers can make better evaluations
of individual student progress. More importantly, teachers
are able to clearly articulate to parents the progress their
children are making and show authentic evidence of student
work to justify their claims. Additionally, these data are
valuable sources of information for teachers to use when working
with students throughout the year and helping them achieve
their own goals.
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