September 11, 2016

Data Tracking Poster

Recently I posted this photo to my Instagram:


It's a close up of my data wall that I'm trying for the first time this year, and many of my followers wanted to know more, so here you go!

My administration is really pushing for data meetings, data-driven instruction, and data tracking by students and teachers. (I'm sure your is, too.)

Although I know data is extremely important, it can be a lot to manage. The data poster that I'm trying this year was simple to make, and will hopefully be beneficial to both me and my kiddos.

I got this idea from my team leader. I take no credit for her brilliance!

First, I printed reports (STAR scores) that ranked my students based on state standards. STAR provides like a million types of reports, but standards are the easiest to organize.

There are 9 big math standards for 2nd grade, and then we chose the 9 ELA standards that we spend the most time on throughout the year. (This is because 23 standards is too much to chart, and symmetry is a great thing.)


I found an old sticker book that has tons of those little circle stickers. Each row of stickers is a different picture.

I allowed the students to pick a row of stickers to represent them. It actually worked out perfectly that each row has 10 stickers, one for my key and 9 for the standards.




Although the colors are different, the pictures are the same for each student. (Next time, I will plan better beforehand and buy better stickers so that each student's sticker is more obvious!) For example, say Bobby picked the thumbs-up stickers. I would stick one of his thumbs-up stickers on my paper, and write his name next to it so I know that those stickers represent him. Then, Bobby and I would talk through each standard and he would put 1 thumbs-up sticker in either the below, within, or above box for each standard, depending on his scores.

Ta-da! Data at a glance.

I can easily see where my class's strengths and weaknesses are as we begin a new school year together.

Students can easily see which standards they need to work on, and which skills they shouldn't waste time practicing.

However, it's private. Students don't know which sticker belongs to who, except for their own. The teacher key that I made will stay in my data binder for referencing as needed.


I have a couple of kids who haven't taken their reading STAR yet, but I plan to start charting that data next week! 

I haven't completely decided what I'm going to do after the winter STAR assessment. My team leader laminates her chart so that the stickers peel off and restick easily. I totally forgot to laminate... but I'm *hoping* that it will still work out. If not, I'll need to come up with another system. Another teammate of mine takes a picture of her old chart. She then makes a brand new chart mid-year, and posts the picture of the old chart next to it for easy comparison. We will see!

Is this something you would consider trying in your own classroom?

Let me know in a comment below!

September 5, 2016

Team Jobs in the Classroom


Work smarter, not harder.
That's the goal this year.

I have to admit, job charts are just too much for me.

I used to have a chart where each student had a clothespin with his/her name on it. Every two weeks I had to rotate the clothespins to new places. Sounds simple right? Well, some jobs needed 1 person while others needed 3. Bathroom monitors required one boy and one girl. Some jobs were only for trustworthy and responsible students, while others were for efficient students that wouldn't forget. I would spend at least 15 minutes every other week trying to reassign jobs fairly.


It was just TOO MUCH. I didn't want to deal with it on top of everything else a teacher has to deal with.

This summer I knew I needed a solution to my problem.

I did some research, where I found the idea of collaborative or team jobs in the classroom.

I liked the idea of students working together and collaboratively towards a goal. It would mean that all jobs would get done every day, even with students absent and students who just forget. Brilliant!

But all of the team jobs I saw still required clothespins or rotating student names in some way. Nope, I don't want any of that anymore. If I'm simplifying, it needs to be as simple as possible.

Thus, my solution was to print numbers at the bottom of each team job poster. The numbers refer to students' assigned classroom numbers. I just circle 4 or 5 numbers at a time. For example, students with numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 were the "Official Organizers" for August.

I decided that with a concept so simple, I could bother to change the jobs once a month. So on the first of September, I spent about one minute switching everyone's jobs. I use Vis-a-Vis pens to write on the posters, because it doesn't come off at the touch, but it comes off immediately with a wet wipe or a wet paper towel.

Just wipe, dry, and circle the next group of numbers. Ta-da!


I have the posters displayed on the side of a bookcase, where they fit perfectly and are easily seen.


I created five job crews for my classroom and made the colors match my theme.

You, however, can create as many teams as you want and change the colors to match YOUR classroom! Check out my newest product here:


I'm still so excited about this new classroom job concept and can't wait to see how it works throughout the rest of the year.