Thursday, July 19, 2012

Math and ELA Student Data Tracking Binders and a Freebie!!

This post was updated on 12-29-13

Note: For those of you that are familiar with Robert Marzano, you can see I am following his fabulous book, The Art and Science of Teaching. For those of you that have not had the opportunity to read it, it's ok! Keep reading on, and I promise you won't even need the book! 

Research shows that when students track their own learning and data, they take ownership of their learning, have intrinsic motivation, and perform better on high stakes tests.

Today, I want to talk to you about the next step on this Common Core/student data tracking journey. Marzano's book addresses several questions:
  • How will I establish and communicate learning goals?
  • How will I track students' progress?
  • How will I celebrate successes?
  • What will I do to help students effectively interact with the new knowledge? 

The answer? My new Student Data Tracking Binders.

I stated in a previous post that I had over 75% of my class WELL above grade level for math due to these Student Data Tracking Binders (seriously). I am by no means an expert teacher, but I do believe in these methods, which is why I love to share the successes. Trust me, when those scores came back, I about did the SUPER SUPER happy dance.

When it comes to your students tracking their own data (learning and progress), each student should have their own Student Data Tracking Binder to track their progress and keep their data as the math unit (or ELA unit) occurs in your classroom.

{Click the links to check out my Student Data Tracking Binders for both ELA and Math in grades 2 through 6.}

With these Student Data Tracking Binders, I created and posted learning targets with my students and also allowed my students to create and set their own learning targets using the new Common Core State Standards. All of my students' learning targets came from my new Common Core "I can" or "We can" statements, which are written in kid language, and are very easy to understand.

What is the purpose of the "I can" or "We can" statements? Well, as teachers, we need to understand exactly what each standard calls for in order to communicate what we want students to know and/or be able to do. When looking at both the Math and English Language Arts standards, we have to take the items identified in the standards and translate them into measurable, descriptive language that students can understand.

Can your students understand a standard that says, "Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem?"  Maybe some students can interpret this, but most can't.

Ultimately these standards become the students' learning targets and will determine what your students will know/be able to do at the end of the unit (or teaching of the standard), so it's important they understand them.

Now, getting back to the meat of the binder! Within each binder, each student will receive:
  • A checklist page of learning targets, that are written in kid language, based on the grade level's Common Core Standards
  • A table-like page of the same learning targets as above, in order for students to rate it/date it (see below), and record their post-assessment scores
  • Pre- and post-assessment graphs to graph their data
  • Levels of Understanding posters (levels 0 through 4)
  • Levels of Understanding rubrics

Here is how my Student Data Tracking Binders work:

1.) Introduce and explain the "I can" statement for each new lesson/standard.

Get your students familiar with the checklist of "I can" statements. Although this isn't a necessity, you should make a data wall and post the kid language Common Core standards on it. The posters align with the checklists of "I can" statements. 

As a class, you can work to check off each "I can" statement as they are taught, or depending on your class, allow students the freedom to check off the statements on their own to give them a bit more independence in their learning.

2.) Have the students rate and date their understanding in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

The "rate it/date it" idea is my original idea, and comes from Marzano's The Art and Science of Teaching. In my classroom, students are rating their level of understanding on a particular standard, I can statement, and/or their performance on a pre- and post-assessment. 

I always have them show me their level of understanding so that I can gauge the room, and see how they are feeling about a particular standard. Do know that even your high kids will be a level 0 or 1 at the very beginning of a standard. You can only go up though! :)

We "rate it/date it" a few times throughout a unit, and I promise you they are honest, and it's a quick process. Once they show me, they write their level and the date in their Student Data Tracking Binders. 

You can see that this section of their Student Data Tracking Binder is in a table-like format with room to document the start date of the standard, their rate it/date it levels, and then room to document their post-assessment score (see below). 

You can read more about the posters and rubrics that go with the "rate it/date it" section HERE. And you grab a free "analogy" poster that I created, to help teach students what each level actually means.

3.) Pre-assess students on a particular standard. 

I created math assessments and teaching notes for grades 2 through 6, and currently have ELA assessments and teaching notes for grades 4 and 5 (3rd coming soon!). They are aligned perfectly to use with my Student Data Tracking Binders (and can also be used without them!). These assessments are used for both pre- and post-assessments. As teachers, we know that pre-assessment plays an important role in your ability to differentiate instruction. You administer pre-assessments in order to understand what students know and are able to do before you begin instruction. 

4.) Grade the pre-assessments, hand back the pre-assessments, and have students record and graph their scores in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

Once the assessments are graded and handed back, have the students record their pre-assessment scores in their Student Data Tracking Binders and color in their scores on their graphs (also included in my Student Data Tracking Binders). 

Remember that their pre-assessment scores will most likely be low. This is perfectly normal. Most students have not seen this material before. 

5.) Use the pre-assessment data to form your small group instruction and/or teach the unit. 

The pre-assessment data is used to plan your teaching and group your students (if you teach math in small groups vs. whole class). You can group students with similar strengths/weaknesses so that you can effectively emphasize particular concepts to various groups. Obviously, you can spend less time on subjects that students are proficient in across the board or group students with similar strengths/needs to focus time on the concepts that are most needed. Throughout the learning and teaching, you can also give small formative assessments to gauge understanding of your teaching (I may do a few problems on a sticky note, white board, etc.).

I have a Teacher Data Tracking Binder that makes group planning and organization a breeze! Check it out HERE.

6.) Have students rate it/date it a few times throughout the teaching of a unit, and record their level of understanding in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

7.) At the completion of the unit, post-assess students on that standard.

At the end of the unit, give your students the post-assessment (same test). Click here to see the pre- and post-assessments I use. 

8.) Grade the post-assessments, hand back the post-assessments, and have students record and graph their scores in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

Note: I have my students color code their scores. Anything in green means a score of 80% or higher, yellow means 70%, and red means anything below a 70%. This allows for a quick visual view, and is great for parents to see as well.

Giving students the ability to actually see the progress they make is an incredible thing. With this quick visual, they are now taking ownership and responsibility for their learning, and are extremely excited about the results they see. 

9.) Go to the checklist of standards or "I can" statements in the Student Data Tracking Binder, and check off the completed standard. 

EASY!?!?! YES!!!!

Like I said, these binders have been an amazing tool in my classroom! I absolutely love the organization of them, and my kids love them as well. They have even changed my parent/teacher conferences for the better, because I now have easy to understand feedback I can give to both parents and students with these Student Data Tracking Binders!

And, while your working hard tracking all of that data, your students should have binders that look organized and cute, right?! :) To help with that, I created this freebie for you! They are my Student Data Tracking Binder Covers and Binder Spines! Click HERE to check them out!

In this freebie are ten different colored binder covers, and tons of different sized binder spines! Five of the covers have girls, and the other five have boys. I've also included them in black and white! Click HERE to check it out!

Here are the binders, folders, and other supplies I use for each student's Student Data Tracking Binders:


If you need more help implementing them, I have created this FREE Frequently Asked Questions Pack in my store:

Click HERE or the picture below to check out the Marzano Level of Understanding Assess Yourself Posters and Rubrics:

Below are all of my Student Data Tracking Binders for both Math and ELA. Click HERE to check out a preview of each grade level! 

Want more information on my Student Data Tracking Binders? See these posts below, or click the "Data Binder" label on my right sidebar!

**Read MORE about the Standards Based Assessments I use with my Student Data Tracking Binders HERE and HERE

**See how I use my Student Data Tracking Binders to report grades and feedback efficiently to parents at conferences HERE!

**See how to implement my Student Data Tracking Binders in the middle of the year HERE!

**See how I use my Student Data Tracking Binders with standards based grading: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3


jen said...

Wow! This looks amazing! I often struggle with helping my students keep track of how they're meeting their goals! This would be perfect :o)

Do you plan on making any more for the other grades? Just wondering :p

Heather Earley said...

Wow! This is awesome...I love how the kids are tracking their progress. Great stuff! I am passing a Versatile Blogger torch to you :0) Instructions are at my blog:
Got your unit on my wish list now hehe...versatile blogging might become expensive. lol

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is great. Out of curiosity, are you allowed to make lots of copies. It seems like a lot of paper.

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks so much ladies!! Keep watching my store...other grades are coming! ;)

The Science Penguin said...

I saw you on TpT and thought I'd stop by your blog.

The Science Penguin

YoungTeacherLove said...

So good to see you, The Science Penguin :) Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Love all the great work you are doing- we are just starting CCSS this September and teachers aren't really sure how to approach data tracking. This is such an easy format!

Lisa Dahlin said...

Thank you, thank you. Your energy and dedication are amazing! I'm a new follower and you are helping teach this "old dog" some new tricks. No matter how long you teach, there's always something new to learn! I appreciate so much your sharing.

Patti said...

Would you mind telling me what assessment you use for the pre/post assessment?? The things you have created look great!

YoungTeacherLove said...

Hi Patti! Working on them now!! They should be on my blog tomorrow, and in my store starting tonight! Thanks for visiting!! :)

Becky said...

I love this! I teach in Detroit and I love seeing what other Michigan folks are doing to adjust to the common core. Thanks!

Heather A. said...

You are an inspiration. I love to hear about students succeeding! Your technique (and enthusiasm) is obviously working well.

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thank you so much Heather!

Casandra Spicer said...

I've looked on your TpT site and only see the bundles...I'm interested in your data graphing sheet- I'm an SLP and am thinking about implementing this tool for kids to track their own data and progress in therapy but don't need to whole bundle. Is there anyway I can buy just your data tracking template?

YoungTeacherLove said...

I'm not quite sure what you mean? Send me an email so I can help you! Thanks!

Dawn Cloud said...

You are amazing! I love finding blogs like yours! You are so excited and inspirational. There is so much more I can do to help my students succeed. This year I focused on Reading with the Daily 5 and CAFE. Next year I want to focus on math! I will be visiting your site often to see what you have done to get such great success. You should be proud and have every right to brag! It shows how much we can do, but also how hard you worked to achieve it!

YoungTeacherLove said...

Aw thank you Dawn! That is so nice of you to say! I'm so happy that you have found stuff here to help you! Next year I hope to switch my focus a bit more to ELA, I'd love to hear what you do! Take care!

Julie Marciniak said...

Found your blog on Pinterest regarding Data Binders! Your assessments are wonderful! Any chance you will have a First Grade pack anytime soon?
Happy to be your newest follower!
Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks Julie!! I do plan on adding first grade! I hope to have them up before the start of the new school year!

Anonymous said...

These math binders are great. I am wondering if there is one specifically for 7th grade which is what I teach. Thanks.

YoungTeacherLove said...

At this time I don't, but perhaps I'll add it to my list! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

How is the first grade binder comng? I'm excited to see it.

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks! I'll have it out before school starts!

Linda said...

I found your data binders on Pinterest and am so glad I did! I've been looking for something to help my kiddos track their data and these are just perfect!

One of the differences between 'effective' and 'highly effective' on our evaluations is whether or not we have students track their own data. I was hoping I'd find something to help me implement it...Yay!! Thank you so much for all of your hard work on these!


YoungTeacherLove said...

Linda- our evaluations are the same! Being the type A person I am, I too needed to find a quick solution. These have brought my classroom and teaching to a whole new level, so I hope they do the same for you!! :)

Clancy and Natayle said...

These are AWESOME! My heart sunk when I saw that you stopped at 2nd grade. Can you do a 1st grade one? PLEASE??!?! It would save me so much time as a first year teacher. You are incredible!

Anonymous said...

Do you have 7th and 8th grade binders for math based on the CCSS?

Debbie Hurtado said...

I agree with a number of the posts above - your enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas. I would also love a 6, 7 and/or 8 ccss math binder. I'll keep checking your store. Thanks again! :)

Anonymous said...

Love your Assessment Binders for Common Core! Thanks for taking the time and energy to put them together. Will make my life TONS easier this year with reporting. One question, will you come out with a 4th Grade Language Arts/ELA Assessments and Teacher Notes Package (like you have for 5th)? If so, when? Melissa

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks Melissa!! Yes! It will be out soon!

Anonymous said...

Any plans to create a 1st grade version?

Amy said...

These are incredible - what a great resource for the classroom. I teach 6, 7, and 8. I am going to purchase the 6th grade math, just wondering if you have 6th grade ELA? I didn't see it looking through your store on TPT. I have several items waiting to purchase from your store, but wanted to wait until I know about the ELA.

Also - any chance you'd have an editable version? I'd really like to customize this for my older grades. Thanks!

YoungTeacherLove said...

Thanks @Amy! No 6th grade ELA at this time. Perhaps I will have it in the future! Also, I am unable to provide an editable version because all of the fonts, clipart, and borders I use have strict terms of use that my products be secured PDFs. If I were to give out an editable product, I would be breaking copyright law, and I don't want to do that! :) Sorry! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I also have been looking at buying the 6th grade math binders but I would have to switch up everything to use it for 7th grade. Christine, you seem to have a market for 7th grade products!!!! My fingers are crossed!

Ashlyine Brooke said...

Amazing blogs you have guys!! Keeps the ball rolling…..
Free Stuff

Laura Maldonado said...

Wow! This is amazing! This will be very useful to both the teachers and students regarding data tracking. Do you have templates for the 5th Grade Math?

Melinda Duckett said...

Wow, I just love your student data binders. I would love to do this with my class! I teach fifth grade social studies in South Carolina. Can you tell me where I can buy your data sheets, the one that shows kids the scale from 0-4 and the rate it/date it sheet? I would love to add my own standards for each one of my units I teach and have students rate their understanding.

My email address is


Jennifer Charlotte said...

Will you be making a 6th grade ELA standards packet any time soon?

Just What Jess is Up to said...

After 11 years of teaching, I often find myself in a rut of sorts and your ideas bring back a spark to my ideas! :) I implemented your homework spot this year and it has changed my organization so much, which I LOVE! I hope to see 7th grade one day in your ship, until then I will admire from afar!

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

Aw Jess that is SO kind of you! Thank you! I am so glad my Homework Hotspot has helped you!! In regards to the 7th grade pack, I never say never! :) Take care!

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Leila Dishes said...

I LOVE this! I've been having my kids track their progress with "did it dots" - at the beginning of each unit I give them a tracking sheet with each standard for the unit. At the end of each lesson they have an exit card that matches the day's standard. I grade the exit card each night and if they met all the expectations they earn a sticker. The next day I pass back the exit cards at the beginning of math and address any misconceptions. The kids who earned the stickers add them to their tracking sheet. They refer to it each day to assess their own progress and make goals for upcoming assessments based on it. I've seen so much more engagement this year than in years past. I think combining this with your binders when we go CC next year will be great!

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

I love your ideas Leila! I think it's so important to give students the opportunity to be in charge of their own goals, learning, and growth, and I have seen such a change in my classroom from it! Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I really like your data tracker that you use for common core tracking. I would like to use it for some other things but I do not know how to make them. Can you help me out?

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Bryanna Jones said...

Did you end up creating a student data tracking binder pack for first grade? I can't seem to find it on TpT.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for making this! I am using it this year with my fourth and fifth grade math students, and I have seen amazing results! They look forward to graphing their progress, and I love how this helps them have more intrinsic motivation!

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

Thank you so much for your comments! That makes me SO happy to hear!!!

Le said...

Do you have data tracking for 1st grade?

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

Hi Le- At this time I do not. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I love your work. Any chance there is an editable version of the 2nd grade pack? I would love to purchase the pack but I am concerned I will need to make adjustments for our curriculum and district standards.

Tiffany Whitten said...

Just stumbled across your blog and I LOVE your resources on standards-based grading. I will keep checking back for first grade pre/post assessments.

Ginger said...

I'm so glad to see that you are adding first grade. We've been having our students track their progress in Data Notebooks for that last two years and then holding Student-Led Conferences where the students show their parents their progress in their Data Notebooks. I like how you have the "I Can" statements in the Binder. We've talked about adding the pre-test scores for next year and I'm also going to bring up putting the "I Can" statements in there. I'm also new to the blogging scene and I'm so glad I came across yours!

Sonya James said...

I am moving from second to first this year. Where can I find/get the first grade data tracking?

Madness In Math Class said...

How would you track a grade change for students who do corrections (fix the problems they answered wrong the first time)?

Stacy said...

I love your ideas! I am teaching K-5 Resource this year and am working hard to modify this for my needs. I will mainly be pulling students out for math intervention. Any tips? I would appreciate any assistance brainstorming. :)

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

@Stacy- Make sure you check out my free Frequently Asked Questions pack found in my store. Here is the link: I hope that helps! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million for your hlep! I began working with my studens on their data tracking binders and I have a feeling it is going to be a great school year!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristine - This looks like what my district is asking for...but I am having a hard time thinking about how to incorporate this into my 1st grade class. Are you thinking of making a binder for that age group? Any suggestions would be helpful!

Young Teacher Love Blog said...

@Liz-At this time, I haven't decided if I will create a first grade version. Make sure you follow my blog and/or my store in case I decide to create it.

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