Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Tracking Observational Data

It doesn't feel right to just launch into this post the way I drafted it.  I'm completely heartbroken over yesterday's events at the Boston Marathon.  I've been a runner since my first little one was born and I earned the title marathoner last October.  The marathon is an unbelievable event.  And the finish line is a magical place.  My heart goes out to everyone who was there yesterday.
I don't have 26.2 miles in my legs, but I did run 2.62 in honor of the victims.
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  Tried It Tuesday: Tracking Observational Data
Yuck.  I kind of hate that title.  It's so much jargon!  But I think it pretty accurately describes what I want to share with your for this week's Tried It Tuesday!

I think some of the best data you can get from kids is via observation.  Classwork errors are so important because they give us that low risk opportunity to teach students as they make mistakes.  And if your school is anything like mine is, keeping track of data is a huge focus.  I'm sort of at peace with how I track and analyze my students' performance on formal assessments, but having something to put in my data binder based on their everyday work is still puzzling me.

Last week, when we finished a math task fairly early, I gave my students a mixed review packet and assigned the first three problems.  The problems mirror tasks they might see on their state tests next week.  As I walked from table to table, I noticed a huge number of students made the same error on the first problem.  On a happier note, only one student made an error on the second item!

This is my copy of the student books.  I made an "x" and under that, just jotted down the names of the students who made an error on the first item.  I did the same for the second and the third items.  It's pretty obvious that I need to review the concept of a fraction as division to those students.  I plan to make a few task cards to go into my Mixed Review Math Test Prep task cards to address this. 

When we are all done with this practice, I'll put the entire thing into my data binder with a little sticky to note how I retaught or reviewed  a skill that was a problem for the class.

Here is another example from literacy:

What have you tried lately?  Be sure to link up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper!


  1. Wow! You have a lot of paperwork! Yikes! However, I can tell it's really driving your instruction-I liked your photos and post!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. What a thoughtful post about Boston. My youngest daughter moved to Brooklyn and is commuting to Hunter College to complete her degree. I love the sides of your blog it looks so real.
    First Grade Carousel

  3. Data driven instruction...how many times have I heard that this year? You really do have a great system for tracking your data. I wish I could get there but I have just been drowning this year in my required artifacts and new Core standards and materials. I am pinning this for future use. Thanks so much!
    Fourth Grade Flipper