Data Notebooks Vol. 1 (A Blog Series)

Hey guys and dolls, how’s it going?

Today I want to begin a discussion about a topic that I have worked

hard on for the past few years, with varying degrees of success.

I think that I’ve finally hit the jackpot this year,

and I would like to share with you what I do in my classroom.

Today will be a very brief introduction into what a data notebook is, 
and why teachers use them.
First, let me share my experience and 
introduction to data notebooks with you.
A few years ago, my school voted to become a Leader in Me School,
and I was chosen to be on the initial Lighthouse Team,
which guides and facilitates the school’s transition. 
A part of this is each student having a data/leadership notebook,
which includes student data in every area that you can think of,
whether it be academic, social, behavioral, etc. 
This allows students to keep track of everything that concerns them,
and helps them to set goals for themselves.
(There’s more to it, but we’ll get into that in the next blog post!)

This is the first year that I’m not on the Lighthouse Team,

and they decided that data notebooks needed to be up and running

by the end of August.

Yeah, umhmm… will never happen. For 2nd grade that might

be ok, but it will never happen in Kindergarten….

and if you’re wondering, nope, it didn’t happen in my classroom.

However, I did have a piece of data included, which I’ll get to a bit later.

Our data notebooks are in white binders, which also contain

a lot of other stuff as well. Since I have a circus themed classroom,

I have a CIRCUS binder. I’ve also had a STAR binder, and a DOTS binder.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, whether it be data notebook,

leadership binder/portfolio, there’s no right or wrong way. 

Inside is the student agenda, which happens to be a 7 Habits agenda,
(but that doesn’t matter either).

Behind that I have a take home folder, 
with the two sides designated for something. 
It really helps with organization.

My one piece of data that I begin the first day of school is 
the behavior chart. This matches our school-wide clip chart.
For the month of August, I already print it with the colors,
or I color them myself, so that the parents 
understand what the colors mean. 
The students are responsible for coloring in their color for the day.
Now, let me say, this takes some work at the beginning of the school year. 
First, they have to take it out of the sheet protector
(and put it back in when they get finished!).
We do it whole group, I have everyone point to the number that
we’re coloring, and I walk around to make sure that everyone
is on the right number. I also project it on the board
and circle the number. 
It’s also a great way to teach/review number recognition.
If a student is absent, when they return, they will
place an ‘X’ over the date. 
This way, we do behavior and attendance on one chart.

Data/Leadership Notebooks for the Primary Classroom are a great tool for keeping track of students' progress. It provides accountability for student learning, goal setting and more!
By September, they are responsible for coloring the 
mini behavior chart on the side. Are there mistakes still? Yes.
There are some who still will color the wrong number, 
or some who will color it the wrong color on purpose. 
By coloring their the mini chart on the side, and their
own behavior daily, it helps them to take ownership over
their own behavior. They also begin to see how their week
is shaping up in regards to fun Friday and treasure box. 

By the end of September, I have trained them and their parents to 
 understand that the chart is to stay in their binder,
it is what I use to determine who earned fun Friday and treasure box
Once the month is over, I keep it in their student files in case I need it
for parent conferences, etc. 
Once everyone is trained on what to do, then we can move on
to the next step, which I’ll cover in the next blog post in the series. 
If you haven’t begun data notebooks, but would like to,
this is a great place to start.
For more information on the data notebook pack,
please click here or on any of the pictures in this post. 
So you’ve gotten data notebooks started, now what?
Check out the second post in this series here.
Talk to you later!
Having trouble deciding where to begin with data notebooks? Here are some easy to follow first steps to getting them started in your classroom!
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