Are you drowning in data (or wishing you had more)? At the end of the school year, it’s time to see if students have met benchmarks. If they haven’t, what progress have they made? Where are they still struggling?
Beginning and end of year assessments help you see where students are starting from and show where they’ve grown, but monitoring student progress happens all through the year. That’s a lot of data to manage. Let’s look at some best practices and tools for dealing with data and monitoring progress.
3 Data dos and don’ts for monitoring student progress
A good progress monitoring system helps you adapt throughout the year and makes the end of the year a lot easier. We’ll see what works and what doesn’t.
1. Do have a consistent progress monitoring system
An effective progress monitoring system not only helps you collect data, but also helps you store it so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.
Like any system, an effective progress monitoring system is one you use. It can be digital or paper … whatever is going to work for you. Digital systems can be easier to search, but paper formats may be easier to use for collection and sharing.
Your system may include a variety of data collection sheets for specific assessments, tracking forms to help you see at a glance where you are in assessing different students, and folders or binders to organize the data. You may also want to have monitoring folders that you use with students to help students track their own progress.
2. Don’t let data collect dust
If you go through the effort of collecting data, use it! Progress monitoring data helps you:
- Identify students who may be struggling with certain concepts.
- See if your program or intervention is working so that you can adapt to meet the needs of the class, a group, or individual students.
- Recognize concepts you may need to reteach or provide more practice on.
- Group students with similar practice/review needs together.
- Be prepared for parent-teacher conferences and end of the year reports.
- Support concerns or recommendations you have regarding students.
Those last two are particularly relevant at the end of the year, so dust off your data and put it to good use.
3. Do start systematizing monitoring student progress now
It’s never a bad time to set up a system, though often we most wish we had a system in place when it feels too late. Systems can take some time to set up (keep reading to see how it can be easier!) and get used to, but once in place they save time and add ease.
If you’re nearing the end of the school year and realize you’re lacking data or that your progress monitoring is a mess, it’s not too late.
- Set up a monitoring system for any remaining assessments you will do.
- Collect and organize the data you do have into folders or binders before you start trying to use it.
- Make notes about what data you wished you had to inform your system for next year.
Not sure where to start with a system for monitoring student progress? Try this FREE Progress Monitoring Sample pack:
Need more monitoring tools? Get the Phonics Monitoring Progress Tracking Sheet Bundle — or better yet, get yourself a membership to the Top Notch Teaching Members Club! You’ll find tools for progress monitoring and planning, lesson plans, games, worksheets and other activities … all done for you to save you time!
Join the club today >> Top Notch Teaching Members Club