Okay, so last week during one of my sleepless nights due to worrying about the unknowns of this upcoming year (What the heck is wrong with teachers? Why do we do this to ourselves?), I was lying in bed asking myself a million questions about the students I haven’t even met: “What do my students already know?”
”Should I even do that?”
”Will that be too hard for them?”
”Will that be too easy?”
“How will I document their data?”
”What if they don’t know that yet?”
”Where do I EVEN START?” And, that’s how the “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning” system was born! I wanted to create a simple data collection system to help me plan my instruction. I am a SUPER disorganized person, just ask any family member or close friend. So, this system had to be easy to manage and keep up with throughout the school year. Here’s what I came up with:
Rather than having many different data folders for one child like I have had in the past (I had a math folder, reading folder, writing folder, and student info. folder), I decided to scratch that idea and just have ONE folder with different pockets for ONE child. I know I’ll stay much more organized this way. I found these folders at Staples, but you can buy them online in bulk here. A small binder would work just as well.
I labeled each pocket inside the folder. I’ll use the “Student Information” pocket for baseline testing, IEPs, and 504 plans and just any “getting to know you” info that I feel is important to hold onto. And, the “Additional Work Samples” pocket will be used for anything that my kids complete during morning work time or any homework samples that I want to hang onto.
I created back-to-school reading and math checklists and made a section in the folder to hold those. These will help me TREMENDOUSLY during the first few weeks of school by giving me some insight on what my students know so that I can plan accordingly. These checklists were made with first graders in mind; however, they may be beneficial for some kindergarten and second grade students.
I also created phonics, writing, reading and math activity sheets that align with the checklists mentioned above. I made these assessment sheets very kid-friendly. They align perfectly with the Common Core. These back to school assessment tools will act as perfect student work samples to share at parent-teacher conference time. I always LOVEseeing all of the progress my students make.
You can find this assessment tools packet in my TPT shop. It’s 20% off today and tomorrow! Click here or on the preview below to grab it.
How do you assess your students at the beginning of the year? Tell me about it in the comment section below! If you’re one of the first TWO to comment, you’ll get this packet for FREE!