Data Tracking and Student Growth, Part I

As a Learning Specialist, I report progress on IEP goals in quantitative terms. As such, it’s essential (for my sanity) to have a good system in place for recording and retrieving student data.

Setting up a system is initially time consuming, but once in place, it saves you time and allows you to be accurate and confident in your reporting throughout the year. It is also a great way for you to identify areas of need and growth for your students.

Here are some key points to consider/follow when recording major data points:

  • Identify what you want to measure.
  • Identify what assessments you will use to measure student growth.
  • Give assessment and establish a baseline for each student.
  • Identify how often you will access; this is typically fall, winter, and spring.

When thinking about data collection, mull over these points and ask, “What do I want to measure?” For me, this typically includes: decoding, fluency, comprehension, writing, and mathematical computations.

In Part II, I will give you specific examples of what assessments I use, and how I record them.

Happy teaching!

Book Milestone!

It’s always wonderful to hit a milestone, isn’t it?  I have hit an especially meaningful one with the children’s picture book I have been quietly working on:  I sent all my files off to the book designer. I should hear back from her in a couple weeks, and then it’s on to the next step, which is getting the book into hands of readers.

In case you are not caught up with my “pet” project, the book is called Lavalino Finds His Forever Home. The story was inspired by a cat one of my sisters adopted while in Italy, who was such a character that I wanted to write about him.  As a teacher who really loves helping kids find their reading groove, I also saw an opportunity to write a book that  touches on values I find important for success.  In this book, I talk about the importance of persistence and family.  I also get to introduce readers to some new words, a few in Italian, and the beautiful country of Italy.

I’ll keep you posted and, in the meantime, please subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be updated on my Lavalino book, as well as some other helpful projects I am working on. 

Monday Mornings: Proverbs, Quotes, and More

I hope you’re off to a great school year–whether you are a teacher, student, or parent.

This year, I am excited about my blog, as I have enlisted the help of a seasoned teacher to guest blog. My girlfriend, Julie, is a general educator with 26 years of experience. Be on the lookout for her insights throughout the year!

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”   –JP Morgan

Monthly Book Recommendation: The Body Keeps the Score

Monthly Book Recommendation:  The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. 

As an educator, this is one of the most important books I have read this year.  

The Body Keeps the Score is packed full of research and personal illustrations for anyone interested in learning more about the effects of trauma on the body, including the accompanying physiology. 

If you work with children or adults who have had trauma (based on statistics, we all have, whether we realize or not), practical applications are found in “Part Five: Paths to Recovery.” 

This book is a must-read for teachers, psychologists, nurses, physicians (virtually anyone working closely with people).