Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DIY: Student Data Binder

Oh it feels good to be back. I loved my time in Upstate New York, but it's nice to be home! Not the laundry part... but the rest is nice! ;) 

So today's post is all about creating and using a Student Data Binder. I've touched on this topic before, but I really wanted to go more in depth and share how you can set one up and use it in your classroom, like seriously...everyday!

I've been using a Student Data Binder in various forms for about 5 years and I must say it is def  one of my teacher staples. It's easy to grab for important meetings like IEP's, PST's (intervention), RTI's, and parent conferences. I reference it whenever I am grouping students, and pull it out when discussing student data at our PLC's.  Not a day seems to go by when I not grabbing for this baby.

So let's talk specifics... and answer some questions.

 Why keep a data binder?

Well... the answer to this is different for everyone, so I will just share why I keep one... and it's a super simple reason: It keeps me organized. In this data obsessed age, there is so much to keep track of, I would go (and have gone) crazy trying to keep it all straight. Compiling it all into a portable binder makes my life easier. No more running around to three or four different files to find current information on my seconds! I can just grab and go at a moments notice! (Who can remember all those student meetings, anyway?!)

What's in it? 

Once again, this will vary by teacher, grade, school, and district. It even varies by year for me depending on my students and their academic goals. But here's a quick peak at what I plan on keeping inside mine this year.

First up... Assessment tools.

Behind this tab is all of my student version of assessments. Keep them right up in the front for easy access. Most of them I'll slide into page protectors and put them in the rings, but some I have laminated and put into a 2 folder tab divider (more on those later!) This allows me to easily call students back when I need to assess  without fumbling through wondering where the student task cards are.  Because they're in the sheet protectors, I sometimes don't even pull out the sheet, I'll just turn the book for the student to see and go from there.
Easy and efficient.
Just the way I like it!  Some examples of assessments include sight word lists, QPA's, SIPPS task cards, and the PAST. In the tab folders I'll usually store the master copies of the teacher recording sheets for the assessments. 

Behind the assessments, is my classroom data.

These are whole class snap shots of scores. This allows me to look at my data as a whole before I dive into the individual student scores. To store, I'll just print out the report, 3-hole punch it and stick it in! 

Behind those, is the individual student data. 

This is by far the biggest and most important section!  Each student has a 2-pocket tab divider. 

These are amazing at keeping student data in one space! 

These ones from Avery are awesome and are on sale at Amazon for under $3 bucks! #steal

Each tab is labeled for each student. In the front of the pocket stores any "paper work" a student may have (IEP's, PST, invention and enrichment, RTI documentation). The back side of the divider stores their DRA's, individual FAIR scores, QPA's, and PAST's (if needed) I can also store fluency checks here as well. This can vary depending on what you want/required to keep track of.  In between the pockets, we'll store student's sight word checklist that I had 3-hole punched and any other teacher recording sheets I may have.

This allows me to  way just flip right to a student and check them off! 

Behind that meaty section is all my resources and reference sheets!

I'll put a few extra pocket tab dividers behind there too to hold any loose paperwork that is too thick to store in the rings or in page protectors. Click here to grab a few reference freebies! 

The last section in the binder is where all the intervention or decision trees are housed.  This is a list of suggested interventions, district approved interventions, and even enrichment resources. Black-line graphs for tracking progress are stored in extra tab pockets and reference material is housed in page protectors.

I do not store the student data there. That I keep all in one section under their tab in the "Student data" part of the binder. 

Ok... so now you know the what and the how, let's get to the making of one! 

First up, you'll need a binder. Do yourself a favor and buy the heavy duty ones! You're gonna put LOTS of papers in here and it's going to get lot's of use, so save yourself the replacement headache and spring for the "durable" ones! 

I like the white with clear pockets like this one... but any 2 inch or larger binder will work. 

Next you're going want to add tabs to keep it organized. I promise it will just flow better! 
I made my cover and tabs (which you can check out an editable version of them here!).
To make the tabs, I printed out the labels and label tabs, trimmed out the tabs and put them in an laminating sleeve. 
Make sure to line up your tab so you can see the label!

Then I ran them through my trusty laminator (like this one here) and trimmed out the tab.

 Three hole punched them so they'll go in your binder...


You don't have to go this fancy by any stretch, but I figured if I have to look at it, I want to like what I see. Other options include using a half of a legal size file folder and three hole punch them. Once you put your tab dividers in, start filling this baby up with ALL your data!

Now you've got a great Student Data Binder that you can grab at a moments notice!  Just don't forget to keep it updated. :)

Not sure a chalkboard theme is your style? Bright Edition is now available! 

Ready to be even more organized? Check out this post on setting up a Teacher Curriculum binder

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  1. I would Love to win a copy of this! A great way to keep track of student data.

  2. This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This looks great! Quick question- do you keep all reading assessments in here or do you have a separate guided reading binder for running records and group notes?

  4. This is amazing! I love me some data and organization. I will be heading over to your facebook page for a chance to win!!


  5. This will be so helpful in keeping track of everything!! Thanks for the chance to win it!!

  6. Hey Courtney! Thanks for the question. I actually keep all that in this notebook. Some I'll put in my classroom data and some I'll put in the student section. I am not a fan of too many notebooks so I try to keep it all together. Data and small group go hand in hand!

  7. This is an awesome resource. I love how organized it is. In the classroom data, do you keep class spreadsheets with their data results?

    The Teacher's Backpack

  8. I like how it's all in one place!

  9. Loving how the data binder is organized. Sending a link to this post to my team!
    Rowdy in First Grade

  10. I purchased this based on Jennifer's rec and she was right! I'm excited to use this :)

  11. What type of label tabs did you use on the section covers that you could laminate?

    1. Hey Sarah! The tabs are part of my Data Binder pack. You just print, attach, and laminate the whole sheet.


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