Thursday, 9 October 2014

Showing our learning with the iPad

This week we worked on 2 activities on the iPad that allowed students to show their knowledge and learning of the concepts we have been discussing in class.

I love Apps that are not games or drills, but rather open ended learning tools which students can use in a variety of ways!

The apps we used this week are Educreations and Book Creator.

In Book Creator, students had to create a counting book up to 20. Each number was a different page and they had to have a picture which showed that many objects. While this may seem like a small/easy task, it showed a great deal of what the students could do independently.


Are students able to count with 1 to 1 correspondence?

Do they trust the count?

Are they able to count on or do they have to recount when they reach for more objects?

It also showed a great deal of partner skills, sharing, problem solving and cooperation.

One of the only rules was that they had to have a new object for each page!


Our second activity worked on creating, translating and describing patterns.

Students were tasked with creating an AB, ABC and ABB pattern with the pattern blocks.


They then had to translate their patterns into letters.


We then went into Educreations and they had to replicate their pattern, translate it with letters and then record their voice describing their pattern!


What I love about Educreations is that you can upload things from Dropbox to use!Before the activity, I created a folder in Dropbox with pattern block pictures. The kids simply had to go in and upload the pattern pieces to use to re-create their patterns.

Click on the video to listen to them describe their patterns!!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Data Collection

I feel like I haven’t written in forever!

October is going to fly by! We have Tri-Conferences coming up in 2 weeks, a few PD days off, Halloween and it’s over!

My school is big on Data and Data Collection and we are always trying out new ideas and methods for tracking it and making it useable.

Last year, my professional growth for the year centered around tracking data better as a teacher but also having my students track their own data.

I have shared how I have refined my own data collection practices (Evernote, Running Record Apps, etc) but I haven’t really shared my students are tracking data.

I thought it was important for my students to know how they were doing in grade one in order to become more accountable for their own learning and growth. 

They needed to personally set small, attainable goals to work towards.
In comes the Data Binder. Last year it was the “Data Folder” but that was a gigantic mistake. Every day, papers were falling out, papers were being crunched, things were ripping. UGH.

So I thought I would try a binder this year. And while this has also resulted in some tears and frustration (weak little hands CANNOT open the rings of the binder…oy), it has been TONS better.

Every year, I change new things, take stuff out, revamp it etc.

So here`s to the 2014 Version of the Data Binder!


It is a skinny binder and each student has their own.

They are tracking their own data in 6 areas:

Reading, Writing, Spelling, Sight Words, Math Facts and Behaviour


Each area has a tab and a Parent Info page at the front of each section. Students share their data with their parents at tri-conferences and I thought an info page would be helpful to show parents how to read the data.


Behind each Parent Info page, is a yellow chart where students track their data for that area. Some data is tracked monthly, others are tracked 4x a year.

This is an example of our reading chart. Students colour in their reading level for September. 


Here is another example of the Math Fact chart, where a student coloured in how many they got on their September Math Fact Assessment.


Behind each chart in the sections are goal pages. Students create personal attainable goals for each area after each assessment.

For example, a child who is reading a Level A book, might pick a goal of reading a level C book independently by December. The goals are created by the students.

Here is an example of a goal page. When a student meets their goals, they are allowed to pick a sticker for their goal page. Even though students might not be working at grade level, they are still all able to achieve the goals set by themselves and see growth and success.


I have also added some more ideas in tracking Data whole class. So while each child has their own Data Binder, we started this year tracking class data on the wall. I tracked class data for reading levels last year but didn`t really get to share with the students and get their input as to what they noticed from the Data.

Here is our class data wall.


We are tracking class data in Reading, Writing and Math Facts. Each child is a yellow dot. The dots have their class number on it. Adding `faces`` to the data. As of now, the kids know their own number and no one elses really. If it becomes an issue then I might leave the numbers off. In older grades, it might be more of an issue with kids seeing where others are on the target. Something to ponder.

Not sure if I like the targets either. I find them a bit busy and it`s hard to see which target the yellow circles are in. Oh Well…..another thing to change for next year!

Each target has numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. These correspond with our report card numbers. Students were given a number for each after beginning assessments.


Here is a close up of one of the targets. As a class, we talked about what we noticed in the data. Where do you see the most yellow circles? The least? What does this tell us? What should our goals be for December?


So how do you track data with your class?

I also have a few things I have yet to iron out from last year to this one and maybe you can help?

*How do you find the time to chart the data and create individual goals with each child?! AHHH! I find it is still taking forever and they cannot do any part of it whole group.
*How many pieces of data do you collect? I am choosing 6 areas. Maybe that’s too many?
* If you are doing parts of it whole group…how?!? I have to assess whole group…and then pull each kid over individually to chart and set goals.

Weigh in your thoughts and ideas!!!

Yikes! If you made it this far…thank you!
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