Monday, July 28, 2014

I Love Data


Data: I love data.

There is something so satisfying about setting a goal, seeing the progress from month to month and then (hopefully) seeing the goal achieved.

Setting a school wide goal and collecting the data from all our students was not something that we had done as a school in the past.

This year we decided to set a school wide goal.  Since we didn't have any data to go on from the year before it was hard to decide on what needed improving.

This is the goal we decided on:

80 % of the children leaving the school will know all the letters of the alphabet.

We are a special needs school for junior (4 year olds) and senior kindergarten  (5 year olds) age children and the children only usually stay with us for a year (sometimes 2). So, we have a short timeline to work on this skill and because they are all special needs, there are learning differences in the group.

I think some thought my goal was a bit lofty but I believe that if you have high expectations, the children will rise to the occasion.

I am very much a visual learner and I have to “see” my data.

I decided to keep track of the number of letters the children knew each month along with the number of sight words they knew.

I displayed the data in a corner of my room.  Each teacher had a different colour paper and JK students were on a blue background and SK students were on black. Students who did not know the alphabet were on the back of the door and those that did know the alphabet were moved onto the wall on the right.  When the door was open, the data was hidden.  The children themselves actually took no notice of the wall.




On the first page, on the left, I have the number of letters that they know.  On the right is the number of pre-primer words they know.



Once they know all of them, I add a second page on top with the primer words on the left and the grade one list on the right.




Each data section I did in a different colour.

I am happy to say that 79% of our students reached the goal by the end of the school year.  I was happy with that result.  I used the data to also figure out how many learned their sight words.

I wasn't sure that I was even collecting the data that we needed to know.  Was it relevant? Was it important?  Was it the right data to collect?  I'm not sure.  But it was a start.  

Next year I think I will collect some more detailed (specific) data on the children.  I think it's important to know about other areas such as rhyming words, syllables, beginning and ending sounds maybe even reading levels.  Does the number of letters or sight words known, correlate with reading levels?  

What type of data do you collect?  Do you do it monthly? or per term?  I would love to hear from you with your thoughts.  Maybe there is something I haven't thought of yet.

Here are the two sheets that I used.  You should be able to save them by right clicking on the pictures and "save as".





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Are you ready for back to school? and some freebies


Even though I still have a month of holidays (I can't believe one month has gone by already), I know some of my US friends are getting ready to head back.  So with that said, it's time for a sale.  
Everything in my store is 20% off.  Here are a few things that are perfect for fall.

My apple colour sort has 3 levels of play depending on the skills of your kids.   


This is going to be perfect for my younger students learning to sort by colour and for my older students who are working on reading the colour words.




My bubble gum bundle includes both a beginning sound match and a number match.





My alphabet package includes posters, and alphabet chart and a tracing book.


All children with Spina Bifida had a latex allergy.  I put this up outside my door to warn people coming into the class.  You can grab it for free by clicking on the picture below.


My alphabet posters are part of my deco pack.


My name tags looked so cute as labels around the room.


Is your school nut free?  Mine is.  This was the poster I displayed along with my latex one.  You can grab this one for free too.



Here is one last freebie for you.  Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Printing Assessment Journal Redo

I finally finished redoing my Monthly Printing Assessment Journal.  To celebrate, I'm putting them on sale for 1/2 price.  Don't forget, if you have already bought them from me, you can download the new version for free.  Click the picture below for the link.







I use a binding machine like the one below to bind my books together.



Click on the picture below to go to my blog post on how I put these books together.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bright Ideas - Bubbles


Who doesn't like bubbles?  Especially on a summer day.  There are so many bubble recipes, how do you pick a good one?  I thought I would share my recipe with you.

You will need: Dawn soap (I don't know why Dawn, but apparently it works the best), water, Jell-o powder (a no name brand will work) and a container.  If you want to make your own bubble maker, you will need string and a straw.



Don't forget the measuring cups.


You need 2 tbsp of powder.



and one cup of Dawn.


 Fill your container about 2/3 full with warm water (warm works better).  Add the powder and the Dawn.  Stir gently. 




To make your own bubble maker: cut a length of string and cut a straw in half.  Thread the straw through the string and tie.

 


Then make bubbles!!!


It was a windy day and the bubbles were plentiful.



It was a bit too windy for our bubble maker.  I had also used cold water and didn't work as well as the day I used warm water.



I hope you enjoyed this bright idea.
You can find me here.

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For more great ideas, check out the links below.




Friday, July 18, 2014

The Daily 5 - Chapter 9 and a Freebie




This is the final chapter of the Daily 5 book.  If you don't have the book, you can still pick up the book below and go back and follow the book study from the beginning.


Chapter 9 is all about returning to your core beliefs.  

A big part of the chapter is about barometer children (those children that have trouble attending) and how to support them in building stamina.  

The sisters outline 4 levels of support:

Level 1: Reflection
You need to take a look at yourself and make sure that it’s not something you, yourself are doing to set off the barometer child.

Level 2: Extra support
Have the child stay in for a few minutes each day at recess to practice the most desirable behaviours.

Level 3: In-class modifications
Provide the child with sand timers and small manipulatives and a carpet square or laundry basket.  



The carpet square or laundry basket is to give the child a visual and physical reminder of their space and where they need to stay. I have some of these squares that fit together.  You can make the size different depending on the child's need.



The sand timers are to work on stamina.  Start with one minute timers and increase to two or three minute timers as the child’s stamina increases.



The manipulatives are to give the child a brain break without having them disturb the rest of the class.  They must stay on their square.

I made a stamina chart that you can pick up for free.  The children can use it to keep track of their stamina.  The visual will help some children. Click on the picture to grab it.





Level 4: Gradual release of in-class modifications

This level involves checking in on the child in-between working with the other children.

Following these 4 levels should allow even your most needest child some success.

Thanks for following along over the past few weeks.   I hope we have inspired you to try the Daily 5 or given you new ideas if you are already a Daily 5 user.

For more Chapter 9 ideas, click on any of the buttons below.

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