We are officially a couple of weeks into the school year. I hope you all have had a great start....especially with launching your Zones Math! If you haven't had a chance to do that yet go to this blog post about launching Zones Math to help you get started.
Now I am going to assume that most of you are about 2-3 weeks into your launch. You will still have a few weeks left of this process and then you should be fully up and running. After that is where your data should come into play with small group instruction.
Right now is a great time for you to start collecting data on the progress of your students. You will need it to place students into your small groups. A few ways we typically collect our data is:
As you collect and review your data you will want to record it in an organized way. I'm a huge fan of the excel spreadsheet (just ask my fellow Zones co-creators). I usually record the type of assessment at the top of each column with the students' names along the side. As I enter the scores I often color code them because that is the best way for me to see where students are at. I use a simple system of green (on/above expectations), yellow (just below expectations....or "almost there") and red (far below expectations). You could even separate the on and above group into 2 colors if you really want to, with blue being the above expectations color. Once this data is all in to my fancy spreadsheet it becomes very easy to see where each child is at. If excel is just not your thing and you would rather do this on paper....go for it!!!! Try the color coding though because I bet you'll like it. I also bet there are newer....more technologically advanced ways to record data. Really you need to use whatever format you are most comfortable with!
What I want you to remember the most from this post is not that I am a bit OCD with my color coding, data collecting and excel loving. I want you to remember that collecting and recording data in an organized way will make your life so much easier when you are ready to begin teaching your small groups. There will be more to come on small group instruction! Watch for it in the next few weeks!
Happy Zoning (Zones Math of course....not sleeping, sillies!)
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