Tricks and Treats Blog Hop

It's October, which means Halloween and Trick or Treating are just around the corner.  Before you're recovering from any school festivities you have planned, here at the Elementary Entourage we wanted to share an awesome weekend of Teaching Tricks and Treats with you!  Here is how it will work. We will each be sharing some of our favorite teaching tricks along with some treats just for you! We hope that you will hop from one blog to another to get some new ideas and sweet treats.

So get your goodie bags ready for lots of freebies, sales, and giveaways, you definitely wont want to miss everything we've got in store for you!

*If you are a blogger, we'd love to have you join us in sharing your favorite teaching trick and a treat for our teaching friends. To join in on the fun please check out the details for linking up here.

On Track and On Target with KookyKinders


Tracking data has become a small obsession of mine. I love to see the improvements that my students are making. I like being able to show my students, parents and administrators just how much they have learned.

In my classroom I use my Data Binders and Corresponding Data Wall to show student progress. 

 Kindergarten Data Binder

 I also use Marsha Mcguire's Ball Words to track my students sight word/popcorn word knowledge. My students love to see their names moving from ball to ball.

I hope that you found something that you can use in your classroom!


On Track and On Target with Mrs. Grooms' Room!

Hey y'all! 
Can you believe that I just got out of a professional development where we discussed reading scores from the previous year in the year below and above us??  I know you can! : )   

One of the things that I took from my workshop today is that data tells a story!  Whether it is changes in standards or benchmarks, or new students and students that withdraw, data can explain a lot to teachers.  

I myself have experienced it!!  Two years ago, I used fluency passages and all of my students soared!! Last year I used them with only certain students, and honestly, my scores were only just "meh."  (Nothing else had really changed in my teaching.)  Fluency passages are a great way to increase reading scores, but there are many other things that we use to increase data.  In this case, data is definitely telling me a story...called "I need to use fluency passages."  : ) 

One of my favorite things to track is spelling words.  I love tracking spelling words for my parents and my students for a few of reasons: 

1)  Sometimes those missed words get lost and are never revisited again in the spelling word world.  : ( 

2) Tracking spelling words is a great way to recognize and identify problems with sounds or patterns in their spelling.

3) Students can go back to these missed words again and again until they are mastered.   

4) Students can take ownership of their own words and track them so you don't have to!  

5) Tracking these words is a great way for parents to see what their child needs to work on! 

To keep these words from being forgotten in the land of lost and missed words, I have my students "graph" their spelling words. They color the ones that they got correct "BLUE" and the ones that they missed "YELLOW." 

This graph goes into their homework folders for parents to use a tool to review, and it stays in their homework folders. 

Words that are missed can be made into flash cards.  You  can have students revisit them in centers, and for homework.  Then you can retest them in small groups or individually, quickly...even verbally.  How do you spell "look?"

(Oh!!  AND I always correct their words as they can see the correct way to spell them.)

When students have mastered the words that they have missed, they color the word green.   Here are a couple of examples below! 

Want to give a whirl?  Just try it below with a FREE spelling graph!

Just click on the picture! 

See you soon!! 

Tracking Reading Data {The Super Sparkly Teacher}

Hello friends! I’m going to share about how I track reading data, but I want to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Carol from The SuperSparkly Teacher! I’m one of the newest collaborators and am thrilled that I’ve been welcomed into the Elementary Entourage family. This is my sixth year teaching. My first four years were spent in second grade and I sometimes miss it. Although I do love all the crafts my firsties get to do.
first grade teacher
I enjoy traveling with my husband. So far, we've done a lot of touristy things in many big cities across the country. I'm looking forward to foreign exploration in the future. 
reading level
So, I don’t usually get excited about tracking data. But I do get excited when it comes to reviewing student progress and growth. In first grade, there is definitely a lot of growth when it comes to reading. Here are some of the ways I monitor my students’ progress.
guided reading notes
anecdotal notes for guided reading
When it comes to report cards, I am expected to share what students are able to do and what they’re still working on. A few years ago, I started recording anecdotal notes on index cards. It is so helpful! I put the things they are doing well at the top (with a plus), and things we need to work on at the bottom (with a minus).

I group the cards by reading groups/levels. I can move the cards around if a student moves to a different group. The cards don’t take up a ton of space on my cluttered table either. I tried using a form (that was much more formal), but I was so distracted because it meant there was one more thing on my table. #easilydistracted 
Click HERE to see it on TpT
Have you come across this Basic Data Folder on TpT? It’s a freebie that was created by Christina Brainbridge. It has so many charts! I have students chart their reading level every month. It’s fun to see their growth especially as time passes.

reading data
I keep all of my Reading Data in a binder with Avery dividers. Each student has a spot for his or her current running record, reading level graph and sight word graph. It’s handy enough that when I have an extra helper, they are able to update any of the information with the student.

Would you like to snag the chalkboard binder cover for yourself? Click {HERE} to download it for free. #freebiealert

Well friends, thanks for sticking around! I can't wait to come back and share again next month. 

Have a super sparkly day!