Thursday, July 30, 2015

Alphabet Chart: FREE!

Less than three weeks people! Two more Fridays left of sleeping in, running errands, not stuffing your face in 20 minutes and using the restroom whenever you want. I cannot believe how fast this school year is approaching. My school had our annual registration yesterday and it was so much fun to see old friends, meet new friends but I think I am in a little bit of denial mode.

It is time to kick my rear in gear and start marking things off my checklist. This week, I have been working on prepping some items that I like for my students to use in their writing/reading time. I love having a simple folder that my students can reference while they are working. One of my must have items is an alphabet chart in their folder.

I jazzed it up a little bit this year and added a spot they use as a reference for handwriting. I will still have alphabet posters hanging on the wall but this will make it just a little bit easier to read and they can take it anywhere in the room.

Are you in need of an alphabet chart? You can grab it for FREE here! Please leave some feedback if you download. :) It is also available in Black & White and 2 different options for "x" Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Kindergarten Data Notebooks

My Kindergarten Data Notebook is one of my best sellers on TpT and also the resource that I receive the most questions/comments about.  It seems more and more schools are wanting to use a type of data notebook. One of the biggest questions is how do you make it work on top of everything else that is piling up on our plates?! Sometimes that plate is not just piling up but  flooding!
Last summer, I wanted to create a data notebook that my kindergarten students could understand and maintain. I also wanted to make something that would make my job easier when it came to assessments and RTI. So I started working on this little gem. This data notebook is over 100 pages full. It is slammed packed with lots of types and different ways to display data. I only use a few pages for all of my students. Every child's notebook holds data on: name writing, reading levels, sight words, letters, sounds, numbers, addition, subtraction and shapes. Then I add pages in individual student's notebook if I have placed them in RTI. Those pages depend on the type of data that I am collecting and the goals that the student is working on mastering.
Sample of some of the pages

About the Notebook

  • It is color coded by interim and 9 weeks. This allows for a quick visual reference of the time period the student mastered a concept.
  • It allows you to collect Reading Levsls based on 100 Book Challenge, DRA or hand write in the levels specific for your classroom.
  • It has a section for the teacher to mark as mastered, not mastered or not assessed yet for all ELA Common Core Standards.
  • The letters.sounds, numbers and shapes are placed in large boxes to make it easy to read and mark what they have mastered. The child colors in the boxes that they have mastered. It also includes an easy chart for the teacher to document date of assessment and how many correct. Perfect data sheet to take to an RTI mtg!
  • The sight word section is editable. It is seperated by each quarter, with each sight word in their own box. The print is large and easy for the student to see, allowing a quick easy way to assess. The boxes are also large to allow the student to color in the words that they have mastered. It also includes an easy chart for the teacher to document date of assessment and how many correct. Perfect data sheet to take to an RTI mtg!
  • There is a section for narrative, opinion and informative writing.
  • Recognizing and producing rhyming words
  • Section for fluency facts and area to make a bar graph on their progress.
  • At the end of each section their is a graph for the child to continue to build on.
  • A place to write goals for each quarter and mark if they have been met or still in progress.
  • A section on medals that the student earns after showing mastery of each sections.
You can grab this FREEBIE here!

How to Start

At the beginning of the year, every child receives a notebook and we go over it in our small groups/guided reading. Every child first starts by writing their name. I love collecting a name sample because you can see so much growth just in their handwriting and of course seeing if they know how to spell their name.  The next area we mark is our reading level. I use the page that is a bar graph. It works perfect as a visual demonstration to see their growth and a bonus for working on graphing skills. Those are the only areas we mark to start. The rest is collected during guided reading and Free Choice time depending on the data we need to mark.

Collecting Data 

I usually have my students work on filling in their data notebooks 1 on 1. This allows for a special time to for us to have conversations and give them some of my undivided attention that they so desire. I do have them mark their reading levels during small group because it is time effective and their group is all on the same level. It allows them to talk together and form goals for their reading. I love listening to them chat with their peers about their goals! For sight words and number I mostly  assess and collect data during my Free Choice time. I schedule 30 minutes of Free Choice daily. My students are playing in centers, working on catch up work with my assistant, using the restroom and having a brain break! I typically meet with 1 or 2 kids during this time to work on data notebooks. (I also meet with my RTI kids during this time for interventions.

When it is their turn to work in their data notebook, they grab their notebook and meet me at my table. We do a quick glance together and talk about areas that they are strong and they tell me some areas that they are struggling. We chat about how hard it is for them and what they have been doing to improve. We then turn to the page they are working on, they read it to me and I place a small colored dot in the boxes that they got correct. Once finished they go back to their seat to color in what they have mastered. They are always so excited to color in their boxes and I never had an issue with them coloring boxes or on their graph that they have not mastered. Once they have finished graphing they bring it back to me for a quick glance. We chat about areas that they are strong and areas they can work on. Then we brainstorm ways they can improve. Sometimes that is playing sight word games during free choice, number games, reading with a buddy etc. By allowing the child to color by themselves, they really take an ownership of their notebook, begin to understand areas they need to work on and allows me to start working with another student! Win Win!

I loved having these Data Notebooks in my classroom last year. They came in handy for RTI meetings, parent meetings and of course our Student Led Conferences. I will be blogging later about how those conferences looked in my classroom! Let me know if you have any other questions. :) 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Time Flies

  Wow!! I have not blogged in forever. If you have been following on Instagram or Facebook, you have seen pictures and read short blurbs of what was going on in my room. I dropped the ball on blogging but boy oh boy I have so much to be thankful for!

Last July, I found out I was pregnant and then shortly after I was in my classroom trying to put it all back together. 😜 I was a little OCD and everything had to match my blue and green classroom. I mean who isn't a little OCD with their room?!?  These are a couple pictures of my room. I am already stressed thinking about putting it all back together!


I will admit, I was exhausted this school year. My days began at 5:00 AM, taking Andrew to daycare, going to work, loving on my kinder kiddos, meetings, picking up Andrew, making dinner and trying to nap. Who isn't exhausted when pregnant?!? Blogging took a back seat so I could go to bed early every night. I NEED 9 hours of sleep or it is not pretty. Thank goodness both of our kids like to sleep! 

April 5th, Easter Sunday, Owen Joseph Farr was born! The Easter Bunny brought us a special gift. We are so blessed to be a Family of 4. He is the reason I was so tired for 9 months but he was so worth it all. I mean seriously isn't he just so adorable?!?


        This last school year I was blessed with an awesome group of kinders. We learned so much together and had lots of fun! I will be blogging soon about how my Kindergarten Data Notebooks and Student Led Conferences turned out!! It will definitely be something I keep doing!