Tracking and monitoring students’ learning is a very important step in all teachers’ daily teaching. It tells us the effectiveness of our instruction, the next steps in planning, and how to differentiate instruction.
If we already have different kinds of assessments in place, tracking and monitoring may be neglected. To be honest, it is time-consuming as compared to just giving out, collecting, and scoring tests. And usually, teachers have to do it at the end of the day while they still have to plan for the next day.
However, if we can invite our students to be part of this and make it fun for them, it can save us a lot of time, hold our students accountable, and motivate them to work even harder.
Today’s blog post shares a fun system to help teachers track and monitor students’ learning. Click here to get the freebie mentioned in this blog post. Keep reading if you are interested to learn more.
What Is Tracking and Monitoring?
Tracking and monitoring students’ learning is a type of ongoing assessment. It tells teachers where students are while working towards the learning objectives and the pace of progressing. Thus, teachers can plan daily lessons accordingly to make learning more effective.
Why Do We Have to Invite Students to do Tracking and Monitoring?
Since many things can happen during a school day, it’s hard to be consistent in tracking and monitoring. As a result, teachers either have to pause instruction or use their prep time during a busy day to do this, or they have to do it after dismissal.
On the other hand, letting students be part of it can boost student agency and promote student-centered learning. Students don’t accept knowledge passively. Instead, they filter and process the knowledge to make it fit their own system of learning. Being part of it gives students ownership of their learning and motivates them the most.
A Fun and Engaging Tracking and Monitoring System
Having said that, I created this tracking system and implemented it in my own 3rd-grade classroom. Both the teacher and students have something to do.
What do Students Need to Do?
Each student gets a card (1/4 of a Letter size paper) like the one below. First, the student needs to write down a goal he/she wants to work on in a period of time. I also laminate the chart to make it long-lasting afterward.
You may want to have a conference with the student to hear his/her thoughts about the goal. The period of time can be a week, a month, or a length of a unit, etc.
Knowing the deadline is very important because it tells the student that there is a limited amount of time, and they have to hurry up and work hard.
Next, they can start to earn stars. They can earn from written work. For example, every time I see evidence of a student working on his/her goal, I put a star sticker in his/her homework notebook. Later, the student can stick the sticker to his/her star chart.
Students can also earn stars from oral responses. For instance, during a lesson, when a student’s answer demonstrates the goal, you can tell the student that he/she just earned a star and he/she can get it from you later. This way, you can save time and also hold the student accountable.
When students can see where they are, they are more motivated and more likely to work hard to reach the goal. You may also tell your students that they can get a prize if they complete the chart. I’m sure your students will love and enjoy it!
What does the Teacher need to Do?
Based on my experience, if you have 20-30 students in your class, starting with the whole class may be hard, especially when students have different goals. You may want to start with one of your small groups and add more students when everyone becomes familiar with this system.
Before I teach a unit, I usually look at the unit overview and my students’ current learning needs. Then I pick out 3-4 common core standards that I want my students to work on in this unit. Next, I fill out the sheet above with names and standards.
At the end of the unit, I collect all the star charts and color-code the sheet according to the key at the bottom. For example, if a student got 16 stars on his chart, I will color the corresponding box green. Color-coding makes it easier for me to identify the strengths and needs of my students.
However, if your student only has one goal to work on in a unit, you can simply fill out the column of that goal. In fact, I suggest you start with a small group and give each student only one goal to work on at the beginning. Then, your sheet probably will look at the one below.
In this post, I shared one fun and engaging system that elementary teachers can implement in their classrooms to track and monitor students’ learning. Get the freebie to try this idea. The freebie has one Track & Monitoring Sheet and four Individual Student’s Goal Tracker Charts.
The product has one Track & Monitoring Sheet and eight Individual Student’s Goal Tracker Charts. Both tools come in color and in black and white.
Not interested? No problem. Just sign up to be the first to know FREEBIES and NEW BLOG POST! I am sure you will find something helpful someday.
Enjoy your teaching,
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