Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Oughta Know About Student Data Folders

I am linking up with Mrs. McClain's "You Oughta Know" blog hop again this month to tell you about student data folders.

Every year my school has a 'motto'.  This year our motto is to 'set our goals and aim high'.  To help the students set and track their goals, we are all using goal folders (student data folders) and I wanted to talk to you about how I implemented these in my room.

Since this is something that is brand new to my students I wanted to start off by talking with them about the importance of setting goals.  Then, we talked about how we can have different types of goals (school goals and other goals).  We worked together to brainstorm some goals that we have for school and then the students wrote them down.  Then, I posted them in the hallway - the kids love seeing their goals out there!

Aren't these precious??

 Next, I revealed our 'goal folders' and made a big show about how amazing they were.  The students couldn't wait to see them!  The first page is just the cover page for each student.  It was so cute how excited the kids were to write their names on this page!  They couldn't wait to start setting goals and tracking their progress.
We have both reading and math tracking sheets in this folder.
In reading the students will track three things: their reading level, their sight word knowledge and their oral reading fluency.

For their reading levels we use the benchmark assessments from Reading A-Z.  As the students progress through the reading levels they color the corresponding book in their goal folder:
There is also a place at the bottom of the page for the students to write the level that they start on and their goal level (we had to have a lot of discussions about obtainable goals!).  There is even a place for me to write their level at the end of each nine weeks. 

The next reading sheet tracks their sight word knowledge:

There are 30 sight word lists and each list contains a mixture of our sight words from the reading series and the Dolch words.  I have bags made up for each list and I send them home with the students.
Once the students know all of the words in that list, they can color the box.  They love this part, too!  I progress monitor the students in the morning, but I only have time for two or three students a day.  I have a little schedule set up and they come in every morning asking if it is their day to read with me.  It makes me so happy to see all of my students so excited about their reading - and it is over something as simple as coloring in the boxes and getting one step closer to their goal!

The final reading page tracks their oral reading fluency.  We will not start this until January, but wanted to put it in the folders so that we would not have to add any pages in later.
The students color how many words they read in a minute for each story (we will test their oral reading fluency once a week).

Phew - the reading part is enough to keep me busy.  But there is more!  The math section has two parts: number bond fluency and addition/subtraction fluency.

We start our fluency practice off with number bonds instead of actual equations.  I created number bond quizzes that are timed and once the student passes the quiz, they can color the corresponding number bond in their goal folder:
The next page is a tracking sheet for students to track their addition and subtraction fluency - and for some reason I did not take a picture of this page!

So those are our goal folders!  What do you think?  It seems overwhelming and time consuming, but once you get into a routine, everything runs smoothly.  I really love these and truly see the benefit of having the students set goals and track their progress!

Need a way to get started?  Here is the sight word tracking page that we use - just click on the picture to download it.

Do you use data folders in your classroom?  I would love to hear about them!

Now that you have read my blog post, hop over to any one of these other great bloggers!


  1. I am not coaching and presenting on my own, but I have been the RTI Coach on my campus for the past six years. I use data folders and they really help students to see where they are, where they should be, and put some of the responsibility on them to track and make progress.
    Best wishes!

    1. I agree! This is the first year that I have used them and I can't imagine ever going back.

  2. Love these, but do they take a lot of time to implement?

    1. Natalie,
      The actual data folders did not take much time to implement because I guide them as we use it (for example - after a student correctly reads list one I point to the list I want them to color).
      What did take a little bit of time to implement was the expectation and learning community of setting goals and working towards them. It was well worth it!

  3. I love your data folders, I used them with my kinders too. They were so helpful for them in goal setting and pride in their accomplishments.

    Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten

  4. I love how these give the students feedback while not violating their right to privacy Teaching Science With Lynda

  5. Do you have all of your templates you used that you could share?


    1. Absolutely! If you send me an email at I can forward them to you!

  6. I love this! I'm a third grade teacher and am already thinking of ways we could use a similar format. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  7. Thanks for sharing! I would love to hear more about your number bond quiz!

  8. I Love your folders! Could you send me a copy of your templates you used?

  9. I would love a copy of everything.

  10. Would you mind sharing this awesome resource?! Thank you so much!

  11. This would be perfect for my classroom. Could you please send a copy to me?

  12. Hi! I really like the format that you used. It's so first grade friendly. Could you send me a copy of your templates you used?
    Thank You!

  13. Would you mind sharing these templates? I'm also interested in more information regarding the number bond quizzes! My email is
    Thank you!

  14. Hi, I would sure appreciate a copy of your goals. I would like them to use with our AVID binders. My firsties are having a difficult time with sight words, and CBM on FAST TESTS. So much pressure to get their scores up, yet, I want to make it meaningful and fun. Thanks!