Weekly Tip: Choosing Student Objectives

The focus for our weekly My Day Web App tip is on objectives and/or benchmarks. As a teacher, it is sometimes difficult to find a way to gather behavioral data or academic data that is more observational in nature, such as whether a student is persevering in solving problems or using strategies during a literacy lesson.

Before My Day Web App, my method of gathering observational academic or behavioral data was using point sheets and a large binder that seemed to grow into the size of a small car by the end of the year. I hauled that binder from group to group, and I searched through tabs of students and their work in order to find the one or two data sheets I needed to mark whether or not students were displaying mastery of objectives. It was heavy and cumbersome (although I did build up fairly respectable biceps). I also tried moving my loose behavior point sheets to a file drawer, but that soon filled up any available space I had. Not good. Fellow teachers, you know what I mean; space is at a premium. Plus, I loathe stacks of loose papers. This is where My Day Web App becomes extremely helpful. Instead of hauling a gigantic binder with me, I have all of my students and their data at my fingertips on my tablet (or desktop, or laptop, or… well, you get the point). I can quickly and easily pull up each data sheet for any student in a matter of seconds, put in new information, change data I’ve entered, or enter data I (or another staff member) collected at an earlier time.

However, before I can enter data, I have to choose the objectives on which I will be collecting data. I always start with the IEP goals for my students, which include academic and behavioral goals and objectives. I have found that My Day Web App works great for both of these. Often we teachers have tons of information on assignments that we give in paper format or electronically. This information often concretely show what we are assessing (such as a math problem on a test). You can enter that information into My Day Web App, and the program will be able to calculate overall percentages for you in an instant. This concrete academic data is fairly easy to collect. However, it is the skills measured without paper that I find challenging to gather data on in a consistent manner. I love using My Day Web App for these types of skills. Some of these skills and objectives include whether a student raised his or her hand before speaking in your reading group, explained his or her thinking during oral math problems, or solved a conflict with a peer during recess. These are perfect objectives for our program; you can keep a running tally very quickly on a tablet or a laptop.

 

socialgoals

Here is a list of one student’s behavioral objectives listed under their “Social” category. I also have a “Math” and a “Literacy” category for this student to help sort out data quickly.

 

If you notice you have so many objectives that your individual student reports go on forever, or you are having trouble organizing your data, a trick I use is adding a student multiple times on my class list with each listing of the student labeled with either reading (for reading goals), math (for math goals), writing (for writing goals), or social (for social goals). For example, S Reading, S Math, S Writing, and S Social would all be the same student listed on my class roster with each one containing corresponding objectives. This helps with organizing my objectives. I also include only the timeslots in which students would be demonstrating literacy objectives for my S Reading category, math objectives for my S Math category, and social skills for my S Social category. Doing this helps shorten the reports. The possibilities are endless, and My Day Web App allows you to fully customize your account to get exactly what you need. Feel free to contact us with questions or other ways you are using My Day Web App; we love to hear from you!

Happy Teaching,

Sara

My Day Web App is a web application designed to collect and help you analyze powerful classroom data that can be used to make powerful decisions for your learners. It was designed for teachers by a teacher and her software developer husband (aka Bright Egg, LLC). Visit us on our blog, website, Twitter, or Facebook for more information.

Posted in Blog Entries, Tips and Tricks

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