Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas - Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation
 Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation
** Summer Fun Rerun! **
{July 2016}  

Every Tuesday Michelle, from Teach 123, and I will have a new installment of my favorite post, Tuesday Teacher Tips!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas - Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation

This week's tip is for teachers who teach one or two subjects to two or three classes each day. For the last three years I taught Math and Science twice a day. I had two groups and I found that it was easier to keep all data separate in different colored notebooks. With Data Meetings and Parent Conferences held in locations other than my classroom, keeping everything neat and tidy in a file cabinet would no long work.

Notebooks, notebooks, notebooks were the answer!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas - Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation
Did I mention that NOTEBOOKS were the answer?

Especially by color coding the classes, I could locate the students' information, grades, RTI data, parent conference forms, etc. quickly and easily. In the last three years, our district used three different gradebook software programs. One thing we all learned the hard way was to create a paper back up every Friday. If a student moved, their record was deleted, but if they moved back in a week or two, we were still responsible for their old grades. If a child qualified for ESE, they were moved into the ESE inclusion room or if they qualified for ESOL or Gifted they were moved into my room. Their grades would be completely erased and the student re-entered like a new student. AGAIN, I sound like an old lady, I love technology, but learn from other's mistakes and back up, back up, back up your data with a paper copy!

I've created these FREE binder labels for you. It is editable and you can change anything around to your liking.
I recommend a 1 inch binder for Student Information, 1 1/2 inch for RTI Data and 2 inch for your Gradebook.
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas - Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation FREE Notebook Spine Labels

Click HERE to download this template.
{At Dropbox, select DIRECT DOWNLOAD. If you just select download, Dropbox will convert it to a PDF and it will not be editable. ~ I learn something new everyday!}

The font is by KG Font.  It is free for personal use. 
Click below to download the font.
KG The Last Time Fonts
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas - Tuesday Teacher Tips: Documentation

Sure, we live in a technological age, with lots of schools having student information online, but that doesn't mean it is current after a few months of summer vacation.
On Meet the Teacher night, it is wonderful to have some student information on PAPER to put into your Student Information Binder for the very first minute of the very first day of school.
* How are they going to get home?
* Are they going home a different way on the first day of school? {Usually!}
* Do they get Free or Reduced lunch?
* Food allergies?
* Mom's phone number?
* Granny's phone number? 
The more information you have on the first day, the less stressful your day and your students' day will be!

Here are some FREE downloadable student information sheets for you. Pick one, print it, hole-punch it, set it out at Meet the Teacher night and when you put it in your binder, you'll be ready to go.
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  1. Fern, I love this! Documentation is my weak area and my principal's strength. Though she adores me, she can't understand why I am always scrambling to gather up all my documentation. My system is put it all in a box marked documentation and periodically organize it. I know you are probably horrified. I love your idea of color binders. Though I don't teach different subjects, in my kindergarten class I have three different intervention groups. This would be a great way to organize their lesson materials and assessments. Thanks for the tip!
    -Lisa Liddiard

  2. It's amazing how crucial documentation is, We now use BIRTZ for behavior incidents and I also keep a yearly note book and document daily happenings. THANKS...smiles and stop by anytime.

  3. Oh my goodness--I have binders, binders,binders too! My problem is that stuff rarely gets put into them. I'm not even as organized as Lisa (above) since I don't even put it all in one place. I'd be hard pressed to come up with any specific piece of paper at a given time, unless it is one of the very important ones my principal might ask me for, which get tucked into my lesson plan book until they get put in their right place. This one is a big "fail" for me. ;-) Every year I promise myself it will be better.


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