Student Data Binders, Addition Fluency, and the Emerald City

Hello, sweet friends!  We are on fall break this week, so I am curled up on the couch with my coffee doing one of my favorite things-blogging!  I have missed it the last few weeks.  I wanted to share some things with you I have been working on this year.  I have always kept some form of a data notebook with all of my students' various data.  We have a sixth grade teacher at our school who went to individual student portfolios last year and she had great results from it.  So, I decided to do something similar with my students this year.  

My focus was more on students tracking their own data.  It makes them accountable for their learning and gives them a great visual for where they are and where they want to go.  I must say, this has been a great tool for my second graders.  This is the first year they get grades on their report card so it's hard for them to understand how they work.  This tool has made it all make sense for them and most importantly, it's made them care about their learning.  They get pretty competitive!  

I keep them all on one shelf in my classroom, and I just have students grab them when they need them. It also gives me easy access to them if I need to add something to them.  My biggest concern before starting these was the time factor.  I didn't think I had time to conquer such a task.  I have been very surprised at what little time it requires from me.  It took some time in the beginning to format everything but now it's super easy.

We track various data in our classroom.  I pulled out the most important foundational skills as well as everything that will be tested at the end of the year.  That's our main focus!  We track our reading levels.  We also set goals for where we want to be at the end of the year.  I give them my goal for them and they can make up their own goal if they'd like.  It's so important to have these conversations with them.

We track spelling and phonics tests.  We take a pretest each week at the beginning of the week and then compare our posttest at the end of the week.  Word study is a prominent section on SAT10 so I really like to focus on that.  

We also focus on reading comprehension skills.  I give them a cold read pre-test and then we graph our results.  Next, I tell them what we are learning during the weekly unit.  They have to write down a short "I can" statement below.  At the end of the week, we graph our posttest. 

We track addition and subtraction fluency.  I will explain how that works later in the post.

And finally, we track math data.  The one below is an Engage New York module we tried.  I use enVision, as well, as Saxon for math.  I also pull lots of supplemental stuff from TPT.  So, this section can look differently depending on what I am using.


Student Data Notebooks have to be formatted to your own classroom needs.  This one fits my needs, but yours could look totally different.  I do not have these printables to share yet.  I am working on a product for TPT with what I use if you think it matches your classroom in any way.  We do take SAT10 at the end of the year, so a lot is geared towards that test.  The thing I regret is not yet adding a section for SAT10 and having conferences with them at the beginning of the year about last year's test results.  I am going to work on a student friendly way to address this and maybe conference with them after Christmas.

I have used many different things over the years to practice addition fluency.  I think though I may have found my favorite!  I found this video a teacher made on YouTube for practicing multiplication fluency.  I loved it and we thought there had to be a way to incorporate addition and subtraction into it.

Students start with adding 0 and then can move up to 10.  The first addend is the one they're working on and then I project the second addend.  After they have it written, they hold their markers in the air.

They have one minute to complete them.  

If they did not finish or they know they missed some, they immediately erase, put it away, and read to self.  I then go around checking everyone else's smart pals.  If they mastered that set of facts, they graph their results in their data notebooks.  This whole process takes about 5 minutes each day.  They also work on fluency in their busy baskets during math rotations.

I will throw in a mix of all the facts every now and then to make sure they are retaining it.  

When all the students have mastered through then ten facts, they will all earn a reward.

If you own my problem and solution pack, I have updated it, so be sure to re-download it on TPT.

And for those of you who use my Journeys packets, Jellies and Click, Clack, Moo are both up.  I hope to finish two more this week.


One more thing!  This post was super long!  At our school, we have a Harvest Festival as a school fundraiser.  They boy and girl in each room who bring in the most money get to be the prince and princess of each class and serve in the royal court the night of our Harvest Festival.  Another teacher and I headed up the decorating committee, so we chose a Wizard of Oz theme this year.  We had such a great team that brought our vision to life!  I just had to share some pics from that night!

I hope you all have a great rest of the week!  Enjoy this fall weather!


  1. This is wonderful! Do you have the PDF you wouldn't mind sharing?

  2. Did you just tape down the yellow brick road? It looks great! We are trying to put one on carpet!

  3. We used packing tape to secure it. You could probably try it or use velcro or something. ???

  4. The yellow brick road is great. We're doing The Wizard Of Oz too! How do you make the yellow brick road?

  5. Did you use yellow cardboard or cloth for the yellow brick road?????

  6. Hi - We are doing the Wizard of Oz for our school's annual auction - your decor is awesome! Wondering what green fabric you used for Emerald City? And how did you make the poppies - thanks!


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