Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tracking Progress Freebie for Back to School

People ask me all of the time, "How do you do it?"  in reference to being a kindergarten teacher.  The answer to how I do it is easy, you just do it in the best way you know how.  There is no canned answer because, if you do it right, you will do it differently every year as your group dynamics change.
What people are really asking is, "Why do you teach kindergarten?" and my answer lies within the growth and change you can make in individual students (you usually have about 20 chances a year!) and the marked progress EACH and EVERY child makes in a year due to experiences they've been exposed to throughout their kindergarten year.  Setting the standards aside for this discussion, I like to focus on how far each individual child has flown regardless of where they end up: A child that can identify half of the alphabet and less sounds than that is now potty trained and able to speak in complete sentences.  A child who began as a decoding reader is now reading and understanding at a 3rd grader level.  You get the point.

Although you can see the progress in your students presented in the form of data, I, myself am more intrigued by the artifacts that tell an even bigger story.  For example, I have the students color a simple picture that has a handful of opportunities for them to change colors and demonstrate color appropriateness on the first day of school.  Then, they do the SAME picture at the end of the year before I pass back the one from the beginning for them to compare (and often tell me, "That's not my name!" or "That's not mine, I didn't color like that!".  I created a new one that I want to share with my readers to use with their students during this upcoming year. 




Click on this picture to get the updated version of this freebie!



The pictures are so fun to get out and see the differences and the apparent growth that has occurred over the course of the year. It is rewarding for them and, you as their guide. I thought I'd share some of my most obvious changes that occurred in my room this year:


Another tool I use for tracking progress is my "Journey Through My Kindergarten Year" project.  It tracks childrens' drawing skills, as well as writing name skills and more.  There is a place to put a first day of school photo in the front and a last week of school photo in the back, as well as a beginning of the year story and an end of the year story. There is a page for each month that allows the children to draw a self portrait that I always do on the 1st of every month. It is so, so fun to see the obvious progression throughout the year.  At the end of the year when it is all done, it is a gift for their parents.   What a treasure to have (well, I would think anyway, as a parent!).  Here are some photos to give you a better idea what the project entails:
 
Click on this book to see the updated version of this portfolio. 
 
 
This is the cover.  Some years I copy the cover onto colored
card stock, but I think them coloring it adds a nice touch.

This is in September.
Same boy completed this in June.  It is adorable!


This was done in September...
..and only 4 short months later in January!


Tracking the progress of our students is so much more important to me than just looking at the final data.  Every child has his or her own story and it is much better understood when demonstrated through their work, rather than the numbers that represent them!

26 comments:

  1. They grow so much over the course of the year- don't they? To think of them when they enter Kinder and to see them what they've become at the end is truly priceless. I love your freebies! Thanks.
    Karla

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  2. Awww That is such a good reminder for the Parents too! I just LOVED stuff like that when my kids were little!
    Laura

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  3. Krissie,
    I do love your blog- I visit often and follow you on facebook. For close to 20 years I have done scrapbooks of my kids work - I include a great cross section of our work and it a great visual feedback to the kids and their families about how far they have come over the school year. I have not done a final coloring sheet that is the same as the first one of the school year but I will have to include that. Thanks for sharing your talents. Happy summer.
    Regards from Western Canada,
    Anna

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  4. I love this idea! I think that consistent and appropriate assessments (both informal and formal) are something I struggle with. I love how this acts as an easy way to document what our kiddos do. Quick and easy.
    I don't know if anyone else is have this problem, but when I click on the picture to go download, I get an error code...
    Is there anyway you could email it to me?

    I'm at veralynn83@gmail.com. I'd truly appreciate it!

    bedfordloveandteaching.blogspot.com

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  5. I LOVE these ideas! I keep getting a 404 error when I try to click on the coloring pages. :o(

    I also never know how to answer the "How do you do it?" question. I usually respond with, "Somedays I wonder myself." I like what you wrote though...it's exactly it!

    LeAnne
    Hangin' with Mrs. Cooper

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  6. Isn't that progress amazing! You can really tell a great deal of growth!
    http://www.kindertrips.blogspot.com/2012/06/classroom-decor-part-ii.html

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  7. I love showing student growth with self portraits, we do them on the 1st day, the 100th day and in the last month so they can go in our scrapbooks. I have never thought of having them color the same picture to show growth, that is a great idea. There is an error message when I click on the freebie, so I can't download it. :(

    Thanks for the great idea!!
    Kari :)
    karianne1120@gmail.com

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  8. Thank you for sharing your ideas! I would love to use this to chart their progress this year, however I am also having problems with google docs. :( My email is:
    lofgrenj@vail.k12.az.us

    Thank you again!!! :)
    Jennifer

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  9. I love this. I am getting an error code too. Will have to make sure to check back. I am always amazed at how far my kiddos come in nine months time.

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  10. I love how you have approached this topic! I always make sure I answer in a positive way. With the way some people view educators, esp. in my state, I want to showcase our profession in the best way possible.
    I would love to get a copy of the month by month self portrait page if you are willing to share! I too was unable to get the first day & end of the year coloring page. I got the 404 error code as well. I am so excited for this coming school year. I have been seeing and reading so many great things on your blog and those that you are linked up with. Thank you for helping to keep that flame burning inside me! : )

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  11. I love how you have approached this topic! I always make sure I answer in a positive way. With the way some people view educators, esp. in my state, I want to showcase our profession in the best way possible.
    I would love to get a copy of the month by month self portrait page if you are willing to share! I too was unable to get the first day & end of the year coloring page. I got the 404 error code as well. I am so excited for this coming school year. I have been seeing and reading so many great things on your blog and those that you are linked up with. Thank you for helping to keep that flame burning inside me! : )

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  12. I love how you have approached this topic! I always make sure I answer in a positive way. With the way some people view educators, esp. in my state, I want to showcase our profession in the best way possible.
    I would love to get a copy of the month by month self portrait page if you are willing to share! I too was unable to get the first day & end of the year coloring page. I got the 404 error code as well. I am so excited for this coming school year. I have been seeing and reading so many great things on your blog and those that you are linked up with. Thank you for helping to keep that flame burning inside me! : )

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  13. Hi!! I love the personalized color page!! So adorable!! I am having trouble downloading it, though.. Can u let me know how

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  14. sorry...didn't finish! Love your blog..just joined!
    Amy :)

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  15. I love this idea, but am having trouble downloading as well. Can you help? Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

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  16. Awesome idea..parents really appreciate seeing their child's growth throughout the year. I am having problems downloading though..my email is rkj032003@yahoo.com I would really appreciate a copy. Thanks!

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  17. I love this idea and will use it in August when I return to my own k class. I wasn't able to download your cute page?

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  18. This is such a great idea! And thank you so much for sharing. I also am having a problem with downloading it. I will try to remember to check back later. Thanks again!

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  19. Krissy - When I click on the pictures, it takes me to a page that simply says "NOT FOUND". LOVE these and will check back later to see if problem has been resolved. :)

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  20. Hi Krissy...
    I love these too!! I am also unable to download so I'll check back later to see if the issue is fixed...

    Thanks so much! :)

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  21. I love this, but can't download it! Here is my email...pamlang24@yahoo.com. Could you possibly email them to me? Thanks sooooo much!

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  22. Thank you for fixing the problem...I am so excited that I can use these know...call me crazy but I can not wait to meet all my new kindlers!!!

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  23. Hi! My name is Amanda. I'm your newest follower. You have a wonderful blog. I want to give your blog the "One Lovely Blog" award. Please come visit my blog...hugsfortheteacher.blogspot.com to claim your award.

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  24. Great Assessment for my little "Busy Bears"!

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  25. These are too cute! I downloaded them, but it wouldn't let me print. Am I doing something wrong?
    My email is mbkej@comcast.net

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