One day I was getting ready to do a whole group alphabet activity. It was a simple 'swat the letter' game where you call out a letter name or sound and students take turns whacking the letter card with a fly-swatter. I was trying to decide which letters I wanted to focus on for this activity. I knew that I couldn't focus on all the letters of the alphabet because that would become too tiresome and I would let loose the ants in my kiddos pants.
But--- which letters do I choose?
I needed to know, as a whole, which letters my students were struggling with the most.
That sounded like a data nightmare. -data is not my favorite thing, fyi-
But, now my curiosity was peaked. Which letters on average were giving students trouble? While were at it... which numbers, shapes and colors were learning curveball culprits as well?
So, even though -data is not my favorite thing- I made it work. I created a template that can be used in Adobe Reader (free btw) where I enter the letters/numbers/shapes/colors that students could not identify on our most recent assessment.
The form tallies up the number of students needing help with that particular skill. So, the higher the number in the total column = the letters I needed to focus on in circle time.
My little data experiment totally worked and I can sleep better at night knowing I didn't just thrown caution (in this case alphabet letters) at the wall and hope I wasn't wasting time focusing on letters they already knew.
And.....since I went to so much work - I need someone else to love on this little data collector too. It just feels nice when someone besides myself can use something I worked hard on.
So, click below to get this Preschool Teacher's Data Collector - but promise me - you will open it in Adobe Reader (free - google it) - because if you don't, it will not work as planned!
Now, go forth and collect that data teacher friend!