Keeping Track of Data

By: Kristin Moritz

Education is a continuous circle of planning, executing, and achieving. Teachers have a lot of tasks to juggle—while making sure to keep track of data along the way. It is important to determine the different levels of growth that each student has achieved (or needs to achieve). These achievements and growth, displayed as data, are helpful for teachers to share with parents, students, and even the school districts. It is also helpful for students to see their progression throughout the school year, in relation to where they are going and how to get there.

Data binders are a helpful organizational resource. In the beginning, these binders can be a task to set up, but once they are ready to use, the hard work will pay off. But how do you know what to include in a data binder, and how to you know what to do with one? Here are some important planning and managing points to think about:

Planning the Binder(s)

  • Where will the binders be stored?
  • Should students also keep a data binder of their own?
  • What pages or assessments will be included?
  • How often will the pages/assessments be updated?
  • Will only one binder be used and include all students, or will each student have a separate binder?
  • If using one binder in total, should it include a whole class section and individual student sections?
  • How should data binders be introduced to the students?
  • Will there be any recognition for student success?

Managing the Binder(s)

  • Take time setting it up—what do you want to include? What do you need to include?
  • Organize the binder/s in chronological order of assessments—this allows for easier reporting without flipping through pages.
  • Use number tabs for the students—keep a class list in the front of the binder with each child’s number and name.
  • Include a list of state standards, Common Core State Standards, and district curriculum—as well as any other important guidelines.
  • Color code the binder/s to match the classroom—keep everything in the classroom aligned to that color-coded system. (example: if the math pages are blue, then use blue bins for math stations, blue paper for a math focus wall, etc.)
  • Color pens—each color should be used for a different assessment event.
  • Scheduling—set a time every week to update the information, but also keep notes throughout the week.
  • Take notes—keep track of what is done and when with sticky tabs or a checklist. 

Remember that data binders are a work in progress—you can always add or change elements as you go, or make note to reassess for the following year. Oftentimes students, administrators, or fellow teachers may have some great ideas or tips on how to successfully use a data binder. Perhaps there is an element that they would like to see included or expanded.

Once the data binder is being utilized, it should be easy to visualize a plan for whole-class, small-group, or individualized lessons. Carson-Dellosa’s Classroom Data Tracking and Instant Assessments for Data Tracking allow teachers to track student progress with a customizable data-tracking process. The Classroom Data Tracking resource books show how to set up, create, and maintain a personalized system for successful progress throughout the entire school year.


Kristen Moritz, 2017–2018 Carson-Dellosa Brand Ambassador