Writing Workshop Record Keeping


I have FINALLY found a record keeping system that works for me!  I have tried lots of different ways, but this one encompasses what I need.  It is simple, requires no copies or extra things to be prepped, and I can keep track of who I am meeting with and how often.

My “system” has two parts.  One is a binder.  I have a tab for each child, and place copy paper hole punched and inserted for each kid.  The binder is where I “house” all of my notes on every student.  I then take notes on address labels.  I carry a clipboard around with me during independent writing time.  When I meet with someone, I quickly write their name and date on the address label, as well as whatever notes I might want to take.  I don’t “require” myself to have the same components to my notes all the time.  For example, I may or may not always write about a complement, teaching point, and next step.  Sometime one or two words is enough to let me know what I need to remember.  The address labels give me this flexibility.

When independent writing time is done, I take the sheet of labels to the binder.  I peel each student’s label off of the sheet and stick it on to the blank pages by the student’s name.  This way I don’t have to worry about flipping pages while conferencing.  I can do the organizing after the fact, and it only takes a minute or two.

The second part of the “system” is a small white board I have posted on the wall.  I make a grid with each child’s name, and slots for dates.  I usually make the columns a date range – a week per column.  Each day, after conferencing, I make a quick tally mark by the names of all of the children I met with.  This lets me quickly see who I have or have not met with, and who I need to meet with soon.

A great added component to this is the ease of record keeping when multiple people are working with my students.  For example, if I have a special ed teacher, classroom aid, parent volunteer, or anyone else meeting with my students, I want to know about what they worked on.  So, each person that meets with my students on a regular basis has a specific ink color that they use for note taking and tally marks.  For example, I might take all notes with black ink, but my classroom aid always uses green.

Then, when I look over notes or at the tally marks, I get an idea of who has been seeing my kids.  If my aid has done all of the recent conferences with a particular student, I know I need to see that child soon.

There are certainly ways of adjusting this.  You could pre-print labels with names, or spots for specific notes.  However, the simplicity is what I love.  Once the binder is made, the only prep I need to do involves making sure I have plenty of blank address labels. The rest is ready to go!  What are your favorite tips and tricks for record keeping?  I always love new ideas!

3 Responses to Writing Workshop Record Keeping

  1. Charlotte October 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks for the post! It’s such an easy system to use!

    • Teaching Ace October 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      So glad you found it to be helpful! I really like it, and am finally able to manage record keeping. Thanks for reading!

  2. CSchell May 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    Thank you so much.~C