Monday, August 31, 2015

Systems for tracking anecdotal notes


Anecdotal notes are incredibly helpful, they provide evidence that shows which skills children have mastered, and which skills need additional practice.  They also give teachers the opportunity to write down direct quotes from children, which can be insightful, hilarious, and adorable.  Being able to access all of this information when it comes times for conferences is invaluable, and parents love to hear what their children have been up to.

The main issues with anecdotal notes are;

  1. storing and organizing all of those random little notes
  2. remembering to write them in the first place
When it comes to remembering to write them down, I've found that it works best if you can build it into your routine take five minutes each day, or 15 minutes at the end of the week to write down what you've notice, or be sure to keep your notes close by as you work with the children in small groups.  

I've got a couple of different ideas to share with you for keeping your notes organized.  If you want to have access to all of your students' notes in one small file, try this:


I found a cute file folder and lined a bunch of post-its up inside.  I put each child's name on one post it, and i can carry the folder around or pull it out and make a quick note whenever I need to.  The great thing about the post-its is that I can take them out of the folder and stick them on a portfolio page.  The post it can be my reminder of what I want to write in the portfolio for that particular piece of evidence.  

I like this idea, but I wanted something that would let me keep all of the child's important info in one spot, while still helping me organize anecdotal notes, so I put together this:


There is certain student information that I find myself needing constantly - phone numbers, parents names, emails, birth dates.  I like to have all of this at my fingertips so that it is super easy to access.  I also like to be able to constantly remind myself of each child's goals, this helps me keep track of them better, so I put a goal sheet in each folder.  I might laminate the folders so that I can write the goals in with dry erase marker and update them easily.  Then I added a small stack of post-its and a place for the child's photo.  I love these and I think they'll be really helpful, so I made them a freebie for you. Download yours here, and let me know how you plan on keeping track of anecdotal notes this year!

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