There were several gems in module 8 that will be very useful as I revamp my record keeping and how I track student learning. One point Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis and Arter (2012, pp. 302-303) made clear was how beneficial it is to students when they have the opportunity to track their own learning. Being involved in this way keeps students in touch with their own progress and provides motivation to learn.
I believe that I can readily apply this strategy to our reading program. Students take home a reading log and a book from the classroom daily and are responsible for reading for 15 minutes each night at home (or be read to). Students are placed in reading groups that correlate with a particular book level that is represented by a color. Students bring “just right” books home for daily practice in a folder that includes a reading log. Students are to document the title of the book they have read, record three interesting words they found, and have parents sign the log. It seems to me that this would be the ideal place for students to keep and maintain a chart that documents their progression through the reading levels. I also use a Reading Log Tracking Sheet to keep track of student reading levels as well as how regularly they read at home and return their daily reading folders.
One of the benefits I have found with the Reading Log Tracking Sheet is it allows me to see current student reading levels as well as patterns of responsibility with reading homework all in one location. I am aware that Chappuis, et al. state that work habits should be tracked separately from academic achievement levels so as to avoid raising and lowering grades in response to a range of learning problems (2012, p 314). I am comfortable with recording the reading folders in this way because the regularity with which they read and bring back their logs will not affect their reading grades. It will just serve as a discussion point.
Chappuis, et al. also recommend that educators plan for assessment events that will be used formatively during learning. Such events can be practice work, evidence collected to be used for grouping purposes, work turned in for feedback, and evidence students use for self-assessment (2012, p. 299-300). While conducting reading group instruction I gather formative data and record it on a Guided Reading Recording Sheet that is specifically designed for a particular reading level. It includes a list of reading learning targets that can be checked off when they are observed on a regular basis. Once a student has each target checked off, they are ready to take a summative reading test that confirms (or does not confirm) readiness to move on and the reading groups are changed accordingly.
Chappuis, J., Stiggins, R., Chappuis, S. & Arter, J. (2012) Classroom assessment: Every student a learner. Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right-Using it well (pp. 1-18). Boston, MA: Pearson.