August 11, 2011

7 Habits & Data Notebooks... HELP!

Cyberland... I need your help!

I'm so excited that my school is starting the Leader in Me program this year.  I was part of the lighthouse team that was trained in the 7 habits this summer and I can't wait to get started at school.  I just know this will make a difference in my classroom, the school culture, and my student's lives.  Thrilled! 

We are using our first few PD days at school to train the rest of the staff and get everyone on board.  This year our main goal is to get the staff jazzed about the idea and begin using the language with our students to lay some groundwork.  Next year will be the big roll out.

Me, however, I really want to start trying out some aspects of the program.  Baby steps for sure, but I want to get involved.  So... I need help on data notebooks.  Bloggie friends out there, I need your advice.

My wonderings...

1) When and how do you launch the data notebook?

2) Do your kids take it too and from school everyday?

3) How is the notebook set up? Do you use tabs? (I was thinking I would have an area for reading goals and data, math goals and data, etc.)

4) Do you create everything you put into the notebooks?  If so, what does it look like?

5) How often do you have your students update their notebooks?  Is it something that is constantly being pulled out and used.  I have images of this being a hassle at the beginning but that once kids know how it works that it would be pretty natural.  Plus, we are working on independent and responsibility, so it would be great if they would just start pulling it out and updating in on own.  Thoughts and experiences with this?

6) Finally, I bought some floppy binders (cheaper) but I am starting to worry that I need something more substantial.  What do you think?

Here are some websites I have been looking at to try and get inspired.  Many of the notebooks are set up differently and vary in design and style. I'm so overwhelmed.  Thanks for your help and guidance in advance.


  1. This is our second year in the program, and our first year doing data notebooks. There are certain requirements and each grade level is then deciding how they want to set up the notebooks for their grade. Here is how we are setting up ours:

    Section one: Foundations
    -A sheet listing all the 7 Habits
    -The school vision and mission statements
    -Class and student mission statements (I'm planning to work on these the 2nd week of school)
    - a math and an ELA goal (also 2nd week of school. I'm going to do something simple like posting several fill-in-the-blank sentences they can choose from such as: "My ELA goal is to read ______ books this year."

    Section 2: Data tracking
    -A chart listing student scores on our benchmark tests
    -An AR chart of some sort
    -possibly a chart to show when math facts are mastered

    Section 3: Leadership Roles
    -(this is something schoolwide that hasn't quite been defined yet. It may be some sort of reflection sheet for each time a student does a leadership role in the school, a copy of their applications for different leadership positions, maybe a certificate they get after completing the leadership role. I'm thinking about putting something about class jobs in this part.)

    Section 4: Personal Victories
    -this is a sheet where students will reflect back and write a couple of sentences about when they had a personal victory that week)

    We are doing the soft cover binders. I think they are easier to store. I'm going to put mine in those white cardboard magazine boxes from Ikea and let the kids draw a cartoon on the outside that represents the 7 habits. I'm not going to let them bring it home every night. I'm thinking about having them update them every Friday. I might have them bring it home mid-9 weeks and at the end of the 9 weeks to review with parents. I'm not 100% sure yet.

    Hope this helps!


  2. So glad I was able to help Amanda! FYI, I just clicked your button from my blog to get to yours, and it took me to a blog called "Maniac Mother"! I looked in the grab box, and the address is wrong! Just thought you should know!


  3. Hey. I am so glad you asked for help. I am on our data notebook team! This year we have TIGER binders to go with our school mascot. It stands for Today I Have Everything Ready. Inside the binder we put the school agendas that every students purchases and uses, our communication folder, and data sheets that each grade level has selected. We also keep our reading log in here as well as a math resource sheet. We put everything in sheet protectors to keep it put together. We like to start with one or two data sheets and add more through the year. My grade level is starting with a behavior data sheet where the student will color in what color the end on each day from the clipchart. We are also doing a fluency sheet where the students will create a bar graph over this nine weeks of their words per minute. This sheet has our fluency goal at the top and the kids bring their binders back to me when they read so they can complete it right then. Some other things you can include are personal goal sheets, academic goal sheets, and behavior goals sheets. I model these with my kids (after progress reports or reports is a great time to start these). We talk about picking a goal that is reachable and measurable. Then we talk about the action steps we can take to meet our goals. You can also have students record their test scores in various subjects. I would pick a few things at a time and introduce it slowly. You will need to do a lot of modeling of how to use each sheet you pick. I would also send a parent letter home explaining the purpose of your data notebook. My email is and I will be more than happy to send you some forms later this weekend. One Extra Degree on Teachers Pay Teachers has a really cute data notebook pack as well. Hope this was helpful. Just think about what you want to accomplish with your kids *begin with the end in mind* and go from there. It is trial and error. Take it a bit at a time. :)

  4. Looks like the new button is working! I agree with Katie. Try not to take on too much the first year. It can become overwhelming, but if you add a little at a time, it feels more manageable! Thanks for recommending The Graveyard Book! I have read it before and I LOVED it! I think I will definitely booktalk it- some of my higher level readers might enjoy reading it.


  5. Hi Amanda!

    I'm planning on doing a data notebook post in the next couple of days. :) I'll post some of my student data resources as well!

    Abby @ Third Grade Bookworm

  6. PS - Christina Bainbridge's Blog has a really great explanation of the clip chart!!


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