How to Convert Your Notes to Simple and Useable Data
Notes don't need to stay in your notebooks. You can turn them to useable data. In this activity, you’ll learn how to take your notes, work samples, and observations and turn them into a table for analysis.
Need to see an example? Jump to Examples for Use below.
How This Can Help You
Educators get information from meetings, conferences, and observations. Sometimes, notes from these events are good enough for making the decisions you face every day.
But since our notes are usually about one student, they limit how well we can see the big picture. When time allows, we can organize the data in a table and see more at once. Then we can zoom out a level, and plan for more students.
Follow These Steps
- Find a source of data you want to organize. Some examples include notes from classroom observation, notes from student conferences about project work, or exit slips with open ended prompts.
- Identify the decision you need to make. Some examples include, “Do I reteach for the whole class or in a small group?” or “How should I assign students to groups tomorrow?”
- Identify at least one criteria that helps you make this decision. Phrase the criteria as a question. Some examples are “Did the student summarize the reading passage?” or “Did the student use logical points to support their claim in their writing?”
- Make a table where the first column is the name of the student and the next columns are the criteria from step 3. I’ll include an example below.
- Write a “1” in the cell next to the student and below the criteria if the student met the criteria and a “0” if they didn’t. These are not grades and should not be shown to the student.