I teach first grade at a Title 1 school in Fullerton, California. My students come to me with many different learning needs. Documenting student performance and behavior is essential, so that when issues arise, I have all the information I need to advocate for their best interests.
Quantitative data is easier to collect, but test scores only show one aspect of a student. Qualitative data shows a student’s real strengths and weaknesses. However, it is very difficult to document notes on individual students and organize them in a logical way. I need to be able to document both academic and behavioral information. I also need to document conversations with parents in a way that can be easily understood.
The portfolio section of FreshGrade has dramatically improved the way I am able to take notes about my students and document their academic performance and behavior trends. Recently, there was one student who I was particularly concerned about. Her test scores were dropping, attendance was poor, she did not complete homework, and her parent was blaming the school for her low academic performance. Using FreshGrade’s QuickCapture app, I was able to document her in-class behavior and work habits. I was also able to document the conversations with her parent, especially noting when I reported her low performance.
Eventually, we held a meeting for the student which included my administration, her parent, and myself. I was able to print out the student’s FreshGrade portfolio which included all of my notes, as well as pictures of incomplete assignments with notations regarding how long she worked on it. When the parent tried to claim that she had no knowledge of the information I was sharing with her, I provided my notes that documented the conversations we’d had previously. My administration was very impressed with the amount of documentation I had within FreshGrade. She had never seen notes and pictures the way I was able to present them.
Thanks to FreshGrade, I was able to advocate for my student and help to develop a plan to help her be successful in her education.