Math and English Language Arts Student Data Tracking Binders and a Freebie

Note: For those of you who are familiar with Robert Marzano, you can see I am following his fabulous book, The Art and Science of Teaching. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to read it, it’s ok! Keep reading on, and I promise you won’t even need the book to implement student data tracking! 

Research shows that when students track their own learning and data, they take ownership of their learning, have intrinsic motivation, and perform better on high-stakes tests.

Today, I want to talk to you about the next step on this student data tracking journey. Marzano’s book brings up several important questions:

  • How will I establish and communicate learning goals?
  • How will I track students’ progress?
  • How will I celebrate successes?
  • What will I do to help students effectively interact with the new knowledge?

The answer? My Editable Math and ELA Student Data Tracking Binders.

I stated in a previous post that I had over 75% of my class WELL above grade level for math and English Language Arts due to these Student Data Tracking Binders. Seriously! I am by no means an expert teacher, but I do believe in these methods, which is why I love to share the successes.

When it comes to your students tracking their own data (learning and progress), each student should have their own Student Data Tracking Binder. This is so that they can keep track of their individual progress as the unit (math or ELA) occurs in your classroom.

{Click the links to check out my Student Data Tracking Binders for both ELA and Math in grades 2 through 6.}

With these Student Data Tracking Binders, I created and posted learning targets with my students. I also allowed my students to create and set their own learning targets using the learning standards. All of my students’ learning targets came from my “I can” or “We can” statements posters, which are written in kid language and are very easy to understand. You can find these in my store.

Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini

What is the purpose of the “I can” or “We can” statements? Well, as teachers, we need to understand exactly what each standard calls for in order to communicate what we want students to know and/or be able to do once the standard has been taught. When looking at both the Math and English Language Arts standards, we have to take the items identified in the standards and translate them into measurable, descriptive language that students can understand.

Can your students understand a standard that says, “Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem?”  Maybe some students can interpret this, but most can’t.

Ultimately, these standards become the students’ learning targets and will determine what your students will know and/or be able to do at the end of the unit or standard, so it’s important they understand them. That is why I wrote them in kid-friendly language throughout this entire resource.

Now, getting back to the meat of the binder! Within each binder, each student will receive:

  • A checklist page of learning targets that are written in kid language and are based on the grade level’s standards
  • A table-like page of the same learning targets as above in order for students to rate it/date it (see below) and record their post-assessment scores
  • Pre- and post-assessment graphs to graph their data
  • Levels of Understanding posters (levels 0 through 4)
  • Levels of Understanding rubrics

Here is how my Student Data Tracking Binders work:

1.) Introduce and explain the “I can” statement for each new lesson/standard.

Get your students familiar with the checklist of “I can” statements. Although this isn’t a necessity, you should make a data wall and post the kid language standards on it. My posters align with the checklists of “I can” statements. 

As a class, you can work to check off each “I can” statement as they are taught, or depending on your class, allow students the freedom to check off the statements on their own to give them a bit more independence in their learning.

Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini

2.) Have the students rate and date their understanding in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

The “rate it/date it” idea is my original idea, and comes from Marzano’s The Art and Science of Teaching. In my classroom, students are rating their level of understanding on a particular standard, I can statement, and/or their performance on a pre- and post-assessment. 

Student Data Tracking Binders- by Kristine Nannini

I always have them show me their level of understanding so that I can gauge the room and see how they are feeling about a particular standard. Do know that even your high kids will be a level 0 or 1 at the very beginning of a standard. The good news is you can only go up! :)

Student Data Tracking Binder- Start Your Year Off Right- by Kristine Nannini

We “rate it/date it” a few times throughout a unit. I typically have them rate their understanding before any teaching of the unit or standard, while they are in the middle of learning the unit or standard, and at the end of the unit or standard. I promise you they are always honest about this. It’s a very quick process. Once they show me, they write their level of understanding and the date in their Student Data Tracking Binders.
Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini
Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini
You can see that this section of their Student Data Tracking Binder is in a table-like format with room to document the start date of the unit or standard, their rate it/date it levels, and then room to document their post-assessment score (see below).
You can read more about the posters and rubrics that go with the “rate it/date it” section HERE. And you can grab a free “analogy” poster that I created, to help teach students what each level actually means.
3.) Pre-assess students on a particular standard. 

I created Math Assessments and Teaching Notes for grades 2 through 6, and currently have English Language Arts Assessments and Teaching Notes for grades 3, 4, 5, and 6. They are aligned to the standards and are perfect to use with my Student Data Tracking Binders, but can also be used without them. These assessments are used for both the pre- and post-assessments. As teachers, we know that pre-assessments plays an important role in your ability to differentiate instruction. You administer pre-assessments in order to understand what students know and are able to do before you begin instruction. 

4.) Grade the pre-assessments, hand back the pre-assessments, and have students record and graph their scores in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

Once the assessments are graded and handed back, have the students record their pre-assessment scores in their Student Data Tracking Binders and color in their scores on their graphs (also included in my Student Data Tracking Binders). 
Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini

Remember that their pre-assessment scores will most likely be low. This is perfectly normal. Most students have not seen this material before. 

Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini

5.) Use the pre-assessment data to form your small group instruction and/or teach the unit or standard. 

The pre-assessment data is used to plan your teaching and group your students (if you teach math and ELA in small groups vs. whole class). You can group students with similar strengths and weaknesses so that you can effectively emphasize particular concepts to various groups. Obviously, you can spend less time on subjects that students are proficient in across the board or group students with similar strengths and needs to focus time on the concepts that are most needed. Throughout the learning and teaching, you can also give quick formative assessments to gauge their understanding of your teaching (I may do a few problems on a sticky note, white board, etc.).

I have a Teacher Data Tracking Binder that makes group planning and organization a breeze! Check it out HERE.

6.) Have students rate it/date it a few times throughout the teaching of a unit or standard, and record their level of understanding in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini

7.) At the completion of the unit, post-assess students on that standard.

At the end of the unit, give your students the post-assessment (same test). Click here to see the pre- and post-assessments I use. 

8.) Grade the post-assessments, hand back the post-assessments, and have students record and graph their scores in their Student Data Tracking Binder.

Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini

Note: I have my students color code their scores. Anything in green means a score of 80% or higher, yellow means 70%, and red means anything below a 70%. This allows for a quick visual view and is great for parents to see as well.

Giving students the ability to actually see the progress they make is an incredible thing. With this quick visual, they are now taking ownership and responsibility for their learning and are extremely excited about the results they see. 

Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini
I have now added a page with the pre- and post-assessment graphs on one page for an even easier visual. 
Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini

9.) Go to the checklist of standards or “I can” statements in the Student Data Tracking Binder, and check off the completed standard. 

Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini


Like I said, these binders have been an amazing tool in my classroom. I absolutely love the organization of them, and my kids love them as well. They have even changed my parent/teacher conferences for the better, because I now have easy-to-understand feedback I can give to both parents and students with these Student Data Tracking Binders. Not to mention, they have given my students so much intrinsic motivation. They are excited to fill out their Student Data Tracking Binders each day and note their progress.

To help keep you and your students organized, I created this freebie. They are my Student Data Tracking Binder Covers and Binder Spines! Click HERE to check them out!

FREE Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini

In this freebie are ten different colored binder covers and tons of different sized binder spines! Five of the covers have girls and the other five have boys. I’ve also included them in black and white! Click above to check it out!

FREE Student Data Tracking Binder- by Kristine Nannini
FREE Student Data Tracking Binder by Kristine Nannini

Here are the binders, folders, and other supplies I use for each student’s Student Data Tracking Binders:

If you need more help implementing them, I have created this FREE Frequently Asked Questions Pack in my store:

Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 3.51.24 PM
Click HERE to check out the Marzano Level of Understanding Assess Yourself Posters and Rubrics:
Screen Shot 2013-07-17 at 10.30.35 AM
Below are all of my Student Data Tracking Binders for both Math and ELA. These Student Data Tracking Binders are now editable. You can swap out the language of the standards for your state’s standards. You can also purchase this resource and edit it for a grade level not found in my store.
Click HERE to check out my MATH Student Data Tracking Binders
Math and ELA Student Data Tracking Binders by Kristine Nannini
 Click HERE to check out my ELA Student Data Tracking Binders
ELA and Math Student Data Tracking Binders by Kristine Nannini
Want more information on my Student Data Tracking Binders? See these posts below, or search “Data Binder” on my right sidebar!
**Read MORE about the Standards Based Assessments I use with my Student Data Tracking Binders HERE and HERE
**See how I use my Student Data Tracking Binders to report grades and feedback efficiently to parents at conferences HERE!
**See how to implement my Student Data Tracking Binders in the middle of the year HERE!
**See how I use my Student Data Tracking Binders with standards based grading: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3


  1. Wow! This looks amazing! I often struggle with helping my students keep track of how they’re meeting their goals! This would be perfect :o)

    Do you plan on making any more for the other grades? Just wondering :p

  2. Wow! This is awesome…I love how the kids are tracking their progress. Great stuff! I am passing a Versatile Blogger torch to you :0) Instructions are at my blog:
    Got your unit on my wish list now hehe…versatile blogging might become expensive. lol

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow! That is great. Out of curiosity, are you allowed to make lots of copies. It seems like a lot of paper.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love all the great work you are doing- we are just starting CCSS this September and teachers aren’t really sure how to approach data tracking. This is such an easy format!

  5. Lisa Dahlin says:

    Thank you, thank you. Your energy and dedication are amazing! I’m a new follower and you are helping teach this “old dog” some new tricks. No matter how long you teach, there’s always something new to learn! I appreciate so much your sharing.

  6. Would you mind telling me what assessment you use for the pre/post assessment?? The things you have created look great!

  7. Hi Patti! Working on them now!! They should be on my blog tomorrow, and in my store starting tonight! Thanks for visiting!! :)

  8. I love this! I teach in Detroit and I love seeing what other Michigan folks are doing to adjust to the common core. Thanks!

  9. You are an inspiration. I love to hear about students succeeding! Your technique (and enthusiasm) is obviously working well.

  10. I’ve looked on your TpT site and only see the bundles…I’m interested in your data graphing sheet- I’m an SLP and am thinking about implementing this tool for kids to track their own data and progress in therapy but don’t need to whole bundle. Is there anyway I can buy just your data tracking template?

  11. You are amazing! I love finding blogs like yours! You are so excited and inspirational. There is so much more I can do to help my students succeed. This year I focused on Reading with the Daily 5 and CAFE. Next year I want to focus on math! I will be visiting your site often to see what you have done to get such great success. You should be proud and have every right to brag! It shows how much we can do, but also how hard you worked to achieve it!

  12. Aw thank you Dawn! That is so nice of you to say! I’m so happy that you have found stuff here to help you! Next year I hope to switch my focus a bit more to ELA, I’d love to hear what you do! Take care!

  13. Thanks Julie!! I do plan on adding first grade! I hope to have them up before the start of the new school year!

  14. Anonymous says:

    These math binders are great. I am wondering if there is one specifically for 7th grade which is what I teach. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How is the first grade binder comng? I’m excited to see it.

    1. I woild love the first grade binder too! Please notify me when it is out. Your work looks wonderful!

  16. I found your data binders on Pinterest and am so glad I did! I’ve been looking for something to help my kiddos track their data and these are just perfect!

    One of the differences between ‘effective’ and ‘highly effective’ on our evaluations is whether or not we have students track their own data. I was hoping I’d find something to help me implement it…Yay!! Thank you so much for all of your hard work on these!


  17. Linda- our evaluations are the same! Being the type A person I am, I too needed to find a quick solution. These have brought my classroom and teaching to a whole new level, so I hope they do the same for you!! :)

  18. These are AWESOME! My heart sunk when I saw that you stopped at 2nd grade. Can you do a 1st grade one? PLEASE??!?! It would save me so much time as a first year teacher. You are incredible!

  19. I agree with a number of the posts above – your enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas. I would also love a 6, 7 and/or 8 ccss math binder. I’ll keep checking your store. Thanks again! :)

  20. Anonymous says:

    Love your Assessment Binders for Common Core! Thanks for taking the time and energy to put them together. Will make my life TONS easier this year with reporting. One question, will you come out with a 4th Grade Language Arts/ELA Assessments and Teacher Notes Package (like you have for 5th)? If so, when? Melissa

  21. Anonymous says:

    Any plans to create a 1st grade version?

  22. These are incredible – what a great resource for the classroom. I teach 6, 7, and 8. I am going to purchase the 6th grade math, just wondering if you have 6th grade ELA? I didn’t see it looking through your store on TPT. I have several items waiting to purchase from your store, but wanted to wait until I know about the ELA.

    Also – any chance you’d have an editable version? I’d really like to customize this for my older grades. Thanks!

  23. Thanks @Amy! No 6th grade ELA at this time. Perhaps I will have it in the future! Also, I am unable to provide an editable version because all of the fonts, clipart, and borders I use have strict terms of use that my products be secured PDFs. If I were to give out an editable product, I would be breaking copyright law, and I don’t want to do that! :) Sorry! Thanks again!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I also have been looking at buying the 6th grade math binders but I would have to switch up everything to use it for 7th grade. Christine, you seem to have a market for 7th grade products!!!! My fingers are crossed!

  25. Wow, I just love your student data binders. I would love to do this with my class! I teach fifth grade social studies in South Carolina. Can you tell me where I can buy your data sheets, the one that shows kids the scale from 0-4 and the rate it/date it sheet? I would love to add my own standards for each one of my units I teach and have students rate their understanding.

    My email address is


  26. After 11 years of teaching, I often find myself in a rut of sorts and your ideas bring back a spark to my ideas! :) I implemented your homework spot this year and it has changed my organization so much, which I LOVE! I hope to see 7th grade one day in your ship, until then I will admire from afar!

  27. Aw Jess that is SO kind of you! Thank you! I am so glad my Homework Hotspot has helped you!! In regards to the 7th grade pack, I never say never! :) Take care!

  28. Anonymous says:

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  29. I LOVE this! I’ve been having my kids track their progress with “did it dots” – at the beginning of each unit I give them a tracking sheet with each standard for the unit. At the end of each lesson they have an exit card that matches the day’s standard. I grade the exit card each night and if they met all the expectations they earn a sticker. The next day I pass back the exit cards at the beginning of math and address any misconceptions. The kids who earned the stickers add them to their tracking sheet. They refer to it each day to assess their own progress and make goals for upcoming assessments based on it. I’ve seen so much more engagement this year than in years past. I think combining this with your binders when we go CC next year will be great!

  30. I love your ideas Leila! I think it’s so important to give students the opportunity to be in charge of their own goals, learning, and growth, and I have seen such a change in my classroom from it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  31. Anonymous says:

    I really like your data tracker that you use for common core tracking. I would like to use it for some other things but I do not know how to make them. Can you help me out?

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  33. Did you end up creating a student data tracking binder pack for first grade? I can’t seem to find it on TpT.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for making this! I am using it this year with my fourth and fifth grade math students, and I have seen amazing results! They look forward to graphing their progress, and I love how this helps them have more intrinsic motivation!

  35. Do you have data tracking for 1st grade?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I love your work. Any chance there is an editable version of the 2nd grade pack? I would love to purchase the pack but I am concerned I will need to make adjustments for our curriculum and district standards.

  37. Just stumbled across your blog and I LOVE your resources on standards-based grading. I will keep checking back for first grade pre/post assessments.

  38. I’m so glad to see that you are adding first grade. We’ve been having our students track their progress in Data Notebooks for that last two years and then holding Student-Led Conferences where the students show their parents their progress in their Data Notebooks. I like how you have the “I Can” statements in the Binder. We’ve talked about adding the pre-test scores for next year and I’m also going to bring up putting the “I Can” statements in there. I’m also new to the blogging scene and I’m so glad I came across yours!

  39. I am moving from second to first this year. Where can I find/get the first grade data tracking?

  40. How would you track a grade change for students who do corrections (fix the problems they answered wrong the first time)?

  41. I love your ideas! I am teaching K-5 Resource this year and am working hard to modify this for my needs. I will mainly be pulling students out for math intervention. Any tips? I would appreciate any assistance brainstorming. :)

  42. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a million for your hlep! I began working with my studens on their data tracking binders and I have a feeling it is going to be a great school year!

  43. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kristine – This looks like what my district is asking for…but I am having a hard time thinking about how to incorporate this into my 1st grade class. Are you thinking of making a binder for that age group? Any suggestions would be helpful!

  44. @Liz-At this time, I haven’t decided if I will create a first grade version. Make sure you follow my blog and/or my store in case I decide to create it.

  45. I love this and would really like to implement it with my 5th grade gifted class room. We haven’t adopted common core here in Virginia and use the Virginia SOLs… Any suggestions to edit your materials for our standards?

  46. @Saundra-Thanks so much! Unfortunately these resources aren’t editable due to the terms of use on all clipart, fonts, borders, etc. in the documents. The artists of these have terms of use that state that I must use them in a secure PDF file. If you look up your state’s standards and compare them with Common Core, you can see how they align. Most state’s standards are pretty similar to the core. I hope that helps.

  47. Hi Kristine! I am loving the data trackers and standards based assessments! I am returning back to work tomorrow from maternity leave…I have been out since September. I am feeling overwhelmed with all of the info in your packs! :) Where would be the best place to start?

  48. Melissa- Don’t be overwhelmed! I promise it’s easy, and your students will benefit tremendously! Start with my free Frequently Asked Questions pack in my store. Here is the link: In this FAQ, I answer tons of questions, include a step-by-step implementation guide, clickable links to all my blog posts about my Student Data Tracking Binders and assessments, and more! If you still need more help, don’t hesitate to send me an email at I hope that helps!

  49. This looks amazing. I am excited to try this. However, I teach sixth grade. I see that you have the binders for Math but I can’t find the ELA binder for this grade. Is it completed yet?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Denise- Thanks! 6th Grade ELA Assessments and Student Data Tracking Binders are coming! Make sure you follow my store to receive an email as soon as they are posted.

  50. Nichole Brumels says:

    I am a first year teacher going into middle school math and science and I went to a conference that briefly discussed data binders and this REALLY clears up any questions I was having. I can’t wait to start my own this year! Thank you so much for sharing, it was so helpful!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Congrats on your new position! You will love it! I am so happy to help! If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to send me an email at Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  51. Martha Anderson says:

    This will be my school districts first year to use Standards Based Report Cards (other than in kindergarten). However, I teach first grade and I didn’t see anything to indicate your forms were editable (due to the differences in the grade-level standards). Could first grade be coming out soon?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Martha- At this time, I don’t have plans to create a 1st grade version. However, I am seriously considering making an editable version. We shall see! :)

  52. Hi! I’m very interested in your tracking binder but when I click on the links they take me to Teachers Pay Teachers and then to a Editing Writing Dialogue WS. I was wondering if I could find them somewhere else? Thank you for your time and such a wonderful resource.

  53. This is a super awesome idea to help students’ take ownership of their learning. I will defintely share these ideas and strategies with the teachers I support to improve student learning and understanding. However, I am curious…in your color coding scale for assessments you stated that green is for 80% or higher, yellow is for 70% and red is for below 70% or 69% or lower. But what color does a student who scores 71-79% use?

  54. This is a super awesome idea to help students’ take ownership of their learning. I will definitely share these ideas and strategies with the teachers I support to improve student learning and understanding. However, I am curious…in your color coding scale for assessments you stated that green is for 80% or higher, yellow is for 70% and red is for below 70% or 69% or lower. But what color does a student who scores 71-79% use?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hello! 70%-79% is shaded yellow. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  55. I love your data binder/notebook documents. I use them in my 6th grade math class. Any plans to make 7th grade math material?? Please?!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Carly- Thanks so much! At this time, I don’t have plans to create a 7th grade version. However, make sure you follow my store to receive an email notification if I decide to create it.

      1. Tona Speltz says:

        I would love this too!!

  56. I would love to implement this with my 2nd graders. Can they be adjusted for Texas TEKS since we are not Common Core? Sorry about the typos before, I had to come fix them. LOL

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Kristi- Thanks for your question! I am currently working on an editable version of my Student Data Tracking Binders! Check back soon for the update! I’ll post updates here and on social media. In addition to that, you can check the resource for the update. I’ll post the word editable in the title and in the description. I hope that helps!

  57. Crystal Pepper says:

    Do you have any data tracking for Kindergarten?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Crystal- I don’t have a kindergarten version. However, I am working to make all of my Student Data Tracking Binders editable. You can purchase any grade level version and add your grade level’s standards. I hope that helps!

  58. I’ve been teaching for a long time but I’m relatively new to special-education. I need a way to track data and yours looks good, however I teach all elementary grades and cannot afford $10 per grade level. Any suggestions?

  59. This is great. Just wondering if you have or have any ideas on incorporating these binders for science? I would like to use this with science now that we have full STEM in our district.

  60. Denise Serio says:

    If there are multiple I can statements for a particular standard do you rate all of the I Can statements before the pretest? The apply the same percent to each I CAN statement after the posttest?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Denise- Thanks for your question! It really depends on your students and how you manage a standard. In my classroom, we do typically rate all of the I Can statements that relate to the pre- and post-assessment and the standard we are working on. I hope that helps!

  61. Do you have a data tracking for 1st grade?

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

      Hi Ashley- I don’t have a first grade version, however, all of my Student Data Tracking Binders are editable. You can purchase any grade level and edit it to match your grade level’s standards.

  62. Jennie Given says:

    Question, you mentioned the book The Art and Science of Teaching by Marzano. I was curious which version you are referring to, is it the Comprehensive Framework or the Fifty New Instructional Strategies? I am just curious because I would like to add this to my Summer Reading and my work with Quality Improvement in the classroom. Thanks so much!

  63. Stacy Fields says:

    Hi Kristine,
    I was looking for your Math and English Language Arts Student Data Tracking Binders and a Freebie but the links are taking me to a file that cannot be found. Can you help?

    Many thanks!

    1. Kristine Nannini says:

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