Over the course of 2017, I used tracking sheets to track where students were at with their work. This was initially particularly useful for teaching content as I could see where a student was at and I mostly used this to track attendance. That way when I student turned up to class I could keep track of what they had missed.
Here is an example of a tracking sheet I used with my classes in 2017:
As noted in my earlier blog post this was a useful tool and a way to keep track of students work. I started using this also for assessments and with the students consent I would bring this up on the projector at the start of the class. Informing students where they were at in relation to deadlines, other students and marked red if they were really behind (usually lack of work or missing lessons). However, I reflected on this mid way though the year and realised this didn’t really work. It wasn’t motivating students to get work done and if students saw they were ahead this will stop them from completing tasks in a timely fashion. I realised by visually displaying the tracking sheet I was actually letting the class set their own pace which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I also got some feedback from another teacher that students felt pressured by this approach.
I started to use the tracking sheet just for myself – I would attach students work and use this as a way to ensure I was systematically checking each student and providing feedback. This way there was no surprises if a student was falling behind or hadn’t completed work. I also knew which students hadn’t started tasks at all and this way there were no surprises when they didn’t hand in anything on the due date.
In conclusion, tracking sheets provide a useful way to track students progress but rather than a viable tool this is more useful as a way for teachers to manage students work in a digital environment.