My Trusty Clipboard

My trusty clipboard is a key tool in my teacher’s toolbox.  It may be a bit “old school,” but in years of using it, I’ve yet to find a better documentation method. Here’s how I use it:

Start with a standard clipboard (depending on how many students you have in the class it might take the legal size.)  Next, create a ruled index card for each student in your class. Turn the card upside down so the red line and heading is at the bottom. In that space, write the student’s initials, student number, parent name and phone number.

Next, tape cards, one at a time, starting numerically with the last student in the class at the bottom of the clipboard and then layer the cards so that only the student information shows.  It will look kind of like a flip book. (See image below.)  

Use a string or yarn to attach a pen/pencil to the top of the board. I take mine with me everywhere I go and use it in the class during work time. On the lines of the card  I include notes about how students are working or if I notice they need help with something. While we are in the hall, I add notes to the clipboard if someone is not following procedures or, better yet, if a student is trying to do the right thing or improve.

If my students get compliments from other teachers or the Administration, I can document these remarks and reference them later, e.g. when I’m giving out rewards, creating a newsletter, or sending home notes or making calls to parents.   Students get used to seeing your clipboard and know that you are documenting. I’ve even held student conferences where we look at their card and discuss areas of improvement.



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