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Puzzle Pieces

August 23, 2012

Tomorrow the students at my school can come meet their teacher. Monday school starts!  I can’t wait to meet each one of them!  Our students are like a puzzle we start piecing together.  We start using these pieces to develop a full picture of each student and to make plans for our students as a group and individually. Usually we get data about our students before we meet them- running records, end of year tests, writing samples, teacher comments, etc.  but there’s more we can learn as we meet our students, interact with them, watch how they interact with others, step back and watch them work, …

There are so many different types of information we can gather and begin using. I’m going to use the rest of this post to categorize and pose questions that we might want answers to.  Please leave your thoughts in the comments about what you want to know about your students.  I hope to use future posts to talk about how to gather some of this information and how to use it.


  • How comfortable does the student seem?
  • How do the parents seem to feel about school?
  • Does the student seem confident/unsure of self?
  • Knowing all parents have some concerns or worry, what will bring each parent more peace of mind?


  • Does the child need frequent encouragement or recognition?
  • Does the child not want to be recognized publicly!


  • What subjects do they seem most confident with? Least confident with?
  • Do they see themself as a reader, writer, mathematician, etc?


  • Do they believe they have stories to tell?
  • Volume of writing?
  • Grammar? Spelling?


  • Does the student have grade-level appropriate fact fluency?
  • How does the student attack problem solving? Do they have knowledge of strategies?


  • How well does the student choose just right books?
  • What genres does the student enjoy? Dislike?
  • Is the student intimidated by chapter books? (many of my students will be venturing into chapter books)

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One Comment
  1. tammy permalink

    Love the suggestions. Though I don’t have a classroom, I have to remind myself of several of these every time I start a new tutoring student. Thanks for the bulleted list – very helpful!

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