Right around now, elementary schools everywhere are beginning to discuss student placement for next year. It can be a time consuming process, with lots of meetings loaded with multi-colored index cards and post it notes. In an effort to make the process easier last year, I created a Google Sheet to help teachers visualize balanced classrooms. This year I improved the system based on lessons learned.
The sheet is shared with teachers after student demographic information is added to the "data" tab. Teachers complete the sheet with academic and anecdotal information. Then, teachers organize an initial placement of their class. Because of Google’s Sheet collaborative capabilities, this is all done before the first meeting.
When the grade level teachers do meet, they already have a starting place because of the initial placement. The “Dashboard” sheet provides a quantitative look at how the classes are balanced by automatically calculating all of the information, including gender, academics and behavior. Students are moved from one class to another on the "Data" sheet to rebalance the numbers.
The "Class Roster" sheet allows the placement team to see the classes by name. It’s possible to customize the data shown in each column by using the drop down menus on the right side of the roster.
I’ve included directions for the administrators who are setting up the sheet and for the teachers who are placing their students. Last year we were able to reclaim one whole day from the process. I hope others find this useful as well. Please let me know if you use it and if you have any ideas to make it better.
*All data used in the example is fictional for demo purposes.