DATA is so important as a classroom teacher these days! Start your year off with this year long math challenge. It begins with three days of math drills (you pick based on the needs of your class). It can be addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or mixed drills. I get my drill sheets from math-drills.com. Students take the mean (or you can use the median-which is easier for the lower grades) and record on the recording sheet. They then use this number to establish a self made goal for where they would like to be in one months time. This creates a no pressure atmosphere for the students as they are only completing against themselves. At the end of the month they calculate the last three days data to evaluate whether they have met this goal or not. Follow the same procedure for each month of the year.
Within a couple of months I have several different math fact challenges going on depending on the needs of my students. I focus on multiplication and division. As the students walk in the classroom they take whichever sheet they need from a pile near the door. We begin each day with a three minute drill. I read through the answers and students just circle the number they got incorrect and record their progress in their agenda (the number correct is the score that they will record). At the end of the week, I pass out their progress folders (which have their recording sheet) and they record their scores then. That reduces the amount of time I have to spend at the start of each class.
You will be amazed at the progress that is made - especially in the first month as they seem to forget a lot over summer :). It is all done in a non-threatening manner with the child and teacher being the only ones that see the chart or the students progress. I hope this year long activity is as successful in your classroom as it has been in mine! Enjoy!