Monday, October 14, 2013

Tracking student progress without the daunting paperwork!

Hey guys!

Sorry for being M.I.A.

New state, new house, new job = STRESS STRESS STRESS

I finally feel like I have my head above water, so I wanted to share my tips on tracking student progress:

4 Tips from Mrs. Dixon:

1. Find a program to use to store your data (Example: Google Docs)

If you are blessed to have an Ipad in your classroom, I would highly recommend using Google docs. 

In Google drive, you can create forms and “surveys” for you, your TAs, and even regular education teachers, specialist, or related service teachers (SLPs, OT, PT). You can import the data into Microsoft Excel, or use the graphs created for you. Read more about how to use Google Docs to collect IEP data here and here.

2. Create teacher-made data sheets

I actually got the idea from the amazing Sasha over at The Autism Helper.

Here is a made up example of what one of them looks like for one of my students:

These data sheets include every academic IEP goal and enough room for data collection for one week. I have 8 students total, so I split the data up between my TAs and me. This helps me stay organized in remembering 40ish IEP goals versus 100. During work times, we focus on our “data kids” to collect observations and check off anything. Of course we always end up working with other students, and in that event we just mark down the data from what we accomplished. At the end of the week, I type all the data into my Google docs forms.

I have clipboards & pencils velcroed all over my classroom with the data sheets so we don’t have to constantly carry these materials everywhere, and they are always available.

3. Use activities and materials that meet IEP goals and give you the data you need.

At the beginning of the year/quarter, decide on materials and the curriculum you are going to use and make sure it is meeting the students IEP goals.

I create a lot of file folder activities that are specific to my students IEP goals, along with their workboxes.  I love file folder tasks because they are super easy to put together and can be used over and over again! This makes collecting data during work time very easy for me and my team.

For math, I like to create worksheets that are specific to the goals from

I put the worksheets into the students daily work binders task folders. They complete these independently during morning work time.

For RLA, I use a sight words check lists and specific word family check-lists.

Here is a picture of our work system:

Here is a picture of a student’s assigned file folder tasks for the day:

I also use a ton of technology during the day with my students. We have access to websites such as Reading Eggs, Education City, and Study Island. My students have their own usernames, so when they sign on and complete activities, it automatically collects data. LOVE! 

4. Take assessments seriously 

I use CORE assessments and the Basic Reading Inventory benchmarking assessments at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to keep data on Reading & Comprehension. These are required by my district; however, I am sure they are available somewhere in your school! I used the BRI in my college student teaching – the book has TONs of assessments!

Finally, I use program specific assessments. In my class, I use the Unique Learning Curriculum. This online curriculum has its own benchmarks and monthly pre/post assessments to help me know what I need to cover and what I just need to review. The beauty of this Curriculum is that it is specific to students in low incidence classrooms so I can actually use the lessons!

Finding something that works for you and your team does take some time; however, once you get a system down you are golden!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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