Data collection is imperative! We do this for multiple reasons. Each IEP objective is measured differently.
We must be able to gather information and show progress on the different skills we are monitoring.
We need to know when to increase the skill difficulty level or make other changes to allow the student to grow.
Each one of the districts within each state completes this process in a variety of ways. A few years ago, my Director of Special Education (DoSE) decided to implement one tool to collect data district-wide (there are a few exemptions to this rule). She was pushing special education teachers across all districts to generate better data and more of it. At this time, all of us were required to use a specific progress monitoring tool.
This progress monitoring tool is a simple spreadsheet. The first page is where all of the student’s information is entered, including modifications and adaptations. The next page is where the scores and dates are entered. We also make notes in the comment section about the objectives. It may be noted that the student was having a bad day or that the difficulty level was increased or whatever else may be relevant to the student. Each page after that will graph the results of the entered data for each objective listed.
For my students’ objectives, my teacher assistants (TA’s) and I collect the data. To make this easier and more organized, each of my TA’s has a schedule and a list of the students’ objectives that they are required to monitor, including individual monitoring sheets. (I am hoping to get the monitoring sheets they carry on the iPad soon but haven’t figured out how yet.) Each objective must be monitored at least twice per week and entered into the progress monitoring tool.
These graphs can then be printed. I attach the graphs to the back of the IEP when we have the student’s annual meeting. I include the graphs in my monitoring binders for when my DoSE comes to my classroom to view my collected data. The graphs are also great during IEP meetings, parent-teacher nights, etc.
How is data collected in your district? What do you think of this spreadsheet? If you are interested in obtaining a copy of it, let me know, and I will email it to you!
BTW: I am unsure of the actual creator of the spreadsheet we use. If/when I find out, I will note his/her name in this blog section.