Quick and Efficient Data Collection Methods in Special Education
Collecting data will always be a HUGE part of a special education teacher's job. Sometimes one student can have up to 10 IEP goals! That's a LOT of data to collect each week! I know I am always looking to do anything that I can to make my job EASIER instead of more DIFFICULT.
Let's look at 3 ideas for quick and efficient data collection methods in special education:
The Importance of Data Collection in Special Education
As I said above, data collection will always be an important part of a special educator's job. Grab all the data collection sheets you need here for your special education classroom for the entire year. Data collection is important because as special educators, we have to show if students are making progress on their IEP goals. This helps guides classroom instruction and update the child's current IEP.
3 Efficient Ways to Collect Data as a Special Education Teacher
#1-Train Paraprofessionals to Collect Data
As a new special education teacher, sometimes you may catch yourself wondering, “What responsibilities might a paraprofessional have in the classroom?” My paraprofessionals are my EVERYTHING and my classroom simply could NOT run without them!
Taking the time to train your paraprofessionals will absolutely make or break the way your classroom runs. Paraprofessionals offer many different types of support in the special education classroom. They typically work with groups of students with IEPS and often times work one-on-one with students. Paraprofessionals are there to reinforce the teaching that is done by the teacher. They assist the teacher in any way that they can, while supporting the students. Sometimes assisting the teacher may mean learning how to take data on IEP goals. It may mean handling behavior issues. I always tell my paraprofessionals that I will not step in unless they want me to. I take time out of the first several weeks of school to train them and pass out this Paraprofessional Handbook when training them. It helps to make the remainder of the school year run smoothly.
#2- Use Google Forms
I LOVE my student binders but a few years back, I went digital with my data collection and I became obsessed with it. Right now as I am freshly back in the classroom, I am back to taking data on paper but I plan to go digital again very soon once I have some more time to get organized! Check out this blog post that explains exactly how to use google forms to take quick and efficient data on IEP goals. I found that taking data on IEP goals in the digital format is so much faster than doing it on paper. I honestly cannot wait to get all of my IEP goals uploaded into Google Forms!
#3-Create a Data Collection Schedule
Taking data quickly and efficiently comes down to one thing- have a plan! Keep a visual schedule up for staff that shows what day of the week to take data on each IEP goal. Once the data has been taken, that team member should mark a checkmark on the schedule. The more that you train your staff to do this, I promise you-your team will become data collection wizards! Data will be properly taken each week on every IEP goal that your students have. When quarterly progress reports are due, you will have plenty of data points to show if a student is making progress on their IEP goals or not.
Data Collection in Special Education
The following posts and products will help you take TOP notch data for your students!