Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back 2 School Linky - Week 2 Assessment

 It's that time to link up with Miss V's Busy Bees and me, and this week we are talking all about assessment. Oh assessment, how I loathe thee! You're so important in education, but I do not like you. Who is with me?!

I decided that I wanted to talk about Progress Monitoring as my type of assessment this week. Going into my 5th year as a special education teacher, it's something that I've attempted in many different ways. I think that as long as you're collecting data as often as you should be (this all depends on the student's IEP), that there is not one set way to collect the data.
During Extended School Year (ESY), here is how I handle tracking progress with IEP goals and objectives:
Each of my students gets a folder. I put their name on the front of the folder and the folders are color coded by how I group the students. I group students based on their ability level according to their IEP, so that when they come to me during center time, I can work on similar skills. For example, one student could be working on writing the letters of the alphabet, but another student might be working on writing sight words in sentences. They're both working on a writing skill, but I am can manage and track both at the same time.
Inside each student's folder is a Progress Monitoring sheet for each individual goal. Yep, seriously. Their goal pages are kept in the right side pocket, along with their behavior monitoring sheet (if needed). In the left side pocket is where all of the documentation and final work goes.
For ESY, I do this a little differently. Each week I print out a new packet for morning work (typically calendar center stuff), which is what you see on top in the left side pocket. While students are working with either me or a paraprofessional (I was always lucky enough to have at least 2 paras in my room for ESY), we are writing down notes about their work. If they're working, what they are getting correct, what they are struggling with, etc. This is key! Since they are in ESY, I want to make sure that their regular school year teacher knows exactly what they worked on each day during ESY and what they did well with and what they struggled with. That way when school starts back up, they know where to pick up.
At the end of the center, we put any "paper work" that we did in the left side pocket. This gives me documentation of what we worked on to give / share with their regular school year teacher. Plus I'm covering my heiney for the ESY program. :)

*In the pictures for this tip, I used my dog's name. So when you see Jaxon DeLussey, don't worry. It's just my dog. He's so smart he didn't have to finish the school year. :) *

During the regular school year, I still give each of my students a folder. I don't group them based on ability level, rather we do Progress Monitoring one day a week, every other week (since most of my students need data points 2x a month). For those that need it less often, they still participate with everyone else (it never hurts to have too much data). For those that need it more often, I pull them aside during independent work on a day during the "off" week.
At the beginning of the Progress Monitoring week, I make sure each student's folder has the appropriate worksheets in it. Appropriate here means an activity or worksheet the student can perform independently (unless otherwise stated in the IEP and in the IEP goal / objective) that directly matches and will give me data to monitor each goal. If the student has 5 academic goals, the student will then have 5 worksheets/activities. Make sense?! Okay, good. :)

In the picture above, you'll see that I use half sheets to document Progress Monitoring data and they're kept in the left side pocket. What you don't see (because I just created this folder with my dog's name for this blog post), is that after the week's PM is "graded", I will put that work behind the PM sheets on the left.

On the right side is where I will keep the new PM work. I write the student's name on the top and the date that they will be completing it, which is typically Friday. If the student is absent, I just write AB, then write the new date when the student comes back to school.
So why do I use half sheets to keep track of goals progress?! It's simple ... to save trees! Plus it's a lot easier to grab a stack of half sheet papers to take home than a full size sheet. Much more manageable!
I hand write in each student's goal. I put each goal on a sheet like this, even if it is a behavior goal (hey, that still needs data and tracking!). This way I have everything in one place! 
Another nice thing about these little half sheets is when it comes to writing an annual or review IEP, or even progress reports and report cards, I have everything in one spot that can easily be flipped through. Everything I need is right in front of me.

You can grab the Progress Monitoring half sheets that I use during the regular school year for FREE here. Don't forget to link up below!

Next week we will be discussing classroom decor! Woohooo! Can't wait to see all of your gorgeous rooms :)

What tips or tricks do you have for assessment?

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  1. When I saw the topic this week was assessment, I really thought about skipping this week! But you are right, it's very important. I feel so overwhelmed with progress monitoring (in addition to all of the other data we have to collect), so I really appreciate you sharing how you manage it. Wow! Having to have a sheet for EACH goal. When do you have time to TEACH?

    The Cutesy Teacher


    1. I was writing this post at 9pm last night ... that's how much I wasn't looking forward to talking about assessment! But it's so important that it's absolutely necessary to talk about it.

      Tell me about it! As a special education teacher, we have SO much work that deals with IEPs. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I wouldn't trade it for the world ... (and I secretly love all of the paperwork), but we really do need to assess each goal. Depending on how we write the goals and who writes them and how rigorous they are, some goals might only need monitored 1x a month, others are 2-3x even 4x a month! Crazy! I don't remember when I had time to teach LOL I just know that I did... :)

    2. Hi Mrs.D
      You are fab...any suggestions on how to stay on top of all this paperwork? My 1st year teaching self-contained 7th grade.

    3. Hi there! For monitoring and collecting data on IEP goals and objectives, I use Progress Rings in my classroom. You can read the blog post all about them here:

      If you have any other specific questions, feel free to email me. :)


  2. I get so overwhelmed with progressing monitoring this post is perfect! Love how organized you are and that each child has their own goal. The half sheet is perfect for taking home and to just make things easier and not so big and messy!!! :) Thanks again for hosting! I am excited to hop around and read all of the ideas!

    Learning to the Core

    1. The half sheets do make it so much easier! I even print them front/back to make less paper for myself :) It's the little tips and tricks that help us teachers out.

  3. Where did you get the template you use for the data collection sheets? I would love to use something similar

    1. This template is available in any of my IEP Binder sets on TPT:

  4. Do you have the full page template available that you used to write notes? I purchased one of your binder sets and didn't see it.

    1. Hey Andrea! Unfortunately, I don't have the template I used then (the ones you see in the folder that are full size). All I did to create them those was make a table in PowerPoint, add the days on the side, and the goal/objective at the top :)

      The smaller, half page notes are included in any of my IEP Binders.