Assessment… it is so important in education, but can also be so much for for teachers when we already have so much on our plates.
But you know what, no worries! We’ve got this. You’ve got this.
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 and district guidelines), then there is not one set way to collect the data.
As a resource teacher data collection on a larger caseload (I’m talking 20+ students) can be difficult. But this is how I managed the larger caseload size and made it work for me.
During Extended School Year (ESY) and the regular school year as a Resource Teacher, here is how I handle tracking progress with IEP goals and objectives:
Each student 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.
Since ESY is only 5 weeks in duration, I print out a new packet for morning work (typically calendar center stuff) for each week, 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. If they aren’t working, why aren’t they working, what strategies did we try with the student, etc.
This data 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, 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.
It also proves as documentation for the child’s next IEP meeting and why ESY was or was not beneficial.
During the regular school year (as a 5th grade resource teacher), 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 activities 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.
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, is that after the week’s PM is “graded”, I will put that work behind the PM sheets on the left. You can check out this article about how I progress monitor.
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 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.
What tips or tricks do you have for assessment?