Data sheets are essential to every special education teacher’s arsenal and bag of tricks.
Not only have we documented and written an IEP goal for just about everything, but we’ve also got a data sheet to go right along with it.
Data collection is a special education teacher’s life, so data sheets are the saving grace to making sure we have a simple, quick way to collect data while teaching, in the midst of a behavior, while on a field trip, when we are out sick… and everything in between.
Today I want to share with you not just information about the Endless Data Sheet Bundle, but also how I collect data, how I store all of the data sheets, and all of my tips and tricks I’ve learned over the past decade.
The endless bundle of data sheets is your one stop shop for any data sheet you’ll ever need. It includes data sheets for:
• General IEP folder organization
• Request for Assistance
• Nurse Forms
• Parent Questionnaires
• Student Questionnaires / Self-Evals and Assessments
• Meeting Minutes
• Observation Forms / Teacher and Specialist Reports
• IEP Meeting Dates Tracking
• Transition, Career Choices, and Vocational Assessment
• Accommodations / Modifications
• FBA, Behavior, ABC Charts
• Discrete Trials
• General Goal Tracking
• Task Analysis and Multi-Step Tasks
• Reading / ELA (general + elementary skills)
• Math (basic skills)
• Trials / Mass Trials
• Frequency + Duration
• Toileting + Life Skills
Besides saving you time, these data sheets are relevant to your student’s needs, work seamlessly together with your IEP goals and objectives, and are 100% editable… so if you need to change any wording, you can.
DATA SHEET STORAGE
When it comes to storing data sheets, I do this in two ways.
First, every data sheet that I have has an original copy inside of my IEP Caseload Binder.
I store the originals inside of the IEP Binder by domain and/or topic, that way I can easily find it when I’m looking for something specific – then go make a copy and begin collecting data.
You and I both know that there are some data sheets you’re going to use more often than anything else. That’s where my second binder comes in.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “This chick has not one but TWO binders full of data sheets, my goodness!” I know, I know! Two binders. But this is what works for me.
So why do I have two binders, one for originals and one for copies? Because when I have a data sheet I know I will use A LOT (daily, weekly, or monthly), I make lots of copies at one time. Not only that, when it comes time to getting a new data sheet out I don’t want to search for it inside the IEP Binder… I want to flip open another binder, grab a copy, and go!
It’s not intricate. Nothing super special. But it works for me (and will probably work for you too!)
DATA SHEET TIPS AND TRICKS
I’ve been known to own a clipboard or two… or twelve. #teacherlife
And in my first year of teaching self-contained, I learned that you can buy clipboards with timers on them.
Alas, they are super expensive so I made my own. Having an attachable and detachable timer on your clipboard is great for collecting frequency behaviors or keeping track of how long it takes to diaper a student total per day (don’t ask – been there, done that).
In addition to having timers on clipboards, each of my students has a color coded clipboard they take with them to inclusion.
When a student goes to inclusion, myself, a para or the student will grab their clipboard and off they go – with supports to document their inclusion services in tow.
There is also nothing wrong with having multiple clipboards around your classroom for different things. I use velcro to attach clipboards to walls, like in the bathroom, in centers, on our door… that way I never forget to take data and the data sheet is accessible.
If you are hanging up data sheets on clipboards, my biggest suggestion is to remember to protect your student’s confidentiality at all times. Adding a piece of construction paper on top or a “cute-sy” cover (like the image above) can help you keep student information safe.
INSIDER TIP 😉
When it comes to data sheets for special education… data sheets that I send home for parents to fill out for IEPs or at the start of a new school year, or students are filling out interest surveys or transition paperwork, or if I need input from a service provider or the regular education teacher – I print these documents on colored paper.
Why do I do this? Because when I writing an IEP or looking back through a student’s folder, I will be able to find these documents quicker because they are on certain colors of paper (ie. they stand out to the eye). I learned this trick when I worked at the high school level with students in grades 9-12.
My typical color coordinating goes something along these lines:
• Blues – parents fill out
• Yellows – other teachers or service providers fill out
• Purples – nurse fills out
• Red – incident reports
• Greens – behavior related / FBAs and behavior plans
• Oranges – observation forms
• Pink – transition / student fills out
No matter what special education classroom setting you teach in, or grade level, data sheets are and always will be a part of your teacher life.
What tips or tricks for data sheets for special education do you use in your classroom? Share them with us in the comments below!