Keeping Records on Students with IEP's
from the Special Education Teachers' Chatboard
Recently, "bliss" posted the following request for help on the Special Education Teachers' Chatboard http://teachers.net/mentors/special_education:
I am looking for great ideas for keeping data for my students with IEP's. Any help is appreciated! bliss
Good for you for wanting a way to keep accurate data on your special ed. students! The easiest way I know is to make a spreadsheet with the child's objectives in abbreviated terms on the vertical column and the dates in the horizontal column. If you just need to document that you worked on that goal, simply put a checkmark, or make the boxes larger for brief comments. I kept this on a clipboard on my desk for easy access. Often, I drew them on the computer, but filled them in by hand as needs changed.
Good luck! DJ
One of the best records is a portfolio of student work related to IEP goals.
I do various things. I have a binder with each child's goals in it, one goal per page. I have a stack of mailing labels. When I work with a child (in their classroom, usually) I take notes on the mailing label, then peel it off and add it to the binder. I also keep copies of miscue analysis data in the binder, as well as checklists, running records, writing samples, spelling analyses, retellings, etc. I like DJ's suggestion, too, and have various formats that I've used, depending on the child. My aide has a chart similar to what DJ described, and she keeps her notes there and turns them in to me. She also keeps work samples and some anecdotal records, which we review.
You have gotten great ideas from the other responses. Might I suggest a combination of the two? Keep the binder for each child, with the IEP goals/benchmarks in it, as well as documentation sheets. I REALLY like the mailing label idea! That way, you could jot the child's initials in the corner, make your notes, and at the end of the day you (or your aide) could put them in the folders.
It has SAVED my job and reputation to keep extensive notes on parent communication, also. I use a lined page, with headings across the top for date, note, phone, class newsletter, conference, report card, interim, etc. One of these quick, summary-type sheets is kept for each child (add more, if needed). Then, just jot down the date on the left and a check mark as to what kind of communication you had with the parent. Drop notes, letters, etc., in the child's folder that I'm sure you keep in a drawer, for further reference, if needed. One parent complained to my principal, around February, that she could never reach me and that I never talked with her or let her know how her child was doing. I showed the principal this sheet, which had 50 or 60 communications of various types with that parent, and that was only in February. By the end of year, I had averaged one communication every two days with that parent. The principal knew I was, indeed, doing my job and the parent shut up. Hope this helps.