We Are Thankful for Special Educators Blog Hop (Tip, Freebie, & Rafflecopter Giveaway!)

Every year, right before the holidays, seems to be the time I really reflect on the school year. Is my classroom set-up working? Are we covering everything we need to? Are my students making growth?

A lot of these questions can be answered through data. We all know that data drives our instruction; however, when you run a classroom that is constantly in motion, how do you make sure you are collecting enough of it?

I’ll be honest, when it comes to data collection; I do something different every year. My students are always different, and the amount of time that can be spent actually taking data is always different. It all depends on student’s level of independence and whether you stopping to jot down a note is going to totally throw them off of their task or not.

Before school starting this year, I made a data binder for each student. On the outside, they are color coded with their classroom color (read about this here) so I can locate them quickly. Here’s a list of what I include at the beginning of the year:

-Student information sheet, IEP snapshot, Assessment Log (from my Special Educator’s Everything Binder)
-Basic Skill Checklist Sheets (Copied, hole-punched, and taken directly from this amazing book).
-Tabs with paper with their IEP goals written at the top

I use several different forms of data collection throughout the day. One of my favorite ways to collect data this year has been using address labels. I got the idea from our speech therapist because she is always a pro at data collection! I keep several sheets on a clipboard and take it everywhere. I use it to take anecdotal notes and then at the end of everyday, I organize the labels into their binders on the notebook sheet with the goal at the top. It’s been super time efficient… but maybe not so eco-friendly (sorry!). At the beginning of each day, I put the date on several of the labels. This way, when I observe something or I am working with a student, I can quickly jot down notes on a label with the students name or initials so I can sort them into their binders at the end of the day or week. This is also something a T.A. could do!

I use a “code” system for functional goal to help myself know what the student accomplished and how much support was needed:

U – The student was unsuccessful
HOH – The student needed hand over hand assistance to complete the task
M – I had to model the task first, then the student did it
I – The student complete the task independently

If the student’s goal has him completing a task 4/5 times. My data notes might look like this: M/I/I/I/I.. meaning, the student was independent in completing the task 4/5 times after I modeled it once.

For more academic data, I use +/- notes to show how many the student got correct/incorrect. For example, if the student was completed 10 addition problems, my data might look like this:

+ – – + + + + + + + and then I’ll later write 2/10 incorrect, 8/10 correct and I will write if the student require prompts (pp = partial prompt, v= verbal prompt) or if the student completed the task independently.

As your freebie, I’ve included an editable Student Information Sheet, IEP Snapshot Sheet, Assessment Log Sheet and an Individual Goal Sheet, so you can make some data binders of your own! Enjoy and know that I am so so so thankful for each and every one of you and what you do. I hope this makes life a little easier for you. 🙂

Also – as a little extra fun on this wonderful Black Friday, I’m doing a Rafflecopter giveaway for two things I am extremely thankful, Jamberry and TPT. Enter for each one below for your chance to win!

Thanks for checking in.  For more freebies and tips, continue the trip through the blog hop by checking out Breezy Special Ed…just click the button below.


  1. Traci Bender on November 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Great post!!! I love the address label idea. So doing this!

    The Bender Bunch

  2. Sebrina Burke on November 29, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Enjoyed reading through your tips!
    Burke's Special Kids

  3. Rae on November 29, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I always love reading about your data collection ideas. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Mindful Rambles

  4. Lindy McDaniel on November 30, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Great Topic! I also struggle with data collection:) thanks for the tips!! Love the label idea.
    Lindy McDaniel
    Considerate Classroom

  5. rene on November 30, 2014 at 2:15 am

    This blog hop has been great. I have been introduced to several special ed blogs I didn't know about before, including yours. Thanks for the tip I'm going to try it in the new year. Can't wait to search your blog for other great ideas. And I hope I win, I've been wanting to try Jamberry and I'm sure the Winter Holiday Packs are great. Thanks for all you do!! Rene Bryant

  6. Jannike Johnsen on November 30, 2014 at 3:39 am

    Your tip is awesome and I plan to get student binders in order now that I have settled back into my new job. Thanks for the freebie!

  7. Chelsea Koss on January 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Love this! But where did you get the "Basic Skill Checklist Sheets""?

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