Organizing Student IEP Data

I'm not sure how much-colored paper I go through but all I do KNOW is that when it comes to students taking ownership of their data and it NOT being part of my mess--is a HUGE deal.

Ever been buried in IEP goal paperwork and wonder where daylight is??? Well...this was me after my first year of teaching. I was spending more time wading through data trying to figure out what was what and who needed what and yeah. '

This was the last time I was going to let the paperwork of the job kill me! So what did I do!!

Out of the flames of burning data rose my student data binders! My Student Data Binders organized all my IEP needs. Need I say more! Let me take you back to the beginning of my teaching career. I kept ALL my IEP data in one huge binder on my desk.

The problem--I couldn’t find anything. It would take forever to plan and write an IEP and taking the data to meeting--don’t even get me started.

My Student Data Binders began with my must haves--IEP data. I did the progress monitoring--UGG! As I simplified how I was collecting data, I made my students do it! This solved like 2 problems--student motivation and giving me back time.

Over the years, I added more for the students to do like attendance, goal setting, and feedback. Soon, that big binder I keep was no longer needed. (Yeah, to getting my desk back!)

One of the special education teachers shared she also used individual binders for everything related to the student's IEP. She kept the current IEP, notes from meets with the classroom teacher and conversations with the student's parents.

As my student data binders started, started to take form I went from black & white to color. (HINT HINT for all your language kiddos, ADHD kiddos, yourself)  But before I went with color paper, I had to get my students to do their own data collection, reflection, and have a voice in their IEPs. This was WAY easier said than done. It’s always a work in progress.



As my student data binders started, started to take form I went from black & white to color. (HINT HINT for all your language kiddos, ADHD kiddos, yourself)  But before I went with color paper, I had to get my students to do their own data collection, reflection, and have a voice in their IEPs. This was WAY easier said than done. It’s always a work in progress.


I started with reading fluency with graphing with just coloring to the correct number. Then came reflection and voice. I slowly added to student responsibles as the year went on. One at a time. First the colors. The colors were chosen as they matched the dividers and the order I wanted to put things in.

Then came SLO. My Student Data Binders make SLO data collection a breeze! (a huge deal in Colorado)


Teaching students to graph is like learning to walk on water! It's not easy but graphing reading fluency or something like that makes it easier. Once students can work the basics they can graph anything but IT TAKES TIME!

I LOVE these graphs--there is enough space to create trend lines and a line for grade level benchmark. (Which in my district is how we look at adequate progress.)

All these lines lend themselves beautifully to student conferences. Goal setting is KEY to not only giving students voice and choice but it is also how you MOVE students and help them to take ownership of their learning.
It's equally as tough to teach and guide students to do anything that resembles self-assessment and reflection. I'm very lucky I get to keep my students for a couple of years before sending them on--this gives me the chance to get them to master self-assessment and reflection.

Everyone starts the year off with the assessment graphs they need (sometimes I put the teacher assessment in there as well) but as the year progresses each student's binder really become theirs.

Student Voice & Choice (Personalized learning) becomes more prominent. Students decide on what IEP goals they wish to focus on as well as set a SMART goal for that goal. This plus the progress monitoring makes the portfolio to share at their IEP meetings. The information in their binders informs present levels of performance and next steps. While providing my students with a critical life skill.

My Teacher Data Binder holds all the assessments I need to progress monitor IEP goals and extra graphs. Gone are the days my IEP assessments are in 3 different places and they are nowhere to be seen. All in one place and ready for me. I love I can grab and go. I don't have to bring a student back to my office to progress monitor.


I love that my student data is all in one place and I can manage it with a 5-minute conversation with the student about what they are working on. Teachers appreciate that I can bring a student binder to a meeting to talk about the whole child. This makes RTI and classroom intervention planning a breeze.



Until Next Time,


About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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