Power of Data & Freebies

 Data is a way of life in special education. It tells a unique story. It can be one of glows or one of grows. Several years ago, my building moved to using the three colored pocket charts (below) so classroom teachers could visual see where their class was using specific data points.

The data used varies depending on the grade. For primary (1-3): DIBELS, End of the Year DRA, BEAR (reading comprehension); Kindergarten: DIBELS; Intermediate (4-6): End of the Year DRA and Acuity Form C. These data points change around mid-year 3-6: for 3rd CSAP Reading/Writing and Form A Acuity; 4-6: Previous years CSAP Reading/Writing and Form A Acuity. As the year progresses, teachers up date the cards with progress monitoring data and Acuity data as it becomes available. The intervention team meets with teachers every 6 weeks and students are moved based on the progress monitoring. Up or Down--the point and hope is that classroom teachers are responsibility of the vast majority of this not the intervention team. This has helped move students through RTI and out of RTI.

The Special Education team doesn't have one for just the identified students and those within their groups. We have created informal ones to help with making sure that the most intensive students (i.e., that spend 3 plus hours out of the classroom a day) are making progress but not formal. One of my hopes for the coming year (with a new team mate) is to have 3 charts. Why 3? I think the team needs to directly monitor reading, writing, and math. Students create date for all three why not use it. Many identified students have goals in more than reading. The team can also see who is not making progress before meeting and make changes to IEPs so the student gets back on track.

The colors would stay the same but have additional meaning. Red would be our most intensive students. Those that are more than 3 years behind, made no progress the year before, and spend most of their day outside of the classroom. Yellow: made 6 months of growth the year before, between two and three years behind and seen for only one subject. Green: made a year or more growth the year before, less than two years behind, and seen for only one subject or at grade level (think artic only kidoos). This could be used to track all students in that group--the RTI students as well.

This move would hold the team accountable plus classroom teachers can see is students are making more specific gains. They have the big picture on their own charts but really have no clue if they are really making gains at the end of the day. I think with the addition of SMART goals on ours, we can hold the team to progress monitoring and student growth. Since, as a building we are not great at getting together every 6 weeks to make changes this would at least provide a conversation starter with classroom teachers about what they are seeing and move students out of intervention groups faster (instead of having them for the whole year).

Students are moved on the classroom charts twice a year. Once at mid-year and after Spring Break. We don't move them offend enough. In creating one for intervention groups, the intervention team can move students at the end of each SMART goal. I have created cards (editable) that allow me to change the color of the card depending on the outcome of the SMART Goal. Having this data visible makes it easy for anyone to walk in and see what is going on during interventions and if its working or not.

My students love, love knowing where they are at and set many of their on goals. They would love this as they could see where they are--the cards would have to be turned around to show just names and not the data. My know that their data belongs to only them and no one else. (They know I share with teachers and parents but no other students.)

I'm sure there are many other ways to track students in the RTI process to ensure that they are making gains, I'd love to hear about them. I have attached freebies to help you to use this thinking. Have a great weekend and if your traveling "Safe Travels."



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About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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