How I Create my Student's Data Binders

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

This is the third year, I have created data binders for my students and created a current assessment binder for myself.

Why you might ask--did would I go through all that drama to create data binders in color. Well because I wanted NEEDED to tame the mess of student data which had over run my desk.

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--it was a pain to locate a specific student's data or to take to a meeting.

Fast forward a couple of years, I began to keep student's progress monitoring data in group binders. I kept data, lesson plans, and IEPs here. I could find a student's data but it was a pain to lug to any meeting.

A fellow Special Education teacher suggested using file folders as she did the same. Well, let me tell you-my student's data was easy to find and take to meetings BUT it OVER TOOK my desk. I couldn't do anything on my desk without having to move 300 things. (HUGE PAIN)

Then I crossed paths with someone who 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.

This is where my data binders started. Over the next couple of years, it went from black & white to color. (This was a hint from my ESL teacher.)  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. Way easier than said.

I started with reading fluency with graphing with just coloring to the correct number. Then came reflection and voice. I slowly added to what students did based on their IEP goals. One at a time. Last year, I added the colors. The colors were chosen as they matched the dividers and the order I wanted to put things in.

The bonus that comes using the data collection to beat SLO (Student Learning Objectives) (these are huge deal in Colorado)

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.

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 inform 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.

Click here check out my Student & Teacher Data Binder: Progress Monitoring Made Simple & Easy

Until Next Time,

Thank you for your interest-this offer has expired. 
You can find my Student & Teacher Data Binder HERE.


  1. This is awesome! Where I taught last year, the previous teachers had started something like this but it didn't contain data... to gather everything needed for a student's IEP meeting I had to go through multiple file drawers and fish everything out. This sounds much more simple!

    1. Miss Butterfly,
      I hope you had a restful summer. Here is the direct link for my Student & Teacher Binder if you are interested It's 25% during the Teachers pay Teachers Back to School Sale.


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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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