The platform of education may be changing recently, but expectations on educators remain. Lesson plans, providing high quality instruction, evidence based practices, assessments, reports…to name a few and the list continues to grow. Even though many of us are participating in some aspect of distance learning, progress monitoring remains one of the critical components to that list of expectations.
Whether you are teaching in person, face to face, or virtually, progress monitoring can be a stressor for any new or veteran teacher. If you are anything like me, you could find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the amount of monitoring you need to do on top of a neverending list of to dos. I like to consider myself the “King of a Sticky Note” when it comes to documenting; making observational notes on them with my students’ initials along with the date and time. I also write down a student’s scores during an academic probe using DIBELS upon a sticky note. Then when I am organizing and attempting to graph my findings…well first I have to find all of these notes.
For Special Educators, progress monitoring is necessary for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). It is critical that IEP teams meet to discuss the student goals and specially designed instruction to ensure that they are appropriate and work within a traditional setting as well as a virtual one. Many goals, especially behaviorally related, will not work while online or may look very different. Since goals may be adapted, so could an entire system of data collection that a teacher always used.
Below are some general tips that any Special Educator, General Educator, or Paraprofessional could do to help with progress monitoring in either a Brick and Mortar Environment or on a Virtual platform.
Tip #1 – Organize!
Tracking and Organizing (especially for those like me with their sticky notes)
- Binders or Individual Child Folders
- Excel Spreadsheets
- Google Forms
- Parent Progress Monitoring
- Self-Monitoring sheets
- Screenshots of online work stored within a digital individual student folder
The use of a checklist could be a life-saver as well as a time-saver! Below are several of ETTC’s products that include ready to use checklists already made for you! These products can align to any of your reading and math goals.
- Kindergarten Data Tracking Printables
- 2nd Grade Math and Language Assessments
- 2nd Grade Math Assessments
Tip #2 – Use the Resources Around You
If you are lucky enough to work with a Para-educator or co-teacher, don’t be afraid to use the assistance! These individuals can assist with collecting data either in a small group situation or the use of virtual break out rooms.
Whatever curriculum you are using or data collection systems that you use within the brick and mortar classroom check to see if there is an online component. Outside resources such as: Khan Academy, IXL, DIBELS, AIMS-WEB and I-Ready are a few online components to assist with your data collection.
Write Self-Monitoring Goals When Appropriate
Self monitoring is a powerful tool especially now in a digital world. ETTC’s blog on Self-Monitoring is an excellent resource and overview of how to incorporate it into your classroom as well as providing some tools for you to use.
Tip #3 – Be Creative and Build in Monitoring Moments
Morning Meetings are a wonderful way to progress monitor and collect data, especially in the area of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). For example, educators can begin their day with an interactive question on emotions, such as: “How are you feeling today?” Students could either write their name or click and drag their name under a variety of options to indicate their feelings for the start of your day.
I highly recommend using your 1:1 time with individuals for collecting data with the Social and Emotional Learning goals. Having this 1:1 time set aside could also be when you focus on the student reading independently on their level. Check out ETTC’s blog on Managing and Tracking Reading Fluency.
Polls are a great way to increase interaction and engagement for students. The use of Kahoot! and PollsEverywhere are two examples of many systems used to create polls. A teacher can create a general question that could coordinate to one or several of your students’ goals and have the whole class or individual student participate.
Assessments in Google Forms
Many educators may be using Google products within their current classrooms. Google Forms is a great way to encompass many components including assessments, grading and data collection. You can create an assessment with a variety of questions (multiple choice, short answer, essay, fill in the blank, etc.). After you create your question you can indicate the correct answer that you would be looking for. Point variations can be assigned as well and when the students complete the assessment, the data will be automatically graded and stored within an easy to read Google Sheet. Besides assessments, Google Forms can be created for individual use and a teacher can create Tally Charts, Scatter Plots, Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence recording forms, Checklists and Response Logs to track progress.
No matter how you choose to track, collecting data and on academic as well as social and emotional skills of our students is an integral part of developing instruction that will meet their needs. We hope that some of these ideas will help you with Staying Afloat with Progress Monitoring.
What are some of your best time savers and go-tos for progress monitoring? We would love to hear them listed below!
Written by: Christopher Olson
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