This post originally appeared on the blog Supports for Special Needs.

Do you feel overwhelmed by data collection? You are not alone! Here are some tips that help me to streamline data collection in my classroom.

1. Start early. Set up your data collection system right away. I like to have all of my students’ goals and data sheets printed before the school year starts. I was on maternity leave at the start of this school year and didn’t have my data system up and running as early as I would have liked. This made it so much more difficult to take data on a regular basis. I definitely learned the hard way and won’t make that mistake again! I now make it a priority to organize my data sheets before the school year starts and keep it updated as my students’ goals change throughout the year.

2. Build data collection into your schedule. I don’t know about you, but my day is busy… crazy busy!! If I don’t have something built into the schedule, it doesn’t happen. Figure out who will be collecting data and how often it will happen. Write it down and stick with the schedule.

3. Consolidate your data sheets. There are a million and one data sheets out there. Some are great and others… not so much. Find out which data sheets best meet your needs and use those sheets as often as possible. My team and I spent some time last year sorting through all of our data sheets and agreed upon a few that worked well for everyone. I revamped all of these sheets to make them simple and easy to use for teachers and paraeducators. You can find them HERE. This leads us to tip number 4.

4. Keep data sheets prepped and ready to use. I keep 10-20 copies of each of my most used data sheets in a separate binder. They are hole punched and ready to be used. No more running to the copy machine or pulling up files on my computer. You can find a free copy of my data binder cover HERE.

 

5. Train everyone. Data collection is a team effort. Everyone needs to be on the same page and understand when, how, and why, data is being collected.

Do you have any tips or tricks for streamlining data collection? Please share!

Overwhelmed by data collection? Here are key tips from a Life Skills special education teacher to help streamline data collection in your classroom.  
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Overwhelmed by data collection? Here are key tips from a Life Skills special education teacher to help streamline data collection in your classroom. Autumn has been an elementary Life Skills special education teacher since 2007. She is passionate about helping all students reach their greatest potential. She holds an undergraduate degree in both elementary education and special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. Autumn spent multiple years working as a consultant and state trainer for the alternate assessment and currently provides statewide training around various special education topics. Connect with Autumn on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or follow her blog for practical tips for the special education classroom.