How to Be an Organized Special Education Teacher

Keeping special ed program modifications, testing accommodations, and goals organized
Being an organized teacher can be challenging, being an organized special education teacher is next to impossible. In addition to the traditional paperwork that starts a school year, there are program modifications, testing accommodations, goals, and data, data, data. As a first, or tenth year teacher the amount of stuff to track can seem overwhelming, especially at the beginning of the year.

As a special educator, attending meetings is the norm. To keep track of these meetings, I have a binder dedicated to my students. Inside the binder, I have alphabetical tabs to easily track my students by their last name. Each student on my caseload has their own sheet. The sheet lists the
·      Student’s name
·      Classification
·      Special alerts
·      Class schedule
·      Grade level
·      Related services
·      Program modifications
·      Assistive tech accommodations
·      Testing accommodations
·      Additional notes
Data management records for the special educator

This sheet allows me to easily refer to important information gleaned from the student’s IEP. The binder also holds loose-leaf. As I attend a meeting for the student, I include these notes in the appropriate section behind the student sheet.

Another sheet that I create is a quick reference program modification and testing accommodation sheet. This sheet is photocopied and handed out to my teaching assistants and aides. This allows all the adults in the room to understand the student needs in the classroom. It also gives me peace of mind when I am not in the classroom that each student is cared for in accordance to their IEP. I find this sheet helpful in the beginning of the year before the first test to simply glance in one spot and determine the testing accommodations of each student in the classroom.

This year I have added a new system for assessing student goals. I copy and pasted the student goal from the IEP into a document. Along with the goal, I have space to assess it and write notes. On the back, I have an area to jot down what I have assessed on the quarterly progress notes. This is taped to a 5 x 7 index card and added to a book ring so that I can quickly jot down notes in class on the student progress toward the goal. My hope is that this will save time in assessing their progress. In the past, it was in a binder which was cumbersome to take out. I am hoping this will help to assess on the fly, in real time.

Data tracking and goal assessments for the IEP

The last thing that I created to save myself time later in the year is with testing folders. Some students need a separate location to minimize distractions. These students are sent to a testing room where an aide will give them their accommodations. Each student that has this accommodation has their own folder. The outside of the folder has their name on a label, along with my name and classroom number at the bottom so the aide knows where to return it to. Inside of the folder is a print out of their accommodations. This allows the aide to easily see what needs to be done for the student to be successful. On the other side of the folder, I will place the test.

Testing accommodation folders for special education students

Simple, easy ways to organize yourself to save time later in the year. I hope you enjoyed reading what I do and will implement the actions into your classroom. If you want the same sheets that I use, sign up for my newsletter below to find them in your inbox. Leave a comment below to let me know something that you do in your classroom to stay organized.

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