Progress Monitor like a PRO: What do you need to know?

Writing measurable IEP and RTI goals that can be progress monitored easily and target a student's need can be overwhelming! This FREEBIE and blog post will help you get started.
Raise your hand if you love to progress monitor?!  Collecting data can often be stressful, confusing, and ineffective.  As I am trying to juggle both a general education classroom AND special education duties, I am finding it difficult to help teachers track data appropriately.  Today, I created and shared a few tips  with my fellow teachers and wanted to pass them along to you as well!

Collect MORE than Work Samples

Many of the teachers in my building collect data by saving work samples from the classroom.  While this is extremely valuable information and shows the student's ability to perform in your classroom, this isn't the data necessary to begin the referral process.  You should ALWAYS save or copy work samples that are reflective of the type of work you receive on a regular basis, but that isn't enough to show that an intervention has been implemented or is effective.  

Determine a Present Level of Performance

This sounds obvious right?  When brainstorming interventions or assessments with teachers, I'll often ask them, "What is the student able to do right now?"  For example, can they read basic sight words?  Are they able to decode unfamiliar words?  Are they able to read fluently?  Are they able to answer basic comprehension questions?  Many times, teachers can answer this without hesitation and have numbers to back them up.  Other times, I hear, "Well....I'm not sure.  They're just really struggling in reading." or better yet, "They have an F in reading."

Use simple assessments to help you pick apart reading and see what they CAN do and want they CANNOT do.  


Determine a Need

We all know the student that I'm about to describe.  The student who is below grade level in what seems like every. single. category.  They need help or assistance with everything.  It is sometimes overwhelming to determine what to do with them because there are so many things that could be addressed.  I'm here to tell you that it's time to keep it simple.  Unless you have a magic wand, you aren't going to solve all of their difficulties overnight.  You aren't going to implement one intervention and see changes in every single problem area.  And that's ok.  Really.  Choose one, I repeat, ONE area of concern.  Long vowels kicking their butt?  Tackle that.  Can't read out a sight word to save their life?  Start there.  Don't try to focus on every single task that troubles them.  You'll go crazy and they won't make progress!

Create a Goal

I'll try to keep this short and sweet but I'll warn you.....I could seriously do an entire post just on this topic!  {I'll add it to my never ending to do list! :)}  Create a goal that addresses their need, is measurable, and that is realistically implementable in your classroom.  To create a measurable goal, you must include several things.  I bought the book 800+ Measurable IEP Goals by Chris de Feyter.  In this book, he uses a simple formula that I LOVE!  

Writing measurable IEP and RTI goals that can be progress monitored easily and target a student's need can be overwhelming! This FREEBIE and blog post will help you get started.

Choose a Measurement Tool

Many times, teachers will rely on universal screening measures such as STAR or DIBELS to track the progress of students.  While these tools are amazing, you need to consider if they are addressing the actual need of your student.  Last year, we had a student who needed decoding interventions.  The classroom teacher provided the interventions but relied solely on DIBELS for progress monitoring.  Guess what?  In that particular grade level, there wasn't a DIBELS assessment that directly measured the student's progress on decoding.  Sure, we could measure the students fluency scores but we may or may not see the direct effects or the student's potential to actually decode words with long vowels.  

Find something that makes your life easy or falls into your classroom routine.  Simple word lists can be assessed in a matter of minutes and could be done by a classroom volunteer or teachers aide.  

When deciding what tool to use to collect progress monitoring data, keep in mind that you will need to assess and collect data on the SAME measure on a regular basis (once a week, biweekly, monthly, ect).  For example, if you have a student who is not able to identify letters, you will need evidence of assessments showing their progress, or lack thereof, over a period of time.  
      8/7: Identifies 1 letter
      8/21: Identifies 4 letters
      9/4: Identifies 5 letters
      9/18: Identifies 7 letters
      Ect....


Writing measurable IEP and RTI goals that can be progress monitored easily and target a student's need can be overwhelming! This FREEBIE and blog post will help you get started.
I created a freebie to help you move through the process of drafting a measurable goal and determining what you will use to measure the progress of each student.  You can check it out by clicking the image above! :)

Writing measurable IEP and RTI goals that can be progress monitored easily and target a student's need can be overwhelming! This FREEBIE and blog post will help you get started.
I also have a product that I seriously LOVE for progress monitoring.  I use it on a regular basis in my classroom! You will find prewritten goals along with assessment forms to help you monitor effectively and most of all QUICKLY! :)  

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