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How to Use Graphs to Make Progress Monitoring EASY

Picture of two reading goal graphs with text Using Graphs to Simplify Progress Monitoring
Progress monitoring is overwhelming. Trust me. I know. It is one of the hardest things about being a special education teacher. It's also the most essential.

So, how can we make progress monitoring easier and save time? I think that using goal graphs make progress monitoring easy and can make our lives as special education teachers EASIER!


How to Use Graphs to Make Progress Monitoring EASY:

Option 1: The Progress Monitoring Binder

Inside my progress monitoring binder, I have tab for each student. I also have a graph for each goal that my students have. Because I'm a bit of a control freak, I add the data myself and do all of the coloring. 

I love to take these graphs to IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, or use to show students a visual of their own progress. 

Option 2: Student Data Folders

This year, I promised myself that I would do something different. Instead of being the keeper of all the data, I would try to let go and allow my kids to keep their own data folders. I decided to start with my third graders. 

After assessing them, I take a marker and draw a line to reflect their score. When we have time, the kids will color in their bar in order to build their graph. 

How to Make a Goal Graph

Print Graphs

I print out the graphs that I need. I usually try to think of the goals that I'll be tracking throughout the year. Will I need the vertical axis to have percentages, numbers 0-10, or something else? 

Graphs for progress monitoring

Copy Graphs with Dates

After I print the graphs, I add dates for when I plan to progress monitor. Then, I take these graphs to the copier and I make a lot of copies! I might make 50-100 copies, depending on the subject and the way the goal is measured! 

Reading Goal Graph with a Goal Line, Ruler, and Marker

Set Goal & Draw Goal Line

Grab your ruler and a marker for this step! Add dots to reflect the starting point and ending points of your goal. The second data point that I add to the graph should reflect when their annual case conference is due. This lets me see where the student should be by a certain date. By looking at the goal line, I can see if my students are on track to meet their goal. I can also see if they are not making adequate progress or if they are ahead and might need an IEP revision.

Reading Goal Graph with Data Points Added

Add Data Points

Once you begin collecting data, add them to your graph throughout the year. Many of our learners are visual. These graphs show a student (as well as their classroom teachers and their parents) how they are doing on their goals.

Extra Copies of Reading Goal Graphs

Keep Extras

I keep extras in the back of my binder. This helps me to be ready if a student completes a goal, a new student is added to my caseload, or as goals are changed throughout the school year.

Click here for your Editable Goal Graphs on TpT
Could these graphs help make progress monitoring easy for you? 
Grab them on TpT by clicking the image above!

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