As a special education teacher, I work to stay on top of my progress monitoring for the kids on my caseload. Between juggling IEP meetings, parent phone calls and emails, collaborating with regular education staff, prepping, and teaching my daily lessons, it gets challenging. This problem is even more difficult at the middle and high school level, when the kids need their valuable resource room time to focus on complex homework assignments and projects they genuinely need help with. So, to solve this problem, I developed a Weekly Goals Worksheet that you can download for free and use right away. The idea is really simple: I give each student one worksheet a week on Friday. I make the worksheets far ahead of time, using their individual goals and objectives from their IEPs (Individualized Education Program). That way, I keep track of data on all goals and objectives for all my students throughout the year.
Here is how I do it:
1. I make several copies of the Weekly Goals Worksheet. Download the free Weekly Goals Worksheet if you don’t have it yet! I always keep extra copies on hand. Essentially, you’ll need at least 2 per objective, so the number will depend on your students.
2. I print out my students’ IEPs. I personally love having a paper copy to reference, but you’re welcome to just work from the online document if that works for you. Working on one student at a time, I go through their goals and objectives.
3. On the Weekly Goals Worksheet, I write the first goal and first objective on top of the page. Then, I’ll create 5 sample problems for that specific objective. For example, if the student’s math objective is to add and subtract fractions with common denominators, I would write out 5 different problems on the worksheet. I always make at least two separate Worksheets for the same objective. I make copies of them, too. That way, I can reuse the same worksheets for the student, as needed.
4. I continue this process for each goal and objective. I then place all the worksheets into a student binder and label it “Weekly Goals”. Using simple tab dividers helps you separate the different sections.
5. On any specific day (I choose Fridays), make it a routine for your students to complete a Weekly Goals Worksheet in their data binders. For most students, you can probably assign which page to complete. For students who are more work-avoidant, you can allow them to work on any page of their choice.
For some goals/objectives that are more difficult to measure this way, I’ll ask the student to turn in a piece of work to me. For example, let’s say the objective is to “Answer open-ended text response questions by turning the question around”. I will ask the student for a piece of writing that would require this, such as history textbook questions or reading response questions. I’ll choose the first 5 questions. Then, on the Weekly Goals Worksheet, I use those 5 questions to assess his or her progress on the objective. How many of those questions did the student actually turn the question around? If it was 3/5, the score would be 60%. I staple the student page to the Worksheet (or make a copy if he/she needs it back!).
I will admit this does take some time and work to prep ahead for. However, once you do the work, you are all set to take all the data you need. Best of all, it allows you to be totally prepared with data for all the IEP meetings and parent conferences. Of course, this makes it so much easier to write specific goals and objectives for the next annual review. You can start small by choosing just 2 or 3 students you know you need to collect the most data on. Then, once you get more comfortable, you can grow from there.
If you are a special education teacher needing ideas for more progress monitoring, consider my Special Education Teacher Binder. Materials focus on IEPs and team meetings, progress monitoring of academics and behavior, classroom materials, building a classroom community, planning, lessons, organization, and other forms to make the life of the special education teacher easier. For many forms, there are two different versions so that one is editable for your individual need as an educator.