There was once a horse who was famous for being a math genius. His owner would take him from town to town and visit county fairs to show off his amazing skills. People would ask him a math question and he would use his hoof to stop out an answer. He got the answer right an impressive amount of times, and everyone was amazed at how this horse seemed to be able to solve math equations.
It turns out, the horse wasn’t quite the genius that everyone thought he was. He was just very perceptive.
The horse would watch people’s faces as he hoofed out the answer, and would stop stomping when their faces changed as he approached the answer. What he was really doing was reading the body language of the people around him and then adjusting his behavior accordingly.
What does this story have to do with SPED data? It illustrates just how important it is to make sure we’re taking data in the right way.
Data is the backbone of special education programs, so we have to make sure that we’re collecting data in the right way. We rely on data to record progress on IEPs and make decisions for our students.
When data collection isn’t done correctly, it doesn’t give us an accurate picture of where a student is academically and what they need.
Don’t make these data mistakes
Taking data for SPED students is more complicated than simply checking off boxes. Sometimes the situations that we create to collect data can skew what’s really happening. If educators are going to help their students make real progress, then we must make sure our data-taking methods are excellent.
For example, if you are collecting data about how often a student answers a math question correctly, you need to make sure and set up the situation so that it measures student ability. Giving tips, clues, or hints about the answer to a question may help them figure out the solution, but these supports shouldn’t be used when collecting data.
Gathering data the right way
When figuring out how to take data for SPED in the best way possible, it’s important to learn from someone who’s been there before and has plenty of experience. That’s why educators really love our course, Data Collection for SPED — How to Take Data.
This course is led by celebrated SPED educator Ayo Jones and was created to help you learn exactly how to take accurate data.
In this course, you’ll learn how to set up data situations, how to record data, and how to use example situations to improve your work. No matter what part of the SPED team you are, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of how to take data.
In this 45-minute course presented by Noodle Nook, Ms. Jones shares how to make sure that you’re collecting data in the right way.
After taking the course, you’ll understand how to:
- Start with the goal in mind
- Set up data situations correctly
- Analyze example data situations
- Record data on the sheet
- Correctly note support, cues, and prompts
Become a data master
If you’re ready to learn more, make sure to check out the demo for this course, Data Collection for SPED — How to Take Data.