Sunday, January 27, 2013

All That Paperwork!

Back in college, I remember always hearing about all the paper work involved in special education...from IEPs and assessments, to data collection.  Not only were they right (although technology has made all that easier), but we are also supposed to keep track of our collaboration minutes, our communication with parents, and how much help our assistants are providing students in the general and special education classrooms (see this post).  Although keeping track of this information can be somewhat useful for tracking conversations, mostly it is meant for keeping a paper record of how we are spending our time.  I would so rather be taking data on my students skills (I LOVE tracking progress!).  But since these other types of data are a necessary part of the job, I figured I needed to make myself the most user friendly data sheet if I was ever going to actually take data.

I keep my collaboration log and parent communication log stored in a binder on my desk.  For my collaboration log (pictured above, and a close-up below), I write in the date, circle the code for the professional I am speaking to (i.e. L=Library teacher, OT=Occupational therapist, etc.), write in the initials of the student I am discussing, circle the general category I am discussing (i.e. behavior, academics, social skills, or independence), and lastly I leave a little place to jot any other notes.  I LOVE data sheets that have minimal writing and lots of circling!  It makes filling it out so much quicker!

This is what my parent communication log looks like.  I only use this to document important conversations with parents.  If I just text them a cute picture of their kid on a field trip, I do not track it.  But if I student gets hurt at school or has a huge tantrum, I will record communication about that.  If our communication is via email, text, or note, I just keep a copy in my communication binder.  Otherwise, if it is a phone call or an in-person meeting, I use this form.  I write in the date, who was contacted, how they were contacted (phone or in person), and what was discussed.  This form doesn't get used as often...but un the circumstance where it is necessary, I am always happy I have it around!


  1. HI! I am your newest follower! I love seeing other blogs that help special needs and autistic students like me! :)

    -Holly Phinney

    1. Thanks so much for following! I just checked out your blog as is great! I am your newest follower :-).

  2. These are both things I never really considered tracking, and neither school I've worked for has out right said I need to track them. However, they'd be nice records, incase someone is like...well...why haven't you done anything about ____? Then I could just look back and be like well, actually.... Thanks for the ideas:)

    We are ALL Special!

  3. I love the collaboration log idea. I never thought of having that, but could definitely see where it could be handy. Thanks for another great idea!

    Learning Ahoy!