It’s almost the start of the school year!! New teacher, new assignment, new school, new classroom, new grade level, new to special education.….WHAT DO I NEED?!? I know I’ll need to assessments for special education to collect baseline data!
When I first started teaching in special education, I was hired as an intern in a K-2 Special Day Class (SDC) at Title I school. For those that do not know, a Title I school is a very low-income school. This particular school had few resources to give to the special education department. Therefore, teachers were expected to pay for their own supplies.
Questions From a New Teacher
At that point in my life, I was still in school for my credential. Who has money to furnish and supply their own classrooms? Plus, I was a new teacher! I already had so many questions!
What supplies does the classroom already have?
Am I expected to buy a ton?
Will the school provide anything for me?
When can I get the keys to my classroom?….Wait…What?…..Two days before school starts and the students come!?!
Nothing like starting off the school year feeling stressed, behind, nervous, and totally clueless! I told myself to calm down and take one thing at a time. Looking back at Special Education 101, one of the first things they tell you is: DATA, DATA, DATA!
Collecting data is so important in special education. At that point I was starting off my first year teaching in two days with no way to collect data. Therefore, I scrounged, searched, and ultimately came up with my own version of data collection to help me start the year.
Unfortunately, that was such a stressful time in the beginning of my career. I would never wish anyone to have to go through that panic. The next year I was hired as a full time middle school resource teacher. Remembering the start of my first year, I came up with a new plan during the summer before the first day of school.
Use an All-In-One Data Collection Package for grades K-8
I created my own Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Math assessments for grades K-8 to ensure that no matter what school I teach at, I would always have a way to start my year and collect some baseline data.
These assessments are yearlong so that I could provide semester, trimester, or quarterly data. The assessments give such a great analysis of students basic levels that they can be used in general education classrooms and Response to Intervention (RTI) programs in addition to special education!