Are you thinking about making data binders for your students? While they are a great idea, knowing what to put in data binders to make them useful is key.
With so many options of materials to put in the binders, sometimes the most challenging part is whittling them down so that they do not contain too many “fillers” or extraneous pages that cause them to become cumbersome and ineffective. The larger and more filled the binder is, the less enthusiastic you may be to pull it out and use it.
And this simple system makes it easy to keep track of independent student work, IEP goals and objectives, notes from home, and everything else in-between.
Below are our recommendations on what to put in your students’ IEP binders to get the most out of them.
What to Put in Student IEP or Data Binders
Grade Level Standards
Having a copy of the grade-level standards is an excellent idea because you will often refer to it. If you work with students in multiple grades, it is especially useful so that you do not have to take on the mental load of trying to remember all of the standards or locating copies of them elsewhere.
The Student’s IEP
The child’s IEP is the essential part in any student binder. It provides you with the framework and guidance on what to address.
It may also be helpful to keep your signed checklist that the IEP team signed when you handed out hard copies of the child’s most recent IEP. Keep everything in one place.
Parent Contact Log
Documenting when you spoke with your student’s parents is essential and keeping everything together in the binder just makes sense. Use a parent contact log with ample space for the date and time, who you spoke with, notes about what was discussed, and possibly even next steps in resolving any parent/guardian or teacher concerns.
Data Collection Notes
While it’s a great idea to have students’ documents in one binder, don’t forget to include plenty of room for data collection sheets and your progress monitoring notes. Having separate pages for each IEP goal will make it easy to keep track of what was worked on and where your student may need more help.
The more detailed the information, the easier it will be to write the next IEP.
Need a simple data collection system? The Intentional IEP has a data collection training just for you (certificate of completion included).
If your students have a behavior plan, place a copy of that in the data collection binder as well.
It will allow you to quickly access what they are working on and ensure that their behavior is being addressed appropriately.
Accommodations and Modifications List
Keeping a list of each students’ accommodations and modifications in their data collection binder will make your life so much easier. Instead of wading through the IEP, the list can be quickly referred to when needed.
Samples of Student Work
Reserving a section of the data collection binder for samples of students’ work is the second biggest piece of the child’s IEP binder. Throughout the year, place physical samples or photos (if distance learning) of the student’s work in their binders.
Back up the data you’ve collected by keeping work samples from lessons and activities you’ve collected data on too!
Want to learn even more about student IEP binders? Check out this blog post.
As with all things in teaching, the most effective student data binders are going to be the ones that work best for you and your students. If it makes sense to have other items in the binder, include them. If some of the things are not applicable, leave them out. When you find the perfect mix of forms and information, your student data binders will be lifesavers when working on goals… and ultimately in helping guide you in writing the child’s next IEP.