Attaching Data Collection Information to Goals

Last week I shared how I write Stellar IEP Goals and got tons of questions from you all about how I attach Data Collection Sheets to my IEPs.  I know that we all use different IEP systems.  The system I use allows me to upload files to the IEP, so I attach lists and data collection pages when I hold an IEP.  I am not sure how all IEP systems work, so I don't know if you can upload files, but worst case scenario... you can put the data collection sheets in the students file.

As I stated in my post on IEP goals, I always think about how I'm going to keep data when I write a goal.  If I don't know how I'm going to measure a goal, I don't write it.  Goals need to be measurable.

There are different kinds of data sheets I regularly use in my classroom.  I have both task analysis and discrete trial data that I keep regularly.

I typically use task analysis data when I am teaching a routine or an academic skill with many steps and when we are teaching through the fading of prompts.  These types of data sheets really vary from program to program, but take a peek at this arrival routine data I use in my classroom.  Click on the picture for your FREE copy of this data sheet!

As you can see, I have laid out each step of the arrival routine in our classroom and I am able  to track each step through prompting.  If you peek down at the bottom you'll see that I have laid out the teaching strategy (forward chaining) for my staff and I to reference as we are teaching the skill.  This makes sure that everyone is on the same page when the routine is being taught in our classroom AND that our teaching is consistent.  It's tough to learn a new routine when each staff member has a different expectation.  Not anymore!

When I am attaching data that will be taught though Discrete Trial Teaching, the sheets look a little different.  I attach what I call my data summary sheet to the IEP.  This is a sheet I recently made for a student who has a goal to learn Sight Words (click the picture to download the sheet!).

You can see that I have provided a lot of information with this data summary sheet.  Not only does everyone know which words this student is expected to learn how to read, but the reader can also see the teaching strategy that will be used.  This student will be taught how to read sight words by first matching the words, then receptively identifying the word, and finally reading the word aloud.

I hope you can see that when I write goal for a student and immediately create data collection procedures, I have also laid out a teaching procedure for my students.  I have taken their areas of need an created an immediate teaching plan.  In my IEP system, these data sheets are immediately uploaded to the website and serve as a reference to anyone with access to the student's IEP.  If your IEP system does not work this way, have no fear!  You can easily create these files and place them in the students file or begin working from them immediately!

How do you plan for data collection?  I'd love to hear!  Drop me a comment and let me know.


  1. These are awesome! I love how detailed they are! So much better than my checklists!

    1. Thanks for the comment Karyn. I usually put in a little more work in the beginning to draft my data sheets, but I am a fan of anything super easy to report on. I can peek at the task analysis data and quickly see how many prompts were needed. Makes it so easy!

  2. Do you have a blank data collection sheet that I could tailor to my students goals?


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