Thursday, November 15, 2012

TEAMwork=Successful IEP's


An Individual Education Program (IEP) helps students meet their education goals more easy than they otherwise would. Teachers form the students IEPs through data on the student. For special education teachers, ongoing information is important to track students’ progress. Electronic systems have helped teachers form the best plan for their students. Students with an IEP must be tested often in order to form the most affective plan for that student
A student with an IEP must have certain goals and objectives to fit their need to be educated. One method which can aid in the development and growth of the child is Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM).  CBM is a tool used to record academic progress of students’ with an IEP. This tool allows teachers to track the students’ progress and achievements. CBM also is helpful to show if the student is learning or if the teacher needs to improve teaching strategies. Each week the student is briefly tested, and then the teacher collects the data from the assessment and enters it into the system. Assessments could be counting money, reading words, and other brief test monitored by the teacher. The CBM forms the data into a chart or graph which will visually show the students’ progress. This is a great tool to help assist teachers with IEPs. 

There are many web-based data systems to guide teachers with curriculum based measurements. EasyCBM enables teachers to be able to screen, monitor progress, and develop plans for the student. This system makes it easy for teachers to sync accounts to other staff member or the family, which allows for maintaining the students record from year to year. Students are also able to take assessments online that fit into their education plan. Real-time reports can be generated with web-based systems for the teacher or family to view. Web-based systems are a way to involve the parents in the students’ progress and education plan. Intervention Central ( ) is a website which provides information about CBM for the teachers. This website also has videos and manual available for teachers to learn more about ways to promote academic success with this tool. The teacher must know how to effectively use CBM in order to continue to improve a student’s academic goals and achievements. 
Tracking progress is extremely important for students with IEPs; technology has made it less of a challenge to determine the best plans for students. Web-based assessment, data, and management systems are affective tools to use in special education. Ongoing information of the students’ progress is the key to forming affective individual education programs. Web-based systems make it easy to share and compare data with involved parties. Technology in the classroom does not only benefit and help the teachers, but also the students’ success. 

Special thanks to Rockhurst University Department of Education Graduate Student: Brittney Kidd for her contribution to this blog.