Data Collection in ECSE

Data Collection can be tough.  Between teaching, behavior management, bathroom routines, nursing services, speech, OT, PT, assistive technology and who knows what else how are we also supposed to collect data?!?  Well, guess what.... we don't have a choice. (Ha, I know you all know that, but sometimes we need a reminder).

Embedded Instruction:

 The number one thing I do to make sure I can collect data while wearing all of my other hats is to embed my instruction.  When you embed instruction into your daily routines, you can collect data on the things you need.  Embedding instruction means that you purposely plan and teach through your daily activities.  I wrote a whole blog post on this.  You can find it by clicking here.


I like using a matrix to collect data in my ECSE classroom and when I am teaching K-2 self contained.  A matrix allows me to see what I need to work on all at a glance and take data right on the sheet.  I keep a copy of my matrix on a clipboard that I or another adult can easily access and add data points.  I then transfer the data to a graph for the individual student.   You can find a little more out about a matrix ( and how it links in with embedded instruciton) at this blog post

Be Ready to Collect Data:

Have copies of your data sheets ready to go.  I keep a binder. clipboard, or a hanging file folder (depends on the year) filled with the data sheets I need.  I also keep the items I need to assess with the sheets.  For example, if I need Alphabet flashcards those are kept in a drawer with the needed sheets.  I recently did an alphabet check on my preschoolers using the PALS quick check.  To make sure I could do this quickly, I have all of the sheets that I need preprinted and in a binder.  I put the sheets that the kids read off of on a page protector.  Then I assess as one of the center rotations.  There are usually 2-3 kids in a center so I work with one and the other one does an activity like puzzles or a fine motor box.  I wanted to share a picture of my binder, but we have had a larger than expected snow fall and I didn't take pictures ahead of time (#bloggerfail). 

Don't make it to hard:

Do not get yourself in a frenzy tryign to collect data. If you make it to hard, you will not do it.  If you need to, go back to the simple ways .  Put a pile of paperclips in one pocket  and everytime a student exhibits a behavior, move a paperclip to the other pocket.  You can do the same with rubber bands.  I even know teachers who have kept data on their arm with a pen or put a sticky note on their body to collect data.  I have also been known to wear a teachers apron (a nail apron from the hardware store works awesome also) and I keep whatever it is I may need such as sticky notes and pens in that. 

1 comment:

  1. Such a thoughtful post! Great job dear. I also agree with the points that you discussed in this article. Bathrooms and kitchens are the places that can enhance the overall impression of the house or degrade it. your bath decoration tips are really beneficial that we mostly neglect.


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