Analyzing & Using Data in Special Education

Hi teachers! Let's chat about data! We all know that we have to collect data, but the most important thing is that we are using data to guide our instruction. 


So what does using the data mean? It's more than just looking at it. I know this seems obvious, but when I go into classrooms with teachers, I see students working on the same skill in the same format with minimal progress. Sometimes, because we know how important repetition is, we think that if we keep repeating the same thing, eventually it will stick! But that's not the reality for students, and honestly, it makes them less motivated to learn because they get bored. Repetition is important, but our instructional toolbox needs to include more than that. But that's a post for another day. 


When providing instruction, we need to be using the data we collect to make instructional changes. Here are some decisions you may make when analyzing data.

Teaching Science Standards in Special Education

Just under half of the states in the US use the DLM Essential Elements for their students with cognitive disabilities. These standards are aligned to the general education standards but they pull the most essential skills and concepts and break them down into smaller chunks for students with severe disabilities. Even if you don't use the Essential Elements in your state, they are a great resource if you are trying to figure out how to break down a skill.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a curriculum out there that helped you teach the science standards at a variety of levels for your special education students? Teaching to a set of standards is a whole new playing field compared to teaching IEP goals or a pre-determined curriculum. I wish I was here to tell you that I have one for you, but I have yet to find something yet. So let's talk about how we can teach the science standards effectively in our classroom.

Pastel Rainbow Classroom Theme: Inspiration & Decor

You can't go wrong with a rainbow color scheme, but if you're not into the bright, primary colors, consider going with a pastel rainbow theme. Check out these pastel rainbow accents and decor items. These are all available on Amazon and go perfectly with the Pastel Geode Classroom Decor line in my TpT store. Check out my favorites! 


This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the qualifying links at no additional cost to you.

3 Activities for Fine Motor Stations That Your Students Will Love

I know lots of teachers who love to use fine motor groups or stations as a way to break up classroom instruction. It was always one of my students' favorite groups! Here are three low prep activities you can try out during fine motor rotations that your students will love! 


3 activities for fine motor stations with notebook and bright paper

Spring Classroom Decor & Inspiration

Spring is in the air! After a long, cold winter, it's fun to add some spring elements to your classroom decor. Here are a few of my favorites from Amazon!

Spring Classroom Decor

This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the qualifying links at no additional cost to you.

Using Break Bins in Your Special Education Classroom

Teaching in a pandemic has been full of challenges. Teachers have had to get extra creative to navigate the protocols and guidelines that Covid has thrown at us. There's not a lot of changes that I made during Covid that I was thrilled about, but if I had to pick one thing to continue, it would be break bins!

This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the qualifying links at no additional cost to you.

3 Ways to Work on Writing Everyday

Reading, writing and thinking are some of the most functional skills a student can leave school with. Think about all the opportunities you have to write each day:


  • adding an event to your calendar
  • texting your friend or significant other
  • writing a grocery list
  • sending an email to your employer
  • leaving a note for your roommate
  • filling out a form
  • doing a google search for something online
  • writing in your journal
  • and so on...

Writing is an essential skill to be successful in life. As teachers, we need to make sure that writing is a core skill we teach in our classrooms, whether we are general education teachers, resource teachers, SLPs, or special education teachers. All students need to be able to write.

Here are 3 quick ways that you can encourage students to write every day in your special education classroom.

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