Monday, August 10, 2015

Organizing the FILES (Sped Help)

The beginning of a new school year brings so much joy, anticipation, excitement and PAPERWORK!  Ahhhhh!!  A new school year is a great time to reorganize and decide what has worked for you in the past and what no longer works.  For years, I have a had a Special Education binder that included a copy of my students' IEPs, IEP at a glance, accommodation checklist, progress monitoring, and parent communication.  It was helpful that all of the documents were in the same place, but it could be some cumbersome to carry home when I needed to work on a student's IEP for a meeting.  This year I was inspired by my blogging friend Erin at You Aut A Know and how she organized some of her files.

The first thing I thought of was how awesomely beautiful the color coding looked!  After I got past the initial beauty and realized just how great this would work for me, I knew I had to get right on doing this for this school year.
Hanging files in my desk drawer
What's inside a hanging file

This file is ready to hang

Here's a little explanation of what you will find in each folder:
 Each of my students has one hanging file folder and inside that hanging file are three matching manilla folders.  Folder number one is a copy of the current IEP, folder number two hold monitoring sheets (completed and blank ones and copies of progress data), and folder three is copy of parent notes and other communications.  I like this organizational system so much better than my binder, because it allows me to grab just the one folder I need.  I can take this one folder to a meeting or home to work on it without lugging around a whole binder.

Of course, I couldn't totally do away with a binder, so I do still have one binder I use for progress monitoring.  This binder is 1 1/2 inches and only contains data sheets for current data I am tracking.  I also keep my accommodation checklist in this binder, a copy of my schedule and my para's schedule, and a copy of the IEP at a Glance.  I like to have this information on hand at a moment's notice to check if a certain student receives a certain accommodation ('s the beginning of the year and I don't have this all memorized...YET!)  This binder is much thinner and easy to carry with me from class to class while I am coteaching.

Good luck getting the beginning of the year paperwork filed and organized!