EFP Technology Solutions
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Streamlining Documentation in Special Ed: Form Completion, Sharing Results, Simplifying Formulas

While dropping  by to see one of my favorite middle school special education teachers, she shared her newest love with me: Electronic Tracking.  What she was referring to was a Google Form that helped her track her students' behaviors.  The form asked three very simple questions like "Did (student name) meet his behavior goal?", "Did (student name) accept constructive criticism?", and "Did (student name) complete all classwork?"

What is brilliant about Google Forms is that the link can be shared with all teachers on the team via a daily email reminding the teacher to document the information in a timely manner.  The teacher completes the form from her desk while the special education teacher has full access to the form results across the building or even across the district.  If desired, the form results can be shared with parents and administrators allowing them to see student results in real time.

Measurable Data:
As IEPs and 504s are based on data results, it is important for the data to be measurable.  For this reason, in addition to anecdotal evidence, it is important for standard answers to be offered in either a drop-down menu or a multiple choice format. This limits the number of answers possible, thus making them measurable.

The COUNTIF Formula:
In this instance, there were three possible answers: Yes/No/NA.  What resulted was a list that needed to be broken down.  For this task, I shared the =countif formula.  If you are not familiar with the countif formula, it will count only the designated cells that contain the information specified in the formula.  In this case, the information was in column C, so the formula designated cells C2 through C25, and the word to be counted was "Yes."  The formula should be written in this way: =countif(C2:C25,"Yes").  What this tells the computer is that it needs to look in cells C2 through C25, and if the word "Yes" is present, it should count that instance.  Note, the word or words need to be in quotes within the formula.

For our purposes, we needed three formulas - one for Yes, one or No, and one for N/A.  Here is what they look like:
=countif(C2:C25,"Yes")
=countif(C2:C25,"No")
=countif(C2:C25,"N/A")

Once this is completed, the special education teacher can see if the student met his behavior goal for the period measured.

The simple CountIf formula can be used for all sorts of tasks: attendance, likes/dislikes, classroom polls, customer preferences, and more.

Try it out!  It will make your life easier by doing simple counting tasks that your time is too valuable to waste doing.

If you know someone who might be able to benefit from this posting, please feel free to share it out.
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Check out this video on YouTube: How to Use Explain Everything. The best thing about the free app Explain Everything is the fact that it utilizes so many student skills in a short time: verbal skills, pronunciation, clarity of thought and ideas, motion, audio, video, photo, annotation, comprehension, application, synthesis. The list goes on just as the imagination goes on. Check it out for your students or even your own children at home.
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I just saw a posting for a Chrome Add-on/extension.  It is called Split Names.  This extension is for use in Google Sheets.  Many people can use sheets and other spreadsheets for adding, subtracting, averaging, etc., but sometimes we need to modify information in columns to complete our tasks.  This extension splits columns that have names so that one does not have to alphabetize by first name.  If data needs to be imported to another source with separate columns for each name, this is the gadget to help you out.
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I love them more each day.