Collecting Data in the Covid-19 Classroom

As we begin to embark on Covid-19 classroom, parents are wondering how Distance Learning will work for their child and what to do when things are not working. This is especially true for children in special education. The goal of special education is always to provide a student with a disability an “individualized program” that allows a child to “access their education”.

With that in mind here are some crucial tips to follow:

1: Fact: Parents are now the primary educators to their children

2: In order to get the services “individualized” to allow your child to learn online, parents needs to start collecting data. Grab a new spiral binder and start documenting each online session noting specific details such as:

  • Date, Time, Teacher, length of session
  • Was your child able to pay attention?
  • Did your child get up from seat/fall off chair? How many times?
  • Does the time your class is offered make sense for your child’s peak times of learning?
  • Was your child frustrated, fidgety, happy, sad, bore?
  • Did you have to redirect your child’s attention? If so, how many time?
  • What words/gestures did your child use to express if they liked/did not like the distance learning?
  • Did you and your child get into a tug of war or melt down when you tried to assist with assignments?

3: Be as specific as possible

4: If your child has goals in their IEP, devise a short test to quiz your child to see where they are with that goal. Then repeat that same test at various intervals (1 mo) to gather data on your child’s progress.

5: Give it a few weeks of collecting data and request an IEP meeting. The notes you have collected will be the basis for opening the conversation and serve as the data needed to make changes to the level or structure of distance learning for your child.

On a personal note, here are some tricks I have found to be successful for my child:

1: I try to give my child 5-10 min of a warm up activity before logging into online learning. That can be jumping on a mini trampoline, bouncing on a yoga ball, heaving work such as tossing bean bags into a bucket, etc. This helps my child focus once they sit down at their desk.

2: I also keep my child aware of the daily schedule with details on the content of that day’s lesson in advance. (“Today we work with Ms. Jacobs for 40 min and are learning about adding numbers.” ). I also count down the time about 15 minutes out from the session (“We have 6 more minutes until we get to log in”).

Let us know how things go with your child and keep us posted on the progress or problems you may be having and most of all, GOOD LUCK!