Using Google Forms to Develop IEPs


The school year is in full swing. My kindergarten referrals are in. New referrals are piling on. The honeymoon period is over and it's back to living in the school conference room for a good part of my week. As I begin to schedule IEP meetings, I thought I would share with you all how I collect information from my classroom teachers to help me write each IEP.

When I first started working in the schools, I would give teachers a paper with a few questions for them to write their answers on and return back to me when they completed it. The return rate of these paper forms were TERRIBLE. I would send e-mail reminders, drop off second copies in mailboxes, and give teachers the forms up to a month in advance and it was still like pulling teeth to get those forms back! The form itself only consisted of 5 simple questions, so I knew it was not too difficult or time-consuming to fill it out. When I asked the teachers what I could do to make it easier for them to get the forms back to me - several teachers asked if I could send a digital form. I have since used a Google form to gather responses from teachers and the return rate is so much better!!! I can't blame my teachers. My own desk is like the Bermuda Triangle of papers.... you never know if they will show up again. The digital forms are much easier.

Here is what it looks like to the teachers who receive it (I couldn't fit it all into one screen shot, but on the computer you can scroll and it is all on one page):

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

 I like to ask teachers how students are doing in the classroom - particularly with grades and test scores, since I do not have access to these as a therapist. I also like to know how the student's communication impairment is impacting him/her in the classroom. Sometimes teachers will share that other students tease the child or the student never volunteers to share information. Since I may not always see this in my room in a small group environment, the information from the teachers can be very valuable.

Making this form is super easy. My school uses Google for our e-mail system, so I can make these within the Google Drive attached to my school e-mail - but if your school doesn't use Google, you can still use this from a non-school account. Here is how to make a form for yourself!

1. Access Google docs through your school's e-mail or go to

2.  Select the Google Sheets icon. It is a green icon that looks like this:

3.  Open open a new blank Google Sheets document.

4. Google uses the spreadsheet to collect the data, but you need to attach a form to it. Click "Insert" and then click "form".

5.  Voila! You have a new form to edit any way you please. You can click "add item" to add new questions. Change the Question Titles to ask whatever information you need from the teachers. I like to change the Question Type from multiple choice to either "text" (for short responses) or "paragraph text" (for longer responses) so the teachers can simply type in their answers. I also select the options at the top to automatically record the e-mails of the people responding - this way I know which teacher says what!  Here is what my form looks like (you can view all the questions above):

6. Once you are done creating your form questions and your form is finished, you can edit what it looks like to the teachers by selecting "view" and "change theme". I like my forms to look pretty :) 

7. Now you are ready to send out your form to the teachers! Just click the blue Send Form button in the top right hand corner and enter the e-mail addresses of the teachers you want to send it to. I always click the option to also send an e-mail to myself of the form. This way I know I didn't forget to send it out. When you are ready to view the responses, just click View Responses at the top of the form. The data is collected in a Google Sheets page and stored on your Google Drive.

Once the form is made - using it is SUPER easy for both me and the teachers. I keep a template of the form in my google drive and just copy it each time I want to send out a form to my teachers. I just type in the student's name and info and then e-mail it out! 

I hope this helps make developing IEPs a little easier for you :) 


1 comment

  1. GREAT idea! I have been experimenting more and more with Google Forms to cut down on printing. Thanks for sharing!

    Schoolhouse Talk