Freebies, Materials, Therapy Ideas

SLP FAQ: How do I stay organized?

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Sigh… caseload management and data collection. A necessary but sometimes not as fun part of our jobs. I’m kind of obsessed with the system I came up with last year to keep organized, so I thought I’d share it with you in case you’re in need of some fresh ideas!

First up, data collection. I made this form that I use for almost all of my kiddos.

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Do I take data on everything, every goal, every session? No. Absolutely not! Sometimes data tracking makes me feel a little nutty as I want to stay engaged and present with my kiddos. I like having this binder however, to stay organized and make simple progress monitoring easier! Below is an example of how I might fill out a data sheet:

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I use the simple +/- system, in addition to letters to indicate the types of cues I provided, if any. For example, G = gestural cue, T = tactile cue, V = verbal cue, etc… If you’re interested in this data sheet, click on the pictures of it above. It’s a free download in my TpT store!

I keep lots of these sheets printed and ready in my handy dandy data collection binder. I use another freebie of mine to decorate the cover. You can download that freebie here.

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I label makered (that’s a verb, right?) the side for easy reference when it’s on a shelf with a bunch of other plain white binders.

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Inside of the binder is where the magic happens. I have the binder organized by day of the week.

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Under each tab, I have the current goals printed for each kid I see that day. Underneath their goal sheet, I keep their individual data sheets. If I see them multiple days a week, I just keep data under the first day of the week I see them.

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In the front of the binder, I printed my Excel spreadsheet that I use to keep track of plan of care due dates, birthdays, last evaluation dates, outside service information, allergies, billing codes, etc…

To keep track of (some) materials, I use an expandable file folder. Each kiddo I see has a part and I keep worksheets, materials, and visuals in it for easy reference or simple, applicable last minute plans.

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That way, when I see something awesome (on TpT or a blog) or I’m printing something and just want to print several while I’m at it, I sort it in their divided section for later. Anytime I’m feeling less than creative, I’m guaranteed to have several choices of activities targeting their goals in their sections. Every few months or so I go through them to make sure the sections don’t get too crazy!

Last but not least, how do I keep track of every goal for every kiddo I see? I made these weekly plan goal sheets.

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On the far right side is the kiddo’s names that I see under a specific day (see the header). The middle column is their goals in VERY general terms, just so that I don’t forget about one and focus on the other 4. Then, the right column is blank so I can write in my activity plans for them for the day! I print several weeks in advance and staple them together. That way, after a session and I think, “Next time I should do really do x, y, z”, I can pull out my planning sheet for next week and write it on there! I like that I don’t keep data in the same place, because honestly everything just got so messy! Oh and also, on my bottom of sheets of days where I see fewer kids and I have space, I have a “to do” and a “prep” and an “other” section so I can write in meetings I have to attend, materials I need to laminate, and emails I need to send!

That’s what works best for me! Do you do anything similar? Different? I’d love to hear!

{thanks for reading}

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Shannon

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7 Comment

  1. […] sets come a little more easily than others for different kiddos! I keep the sheet shown above in my data collection binder in the child’s section so I can easily document which words I’ve already targeted for […]

  2. Reply
    nina
    March 14, 2017 at 3:54 PM

    Hi-Where can I get a copy of that last sheet that you have the hand on your paper for the weekly plan out in VERY general terms. I would love to have that and see a closer version of yours. I think that’s a great idea and could be helpful to me.
    Do you write these in or type them?! just wondering

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      March 18, 2017 at 8:54 AM

      I share them for free in this post: http://speechymusings.com/2016/10/16/google-sheets-slps-caseload-management-lesson-planning-data/
      Hope that helps! Thanks for reaching out!

  3. Reply
    Amy
    July 31, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Hello! I’m a new CFY in the school setting and I’m definitely worried about keeping organized with lesson planning/ paperwork/ etc. Does it take you a very long time to write out each student’s goals (even in general terms) every week on your weekly plan goal sheets? Do you save them all separately in a google doc so that you can quickly amend and print them? I feel like I’m incredibly slow at lesson planning and am hoping not to lose my entire life over the next year as I learn how to mentally tackle planning for my caseload.

    Thank you!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      August 5, 2017 at 1:58 PM

      I keep it all saved in Google Drive so I can reprint it week to week! Try searching my blog for Google Sheets templates. I explain more there about how I use them! Good luck!

  4. Reply
    Alex
    September 6, 2017 at 10:34 PM

    Hello Shannon,

    Great post! You have many wonderful ideas that I plan to use to save me a lot of time!
    I’m a beginning SLP-A and have barely been exposed to the whole data collection thing (still learning and I want to get better!).
    You mentioned how you don’t take data every session so that you can focus on your therapy with the kiddos. What do you write down for your notes in these cases, billing-wise?
    Sorry, I was just told that I should take data every time by my supervisor. I feel like I’m just trying to get my bearings and run decent sessions, so it’s very hard for me to take hard data every time 🙁

    Thank you!

    1. Reply
      Shannon
      September 7, 2017 at 2:16 PM

      Glad the post was helpful for you! I do take some sort of data each time but it’s not formal each time. I might document the activity we did, the skill(s) it targeted, level of cueing, what cues were successful, and maybe an accuracy if it makes sense based on the skill. About once a month I do a formal progress monitoring/data collection session! Hope that helps!

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