Whew! The past few weeks have been hectic! We are in our third week of school and it has been a whirlwind. The start of the year is always pretty busy, but I feel like this year it is even more crazy than usual. Maybe because I have three schools this year, two of which are new to me. That means I have two entirely new caseloads to get to know and collect data on. My days have been filled with progress monitoring, which makes it perfect timing for this Frenzied SLPs linky. We are sharing all about…progress monitoring!
This topic is one of those areas that can vary widely from person to person. Every SLP has their own way of collecting data. I have been trying out new ways to collect and store my data this year, but I always seem to go back to being a paper and pencil kind of gal. Most recently, I have been experimenting with using SLP Toolkit and some Smarty Ears apps for progress monitoring (more info to come in a future post), but I just really like good old fashioned paper data sheets.
I usually start my year getting to know my students and assessing progress on their current goals. I like to do this right of the bat because it allows me to see if they have retained their skills over the summer break, and lets me know how much ground we have to cover before their next IEP meeting.
I also tend to have quite a few new transfer students each year. That means I have 30 days to assess, plan and revise goals as needed.
Needless to say, my first few weeks of school include data, data, and more data!
For articulation, I like to use simple data sheets where I have the list of target words down one side and dates across the top. Then I can use a quick +/- or write in a sound substitution as we go through the word list.
I have several ready to go data sheets with word cards in my Teachers Pay Store. All can be purchased separately or in the bundle. I keep these cards laminated in a 3 ring binder with extra copies of the data sheets in sheet protectors. This allows me to grab them quickly when I need them. You can also cut the word cards and store them on a binder ring or in bags, or even just display them on an iPad.
My bundle includes several different target sounds, with more to be added in the future (all can also be purchased separately). Each set comes with a ready to use data sheet, saving you time!
When collecting baseline data, I always use as many words as I can for each target sound and assess the sound in all positions. My baselines include anywhere from 20-40 words, depending on the phoneme. I run through all words on the list because it may be that the student has the sound in one single word. That would be a great place to start when teaching!
After I have my initial overall percentage, I then select 5 words that the child missed and use those words to teach and practice the sound. We will practice for 3-4 sessions (depending on the child), informally assessing the target words at the beginning of each session. Once the child is able to produce the 4/5 target words correctly, I will then run through the entire baseline again to see if they are able to carryover the phoneme into other words. Then, if needed, we will select a different 5 words to teach and practice and repeat the process.
Collecting baseline data can be time consuming, which is why I like to keep it as simple as possible. Having prepared data sheets and word lists allows me to grab and go with little prep time. I then have records of student progress that I can add to their file for documentation.
For more info and tips on progress monitoring, be sure to check out the other bloggers in the Frenzied SLPs linkup. And feel free to share your tips for progress monitoring in the comments below. 🙂