SLPs and Data Collection

SLPs and Data Collection

Hi everyone! I feel like it's been a little bit since I have posted, and to be honest, I've missed y'all! I am glad to see this topic come up in a linky party. Data collection is one of the biggest pains that we as special educators/SLPs must endure. All we want to do is provide awesome therapy, but somewhere in there, we have to grab a few pluses and minuses to make sure our kiddos are actually progressing somewhere amid all the excitement!

Let me enlighten you with what I have tried.


I will be the first to admit that sometimes when I have a group of 3-4 students (particularly language groups), their goals get jumbled in my head. Who has the follow 2 step directions goal and who has the 3 step direction goal? Who is supposed to be doing this independently and who needs the picture cues?

I like to have the students' goals listed right in front of me. This is why each student that I work with has their own, individual data sheet that is kept in their speech folder. Their data sheet has their specific goals copied and pasted on the top of the page for quick reference.

The speech folder stays in my room and they bring it to me at the beginning of the session. I get the data, close the folder, and they put it up at the end of the session. Last year I kept them in a binder by day of the week, but it gets confusing when sometimes you have to mix groups up or a group is seen on a different day than usual.


At times, it can be tough to quickly switch data sheets when you have a group of students. This is why, last year, I used the app Super Duper Data Tracker Pro.

 It's nice because you can speak the students' goals into the iPad and it types them out for you. You can also choose if the child completed the task independently or required cues. Even better, it will graph the data for you AND you can email it to yourself! However, the app makes a ding noise every time you check correct/incorrect, etc. This happens even with the volume down on the iPad. This is distracting to many of my kids.

But the format makes it so easy to switch between kiddos and the goals are always listed in front of you. There are lots of pros and a few cons to this app. In the end, the main reason I changed back to paper is because of the distracting sounds created by the app.


I do not like writing the same thing over and over. It's busywork. This is the issue I have with most data collection systems that I have found. I have to handwrite all the student's information and goals each time I fill up their sheet. I am much more efficient when I can type, or of course, when I can copy and paste the information. This is why I created the product below.

It's a PowerPoint document, so all you have to do is duplicate the slide to match however many students you have. Then, go through each child's IEP and copy and paste their goals into the top section, along with any other information you may need. This way, you only put the information in ONCE but can print the slide as many times as needed! as you move down the page, you notice there is room for 5 sessions on each page (and printed front to back, you have 10!) I do this and keep the paper in the child's folder.

When the session rolls around, I do not have to write in what goal we worked on that day. I only have to write the number of the goals that correspond with the ones listed at the top of the page. There is also room for notes! After each IEP meeting, I revise the goals for that student and it's ready to print for the next time I see them.

Once the sheet is filled up, I put it in their working folder to use when progress report time comes back around. This system has worked really well for me, but this free product is also editable so you can really suit it to match your students' needs and your particular data collection style. 

I hope something on here helped! Happy tracking!

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  1. The "ding" on the Data Tracker app really drives me crazy, which is why I don't use it!!!
    BTW, for my labels, I don't put them through the printer. I hand-write what we're working on that day. For example, I may write: /r/ wds w/ mod

    1. Okay, I like that idea even better! I could probably make that work!

  2. Thanks for the form - I'll have to give it a try!
    All Y’all Need

  3. I'm so glad you linked up! Totally with you on that repetitive busy work! I tried the app, too, and quickly went back to paper just like you did! So glad I found your blog- it's so cheerful!!

  4. Taking group data is a HUGE challenge! Thanks for the wonderful ideas!!!!!

    1. It's always a pain, especially when you have bill it daily!