**March 7, 2018 **
It’s that time of the year! Progress report season! I swear I just completed them and yet here we are again. Our friend Anne said it best:
“Progress reports are like laundry. Just when you finally finish it it’s time to do it again!”
Although progress monitoring is not my favorite part of being a therapist, I will say now that I have a system I don’t dread it like I used to. The #1 reason we created SLP Toolkit was to find a solution to progress monitoring (the app has evolved into other areas but this was the first problem we wanted to solve). We are on a mission to make this process easier for everyone so you can focus your attention where it matters most - on the students!
So why are progress reports so painful?
The data that we typically use to complete our progress reports comes from our session data - all the little pluses and minuses you take during therapy. Trying to calculate all of the data and analyze it over multiple sessions for a giant caseload is VERY time-consuming. And what’s worse than combing through a ton of data? Having insufficient data! I hope I am not the only one who has gotten to the end of the grading period and realized I don’t have enough (or any) data on a goal.
So how can we make progress reports hurt less?
Progress monitor like a teacher! When a teacher wants to determine how a student is learning the material they use a test. Although they collect additional information about performance through other means the test score is often one of the best indicators of whether or not the student has acquired the information. We must collect session data. This is what guides our therapy. But for the purposes of reporting progress on a progress report, using a Criterion-Referenced Test (CRTs) or rubric is an awesome way to gather consistent data quickly and effectively.
We have earned our breaks and using your time off to complete progress reports is not okay. Since I began using progress monitoring tools to gather data I have cut my progress report writing time in half. Now all I do is start testing the students 1-2 weeks prior to progress reports. I use their regularly scheduled time and test each student individually while the other students work on an activity. The best part: before the group even leaves the session, I have entered their scores on their progress reports.
I have never been more confident with the data I have collected. Using progress monitoring tools is not only more efficient but also more consistent. I love knowing that I have accurate information to report progress! Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself! You can see all of our built-in tests by signing up for a free trial at www.slptoolkit.com.