How many times a year do you progress monitor speech goals? I have to do it 3 times in California and then for the annual IEP. In some states, I have heard of SLPs having to do it 8 times a year! Share in the comments how many times your state/district makes you progress monitor.
Progress reports are like cleaning your bathroom. You know the bathroom needs to be cleaned. Each day you walk past that bathroom thinking about all the germs that have started to build up in that toilet. You want your bathroom to be germ free (who doesn’t!?). But the thought of going in there to clean your bathroom after working all day makes you want to cry. So, you just close the bathroom door and use the guest bathroom for a few days. Then, when you know that you can’t stand the idea of a germy bathroom, you slide on those yellow gloves, get the cleaning supplies out and start scrubbing. While you are cleaning, you think to yourself “if only I cleaned the bathroom last week. I wouldn’t have to be here for 30 minutes deep cleaning everything”.
Who doesn’t want a squeaky clean bathroom all the time!? We just wished someone else would do it for us, right? Progress reports are one of those necessary chores we have to do as speech pathologists. We try to avoid them, but they never go away. As much as I have tried to get better at doing them, I still don’t like them. I know why I have to do them. I see how it can be helpful when communicating with families about their child’s progress. And, it is definitely an important part of tracking the progress my students are making towards their goals. They just take a long time (insert dreadful, complaining face).
Maybe it is my caseload of 55 students that makes it such an unwanted task? Hmmmm….. or maybe it is those students that come to me with goals that I didn’t write, and I am wondering how on earth am I supposed to measure this goal??
Progress Monitor Speech Goals With A Checklist (save your sanity)
To stay organized and make sure I don’t miss a step in the process, I made a progress monitoring checklist. That way if I have a 20 minute opening between therapy groups, I will know exactly where I left off with progress reports. When you are organized with the process, it is easier to navigate. Download the free checklist by clicking the pink button below.
Tips On How To Progress Monitor Speech Goals Efficiently
I have come to accept that progress reports are not going away. In an effort to bring calm to the chaos, I am always in search of strategies to make them feel less overwhelming. I share a lot of my tips on how I progress monitor speech goals efficiently in my blog post HERE.
One of the best strategies I have found to progress monitor speech goals is to write better goals. Taking the time to really think about those areas of need and make sure my goals are S.M.A.R.T. simplifies my therapy planning. It also helps me to take better data in a session. I usually picture my therapy sessions and think about how I am going to take data in a mixed group. When I have more data, I can write up my progress notes a lot easier.
Plan progress monitoring days where you have individual worksheets or activities for everyone in the group. During the session, have each student come work with you, so you can progress monitor any goals that you need.
Resources To Help Progress Monitoring Speech Goals With Ease
Here are some resources I have found to be helpful with progress monitoring :
Read Works has free non-fiction and fictional passages sorted by grade level and even have comprehension questions included for your students working on listening comprehension.
Use rubrics on those therapy days (I like the ones from The Speech Bubble SLP HERE) when trying to manage a group’s behavior–teaching an engaging lesson and writing down data on each student just isn’t going to work.
Here is my FREE Articulation Data Sheet that can help you with progress monitoring students when they are doing tasks that are more conversational or multiple sentences and taking tally data can be cumbersome.
Find resources that have pictures with the skills you need to progress monitor. Put all the tools in a binder for that skill such as pronouns or noun-verb agreement. Then, pull out those tools during progress monitor time to see how your students are doing. I like to administer 5 stimulus items with minimal prompting to see how they work independently. Then, I will add in visual cues/prompts or give answer choices to know exactly where the student is with his/her level of independence.
Progress monitoring social skill goals can be tricky — especially perspective-taking goals! Anyone else feel this way? I find that planning and conducting social skill therapy is a lot easier than measuring and quantifying a student’s progress. Of course, I can “see” my students’ progress based on their performances, but having hard data to support my therapy is something that I am continually working on getting better at.
My Journey With Progress Monitoring Speech Goals
My two biggest professional goals over the past two years have been to improve my ability to write measurable goals and to improve on being more consistent with my data collection. It isn’t that I don’t understand how to write measurable goals or take data. My challenges stem from not having the time to make sure my goals are aligned with my students’ needs and are clear enough to measure in the real life therapy session, or to find the resources and materials to help me take data on student progress. The mixed group element always adds a nice new layer of distraction and overwhelm, too. Ha.
Tips For Improving Your Skills With Progress Monitoring
I have found the best way to get better at progress monitoring is to do the following:
Learn from your other SLP colleagues. Ask others how they are doing it and try their suggestions to see what works for you.
Set a professional goal. Write down your intention to get better at writing goals, data collection, and/or progress monitoring. Pick a specific disorder you want to improve on and only focus on that disorder until you feel more confident.
Think through your goals and what they will look like in your session. Make sure your goals are clear and can be measured in a “real” session. Plan out how you will measure them (with a rubric, with a quick warm up before the main content lesson, during station rotations, etc.).
Find resources and materials that will help you collect data. Have you ever written a goal and then realized that you have NO materials for that area of need? I have! I am not saying you shouldn’t write a goal in an area of need just because you don’t have materials, but as you are in that goal writing process, reach out to colleagues or your district for support with getting materials. Pinterest andTPT are always great places to start as well!
Resources To Help Progress Monitor Social Skill Goals
I wanted to share some tips and resources I have found for progress monitoring social skill goals. I highly recommend checking out Maureen’s Social Language Rubrics, and SLPtoolkit has great social pragmatic rubrics and goals too. When you are struggling to quantify the presence of a social skill, I would consider using a rubric to take data. I also have some social skill data sheets in my TPT store that may help with quantify skills you are observing during your lessons.
When I progress monitor students’ goals, I try to set up how many cues/prompts I will provide during that data collection period. This helps me not to over prompt and also shows me what level of progress they are making.
Example Goals For Perspective Taking In Social Skills Therapy
Provided a hypothetical social situation and/or real social situation, (student) will explain how others are feeling and/or thinking about (him/her) and share at least one way (he/she) can modify (his/her) actions, words, or body language with 80% accuracy and no more than (insert independence and/or prompting level) as measured by therapist observational data collection using a rubric and/or tally of opportunities over three sessions.
Provided a verbal story, photo scene and/or video clip, (student) will make at least 1 prediction about what the person may need to do next in the social situation with 80% accuracy (insert independence or prompting needed) as measured by informal data charting over three sessions.
By (date), Provided a verbal story, photo scene and/or video clip, (student) will explain what the person could be thinking and/or feeling and at least one clue (body language, facial expression, action, background knowledge) from the photo, video or story to support (his/her) social inference with 80% accuracy with no more than (insert level of prompting) as measured by informal data charting over three sessions.
Resources To Help Measure Perspective Taking Speech Goals
For my social skill students working on making social inferences and explaining the non-verbal clues, I will use Simon’s Cat videos from YouTube (FREE) as stimulus items to collect data. We watch a small portion of the video, then I pause it. I ask the student, “How is the cat or man feeling?” and then I ask “How do you know this?”. I take data on those two things separately and prompt as necessary.
If the student is working on making predictions, then I will pause the video and have them make a guess what might happen next and the clues that helped them come up with that prediction.
You can use wordless short videos to do the same concept. Here is my YouTube channel playlist for some videos I use. If you have any great wordless short videos, hit reply and let me know (I always need more videos)!
I also use Google photos, Pixabay, or my social inference flipbook to take data on interpreting non-verbal social clues and making a social inference about what the person could be thinking.
When I need to work on answering social inferencing questions and what are people thinking, I also use real photos from my Social Skills Breaks Curriculum. This curriculum also includes social situations that I will read to students and have them explain what others could be thinking.
Or I will use social situations from my Help! I Need Social Skills to have students identify how others could be feeling or thinking based on the social situation.
Do you have some tools and resources that you use for progress monitoring social skill goals? I am always trying to get better with progress monitoring and would love to know what you have learned!
Was this helpful for you? Would you like to see more goals and how I try to take progress monitoring data? Let me know in the comments!