(This post originally appeared on Educational Inspirations)
OK, so you managed to take on RTI. Now you are inundated with piles of data. Typically, when we have screened the elementary, I have piles of DIBELS books to enter. When I get done with that and think I am in the clear, then people start putting the scores of the absent kids on post its and sending them to me. I find them on my chair, computer, and phone. It never ends. Then add my evaluations of speech language kids, intervention data from teachers, and print outs of articles I intend to read when I finally run out of things to do. I can’t find anything. Sound familiar?
No matter how organized I set out to be each year, by October I am drowning in piles, but I have found a few things that really work for me.
First, check out Caselite Software. For a mere $100 I have found a way to get my speech-language scheduling done quickly. The greatest thing about this is that it also keeps your records for you. I have not had to write anything out in triplicate since I got this. I can track who came to therapy, absentees, and who missed therapy due to field trips, etc. I can also record my notes from the session. Then I can print it all for Medicaid billing. A dream come true! You can find this at www.caselitesoftware.com
Second, for those RTI coordinators awash in a sea of intervention data sheets. A colorful little storage tower comes in really handy. Mardels has perfect storage towers. I put blank Tier 1 sheets in the first drawer, blank Tier 2 sheets in the second drawer, and completed data sheets to be filed, in drawer 3. I color code the Tier sheets to make them easy to spot. A bright pink for Tier 1 and bright yellow for Tier 2. I put raw screening data sheets collected three times a year in the next drawer. Then I use the remaining drawers for materials I am using daily for intervention groups such as timers, reading passages, etc. I keep this tower right next to the door in my room. Teachers have figured out where I keep data sheets and just send students to get what they need. This cuts down on more post it notes from teachers asking for data sheets. So, one less thing to worry about.
I also have a file bin divided by grade level for RTI files. Every student in our school that receives interventions has a file folder. Pink folders for Tier 1 students and Yellow folders for Tier 2 students (the file folder colors correspond to the Tier sheet colors). I always write the student name in pencil in case they move from a pink to a yellow folder. All the intervention data the teachers turn in is filed in this folder. It transfers across years so if a student was receiving interventions last year we just add to the file. If a student goes to Tier 3 (full evaluation for us) we have all the interventions already compiled.
How about you–how do you stay organized?
Nicole Power is an SLP and literacy consultant at Bethany Public Schools in Bethany, Oklahoma. She provides language/literacy therapy as well as intervention primarily to elementary students. Nicole is the district coordinator for the Response to Intervention program and collaborates with teachers and other specialists to provide high quality instruction to struggling students. She presents area workshops and created and directs the Oklahoma School SLP Conference.