Data Organization – HOW TO

I’ve been through many systems of data collection and organization, including the usual binders, folders, and note pads, but here’s what I’ve found to work the best:

I use color coded pages (by day of the week) sticking up out of a file cart that I keep right next to my desk.

Here’s a photo of the cart.

data cart

Here is the data sheet that I use:

EASY Percentages Data Sheet for 3 kids

I even made a youtube video on how to use it!

Click here to get a download the data sheet.

I just copy it onto different colored paper (e.g., gold = Tuesday, pink = Wednesday, blue = Thursday). I arrange the data sheets in order of when I see the kid and write the group number in the corner. I like to have them sticking up so I can easily glance and grab the one I need and put it back at the end of the session. When one sheet is filled up, I place it down into the file folder and have a new blank sheet sticking up.

On the bottom of the cart, I keep some of my most frequently used worksheets, like ones from EET, some 1-page reading passages, /r/ and /s/ articulation sheets, etc.

It’s so handy and it’s the only system that has lasted me this long!


Tomorrow is my 2nd wedding anniversary!  YAY!!!

My husband an I borrowed a great idea from one of his co-workers.  Instead of each getting each other a pricey gift, we’re going in together on a joint gift to ourselves for our home.  This year, we are getting a beautiful glass desk that we’ve been eyeing for months.  Unfortunately, it won’t arrive until next week, but I’ve made my peace with that (after giving customer service a piece of my mind for originally telling me that it would arrive 2 weeks before our anniversary).

We’re also going out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and of course, I’ll be getting beautified tomorrow.

Feeling happy 🙂

us at Kenwood


Tools & Strategies Wall

In my office at the junior high, I have a “Tools and Strategies” wall with several of my most-frequently-used visuals velcroed to the wall.

Here’s what I use:

My “Tools & Strategies” wall

~ Top row ~

1) 1 visual to show how the hierarchy of correcting an /r/at all of the different levels (isolation, syllable, word, etc.) for thevarious forms of /r/ (vocalic and consonantal, i.e., ear, are, or, pr, kr, tr,etc. – based on “The Entire World of R” screener).

2) An Expanding Expression Toolkit (EET) strand and visual

3) A visual I created in boardmaker to help students withdefining words.  Like EET, itstarts with the category (in green). Underneath that, are questions to help students define the word,including: “What does it look like,” “What does it sound like,” “What does ittaste like,” etc.  In the center,there’s a picture of a star with the question “What makes it special” (in otherwords, how is it different from other similar things).

4) This is a fish graphic organizer from  It is designed to help studentsremember the 6 WH- questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how).  I added boardmaker pictures of thesewords to the ends of the fish bones 😉

5) This is a word finding visual from Diane German forPro-Ed.  It has 5 steps to helpstudents store the word for later retrieval, including syllable dividing,similar sounding or cue words, and rehearsing.  Here’s a picture someone posted of the form:

~ Bottom Row ~

6) This is my articulation hierarchy form that could be usedfor any sound.  When my students reach80% accuracy on one level in the articulation hierarchy (for 1-3 sessions), Ihave them check off that level and I write the date they achieved it in thatcell.  This really helps mystudents see the light at the end of the tunnel and understand that my goal isto help them graduate from speech therapy.  I even have had students walk up to this visual on the wallto show other students what level they are working at!  It has really helped them remember todo home-practice at the appropriate level.  They now understand that just having a conversation with momis not practicing if you are only supposed to be at the phrase level.  With this visual, my students are verymotivated to reach the conversation and carryover levels that ultimately leadto graduation 😉

(I use this one for /r/ variations as well. The one shown innumber one with all of the /r/ sounds on it just serves as a visual aid to showparents and students how much work we need to do.)

7) This is a list of vocabulary strategies, like visualization,repetition, and context clues.

8) This is a “definition builder” to help kids define a wordusing a complete sentence.  Itincludes blanks and what kind of information they should put in eachblank.  It is now color coded tocorrespond to the EET.

9) This adorable visual from is a hamburger graphic organizer forwriting.  It is a reminder that the“meat” of the paragraph needs to be sandwiched between a topic sentence and aconclusion.

10) This detail tree helps students understand that the mainidea is the root of the passage. Other details in the passage branch off from the main idea. This one is also from 😉

11) This last visual shows the equation forinferences/predictions:

Background knowledge + Clues = A Good Guess


his last visual shows the equation forinferences/predictions:

Background knowledge + Clues = A Good Guess

Tools and Strategies Wall

1) R Hierarchy Visual

3) Boardmaker Definitions Visual

4) WH Fishbone Graphic Organizer

8) Definition Builder

9) Hamburger Graphic Organizer

10) Main Idea & Details Tree

Tools and Strategies Wall

How To Tell When You Need To Use an Apostrophe….

Here are some simple rules about when to use apostrophes:

One of the primary uses for the apostrophe (‘) is to connect TWO things together (like a paper clip – hey, it even kind of looks like a mini-paper clip)! An apostrophe is used to connect two words. This frequently happens when connecting a pronoun (such as “I,” “you,” “it,” etc.) and a form of “to be” (such as “am,” “is,” “are,” etc.).

Take a look at these examples of how an apostrophe holds two words together:

I + AM = I’m

IT + IS = It’s

YOU + ARE = You’re

(This also holds true with forms of “to have” and “would”).

Pronouns with an extra letter attached but no apostrophe are used to convey possession (as in words like “its,” “your,” etc.)

A quick way to remember the difference is to think, if you can say the same sentence with either a contraction or two separate words, including a pronoun and “is” or “are” in the contraction’s place, you need to use an apostrophe.

(I’m finished = I am finished; You are funny = You’re funny).

If you’re talking about something that belongs to the pronoun (Its, your, etc.), then no apostrophe is needed because you aren’t connecting two different words

(I like its color = I like the color that belongs to it;

I borrowed your pencil = I borrowed the pencil that belongs to you).

I think the confusion comes from the fact that we do use an apostrophe plus -s to express possession when we are using proper nouns (names) and common nouns (people, places, and things) but NOT when we are using pronouns (you, it, he, I, etc.).

Voila! Now you can easily tell when to use an apostrophe and when you don’t need one. That small little paper-clip looking symbol changes the meanings of your words!

If you’ve (i.e., “you have”) seen these kinds of mistakes online (and even in print), share this post so that we can teach the world this valuable lesson.

Speech/Language Wallets (of Resources)

Near the end of the last school year, I had a stroke of genius!  …well, it has yet to be tested but it’s ingenious in my humble opinion 😉

I work at two junior high schools and I am very aware of how my 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students differ from younger elementary students and how I have to make sure my approach to working with them matches their mentality and needs at the same time.

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Post-It Notes for Sequencing & Answering “When” Questions

I am convinced that if I needed to, I could just do therapy solely with office supplies!  (“Lint-pocket therapy,” I like to call it).

Post-It Notes are among my most essential office-supplies turned therapy-tools for a few reasons.

First, when my data sheets aren’t handy I take data on them.  In a pinch, they serve as hall passes for the junior high kids, “basketballs” for the hoop that is the trash bin, and temporary labels for all sorts of things.  However, one of my favorite things to do with post-it notes is to draw on them.

I am constantly drawing visual aids that are specifically customized to the words my students and I are using.

This impromptu drawing is really helpful for the students that have trouble visualizing and I’ve found it to be a must for those who also have trouble sequencing the events in a story.

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