Module 2, Lesson 1: Folders & Data

Maintaining accurate, organized, and complete student files will make your life so much easier! I call them my “speech files”. They are not part of the student’s cumulative “official file”, but they contain all of the special education paperwork that you would find in the cumulative file. They are kept in a secure place in my room (this, of course, assumes that you have a room), and I can find them and pull them whenever I want. Because I have put them together, I know what is inside them and how to find all of the paperwork. Need to look at the child’s initial evaluation report? It’s in there. Does the administration want to see your Medicaid billing? It’s in there. I can easily access data from previous years as well as parent notes, phone records, etc.

How do you create an organized student file? I start with manila file folders. They are cheap and functional. Label the tab of the file (last name, first name). Then use the Student File Checklist to go through the list and make sure that you have everything needed in each file. Check off each item and then staple (or tape) the checklist to the file folder. Within your file folders, you can use Student File Tabs.  Once a new IEP has been completed, replace the checklist with a new checklist. File your student files in a secure, easily accessible location in alphabetical order.

Once your student’s file is complete, you can work on creating datasheets. There are so many ways to do data sheets! You need to find a method that works for you. Within this model, I am also including my paper and digital Speech Data Forms (with an explanation video). If these don’t work for you, there are so many other options! there are paid data collection subscriptions out there as well as a variety of free data sheets to explore on TPT.


  1. Decide how you are going to organize your files (paper? or digital?).
  2. Use the checklist organizer to start organizing the kids you case manage (paper files).
  3. Digitally organize your student files by name, date, and title.
  4. Try out at least 3 data sheet options.
  5. Tell the community – Paper or digital files? Paper or digital data?

How to use speech data forms by sps

Link to ROADMAP for all lessons.

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