Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Baseline Data ~ Start of School Activities

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links to for your convenience.

Can you believe it's already August 1st?!? Summer is slowly fading away and soon school will be starting up again.  The start of a new school year is always a bittersweet moment for me.  While I don't LOVE seeing the summer end, I do love meeting new students, starting a new year with fresh ideas, and collaborating with all of the wonderful classroom teacher with whom I have the pleasure of working.

Typically my first week or two of therapy includes collecting baseline data.  I do not collect data during each session (WHAT?!?), but more likely once per month.  I find I can get more trials in if I'm not worried about marking pluses/minuses and taking language samples.  So, for the start of the school year, here are some of my favorite activities for baseline data collection:

1.  "I Love School" written by Philemon Sturges, illustrated by Shari Halpern.

The pictures in this story are simple and bright.  The text tells the routine of a typical school day - "I love the bus that comes this way.  To take us where we'll spend our day."  I usually read this story within small group sessions (3-4 kids), then have each child take a turn retelling the story...and there's a baseline language sample!  The inside cover art (front and back) shows a chalkboard with drawings on it (e.g., ruler, glue, scissors, cat, bus, etc.).  I use these pages for receptive/expressive vocabulary.

You can download a copy of my language sample form here.

2.   WH Chipper Chat (Classy Questions Game Board) by Super Duper Publications

Most of the students on my caseload are working on answering WH questions.  This game is one of my all time favorites and a definite "must-have" for SLPs! I have yet to have a student who was unwilling to play this game.  They put forth their best effort to earn chips and they all LOVE to clean up with the "magic wand!"  The book that comes in the kit gives sample questions, listed by WH word (Who, What, When, Where, Why).  This game is perfect for taking data on WH questions!

3. iPad Vocabulary Activities

I've already posted about this, but you can use apps like Choice Board Creator to quiz students and establish baseline data.  See my post about this app here.  You  can also use your iPad's Camera Roll and Google Images to create goal specific albums for data collection (e.g., plurals, pronouns, possessives, etc.).  See that post here.

"Touch your nose"

4.  Following Directions Bucket

Many of my students also are working on following directions.  Depending on their level, they may be working on single step, or 2-3 step directions.  For this, I adapted a worksheet (I'm not sure of the origin) that was used by one of my colleagues.  I use a baby-wipe container to store all of the materials. 

You can download the data collection sheets here:

5.  Articulation

For my students who have definite articulation/phonology difficulties, I typically use the Quick Screener by Caroline Bowen.  For students who may have just a few sound errors (and when I'm asked to screen someone with decent intelligibility), I tend to use the Articulation Screener of the Preschool Language Scale - 4.  I know that there is an updated version of the PLS, but I really like the Screener on the 4th edition.  I don't score the screener, but I do use it to determine target sounds. 

What are you planning for baseline data collection?
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