working file binders

Working files are a work in progress for me. Read this post for ideas on organization of working files.

Everyone does there working files differently and that is good because everyone thinks, organizes and plans differently. I am still trying to find the best system for me. Last year I had separate manila file folders in alphabetical order in a file drawer in my desk. It worked but it wasn't the most efficient to have to pull out the file every time the kids came and then refile it every time they left. It just took time. and time I did not have. This year I decided to try to rework my working file system to be more efficient. I am putting working files in the order that I service each child and separating them by service days.
Now I can just pull out the binder I need for that day. A colleague of mine showed me these wonderful binder inserts with tabs and pockets on both sides that I now use as my working files.
The student's name obviously goes on the tab. The front pocket of the insert has the student's current data and IEP goals. Behind the current data are any baselines and target probes done throughout the year. In the back pocket is the attendance log, treatment cycle, and treatment data log all stapled together. So far this is working out pretty well. But I'm sure I'll be tweaking things next year too.

One of the things I love best about our profession is the flexibility of how to structure and set up your own therapy. There is not set way to do things. You are free to do what you feel is best according to your professional judgment. The tricky part is figuring out what works best for you and your clients/students.

How do you do your working files? What have you found to be the best and most efficient ways?


Anonymous said...

I know this is an older post so I'm not sure if you'll see this, but... I love this idea! One of the SLPs I observed a while back did something similar, but she only had a few students (she did special programs) so I'd never seen it done with a normal caseload.

I have a question, though. I assume you have children who come to you more than once per week. How do you organize their information?

Thanks so much! I'm just starting my first year as an SLP in a few weeks, and I'll be working in the schools, so I'm sure I'll be back to look through more of your wonderful ideas!

Anonymous said...

My students that I see more than once per week still have a tab for each day that I see them. So, if I see a student on Tuesday and Thursday they have a working file in Tuesday's binder and another one in Thursdays folder. I choose particular goal(s) that I want to focus on with that student on Tuesdays and keep the data on those goals in my Tuesday binder. Then I work on the other goals on Thursday and keep that data in my Thursday binder. When it's time to write progress reports I just refer to both tabs. I make a very clear note on my log that explains the data is only from Tuesday (or Thursday) sessions. At the end of the year I take all my treatment logs out and staple them together to go in the student's file. I hope this helps. I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but this is what worked best for me.