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Parents are buying their kids all the wrong toys

The best toys focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toys can do.

The highlight of my son’s speech therapy was always the bag of toys. Years ago, when he was a toddler and the therapist came to our house, he’d wait patiently as she took out one toy at a time and used each to help build language skills. Anxious to boost his progress, I watched her work and wrote down the name of her “tools.” I would then run to Toys R Us—and almost always, I would walk out empty-handed.

Toy stores, it turns out, are the worst place to buy toys. The educational aisle is even more upsetting, filled with battery-operated toys with cartridges, sounds, and styluses. What toy stores (and parents) need to understand better is that for a product to be an effective learning tool, the child has to be able to use it to make inquiries and attempt to answer them. However, in the case of educational toys, it’s the machine that is asking all the questions.

Parents’ play, too, must change. For starters, they need to get on the floor. All too often, parents use toys as babysitters. Sit the kids down with something and walk away to check email or do the dishes. They expect the toy to engage their child to the point where the child is mesmerized. “She can’t put it down,” they’ll say to describe the successful toys. There is no shame in trying to amaze and astonish when kids open their gifts, but if we want to turn our toy purchases into educational investments, then we need to get involved and stay involved. We have to play with them. It’s as simple as that.

It’s crucial that we get play right. For society. For the economy. For competitiveness. For the workplace.

Multitasking early

Instead of focusing all their attention on machines that speak, early learners actually need to practice so-called joint attention skills. These skills are going to directly impact their ability to learn in a classroom, to speak up in a meeting, to make sense of conflicting thoughts and points of view. Here’s an example from a typical office setting: When the director of my division is reading a report to my group, I am thinking about the report. When he asks a question, I shift my attention to my supervisor, who begins to answer the question. I am then thinking of what he said and also thinking of what others think about what he said. Then, I remember something that tells me that my supervisor is wrong.  I look up and meet eyes with another colleague who is already looking at me; she knows what I know. We are both thinking and communicating with our eyes but neither of us have said a word. The educational toys I’ve described couldn’t possibly help a child develop the skill of joint attention. The idea that a machine, asking you a series of questions, can teach and simulate being an active member of a workplace or classroom is ridiculous. It’s more like a test or a game show.

The good news is that there are many toys and games that are great at this. And there is still more that parents can do—even without these tools. When I used to read to my son, I never discussed the book with him. When I bought my son toys, I would leave them in front of him and walked away thinking that my part was done.  If my son had trouble, I would often tell him that someone his age should be able to do those things, even though the packaging just gives a vague estimation on appropriate ages. A rating of 4+ doesn’t show a breakdown of what a 4-year-old can do with a toy versus what a 6-year-old can do with it.

Toys are not us

With the help of the speech therapist and other therapists I’ve met, I’ve learned that the best places to buy good toys are in specialty toy retailers and therapeutic product retailers.  What is a “specialty toy”? The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), the largest association serving the specialty toy industry, defines specialty toys as toys designed with a focus on  what the child can do , rather than what the toy can do.

I think the term “special” is fitting because, as I’ve mentioned, what is offered in “mainstream” large toy retailers is very disappointing. Take the blocks selection, for example. Blocks are the tools that kids use to do “constructive play” something that is seen from ages 3-6.  In these stores, I see scores of various block offerings but they are more focused on wowing parents with “features” such as letters, sounds, plastic cubes that encase animals or mirrors, wooden cubes have something on each side (letters, numbers, animals, textures).

Think of a 3-year-old playing with blocks. Why would she need such distractions? It’s challenging enough to just stack them so that they don’t fall (or fall in an entertaining way). We want to encourage kids to build with blocks because they will develop strength in their core trunk, shoulder, and arm muscles. These muscles will support better handwriting and even paying attention in class.  Additionally, the more they build, the more they will understand about the forces of gravity and structural integrity. Of equal importance, we want to encourage kids to build with blocks so that they can make something. It’s easier to see your building, your creation, if your blocks are plain.

Some of the best blocks—without bells and whistles—for preschoolers are  Lauri Tall Stacker Pegs, which are found at Red Hen Toys , an online retailer based in Michigan. Lauri pegs are wonderful for pretend play, fine motor strengthening, and pattern recognition.  I also love these  1-inch Color Cubes at Different Roads to Learning , a New York-based online store that caters to the special needs community. The unique size of the beautifully stained (not painted) cubes supports the 3-Jaw-Chuck—the grasp pattern that emerges as children learn to hold things with an opposed thumb and the index and middle fingers—the most efficient for handwriting. You can even buy  corresponding pattern cards  that remind me of the block portion on IQ tests.

Ask not what your toy can do for you

As parents, we mistakenly start with the most advanced activity that can be done with a toy and don’t allow our children to explore their toys intuitively. This is a big mistake. Parents need to do what that speech therapist did for my son when he was a toddler.  She got down on the floor and she engaged him.  She never overwhelmed him with too many pieces. She modeled good speech by spending time with him and describing what he did and what she did. She provided “just right” challenges whenever she saw that he was ready for more. Most importantly, she was patient and never judgmental. Whatever the activity was, she would never do it for him. If he was slow to do it then she would wait, even if it was a little awkward.

There are so many wonderful building toys that encourage inquiry, experimentation, and social interaction.  Playing with friends and parents with these toys can help children build joint attention skills. I especially love geometrical building toys as they provide children with a sense of symmetry, pattern recognition, and proportion, all through play.  For younger elementary ages, I like  Magformers , Geomag ,  SmartMax , all of which are magnetic and can be purchased with accessories such as LED lights, glow-in-the-dark pieces, wheels, and propellers. These add-ons can encourage children to experiment and pretend play.

Non-magnetic geometric toys are also just as fun. Again, I never get to see these in my local big box toy retailer.  Zometool  and  Reptangles  are two building toys that snap pieces together to create 2D and 3D shapes. (Both are available at  Fat Brain Toys , an excellent site selling toys and games from all over the world.) Importantly, the toys help children build and relate to concepts in nature: snowflakes, carbon molecules, and even DNA. Reptangles’ pieces themselves are an excellent model of tessellations and mirror the work of the great artist, M.C. Escher.

A sphere made out of Zometools.

Kaleidograph  is another great geometry toy that is just a collection of die-cut color cards that reflect the natural geometry of crystals and flowers. It will make any math teacher or geek parent swoon. On a bus ride with my son’s kindergarten class, I handed out a few cards to each of my child’s friends all were of different 3-point symmetrical rotational shapes. As the children stacked the cards, they made unique designs and were able to keep shuffling until they found the design they liked best.  They were amazed with the creations they made; “Look at me!” they said throughout the ride, not realizing they were practicing their joint attention skills.

How to fight boredom

To be sure, there are some mainstream toys, such as Lego and K’nex, that allow children to make impressive creations and can even lead children into learning about machines and robotics. I especially love the  K’nex Education Sets  that explore science and math.  This year, I’ve also met my inner Lego as I convinced my kids to spend my money in the “pick-a-brick” section in the store. The  Lego Mindstorms EV3 , an open-ended robotics platform for kids was introduced this year and is on the wish list; it will likely still be a wish until next year because we need time to save up for the $350 price tag.

Sometimes, we avoid buying open-ended toys because we see our children stop playing with them after the novelty has worn off. The most frequent question from readers about a toy: “Does it have staying power?” Let’s change our thinking here, too. If children stop playing with an item, parents may think that the failure lies with the toy. Really, no one is at fault. Perhaps the child is just not feeling inspired. They’re human and we can’t expect them to be creative every minute of the day. When children, and even adults feel this uninspired, they want to just buy more and more to fill the void—again and again.

When I see that my children are ignoring their open-ended toys, I just start playing with them by myself. I don’t even invite them to join me—but they always do. They’ll sit beside me and say, “Hey Mom, look what I made!”  The inspiration returns, without any cajoling or direction. All I had to do was sit down and play first. It works every time.

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Speech and Language Homework Folder

All ages / Grades Pre-K & Up

Now with a whole new look, our Homework Folders help students keep important papers neat and organized with safe, easy storage for homework sheets and more. 20 exciting new designs/folders per pack.

speech therapy homework folders

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Our essential Homework Folders have a whole new look! With 20 new themes such as “Sports,” “Mermaids,” “Cats,” “Superheroes,” “Dinosaurs,” “Llamas,” and more, there’s a design that’s sure to appeal to any student! Homework Folders help students keep important papers neat and organized with safe, easy storage for homework sheets and more. 20 folders per pack.

Homework Folders:

  • 20 fun, new themes!
  • Generous 9” x 12” size
  • Two 4” pockets
  • Block for writing Student’s name and identifying information
  • “Sticker Saver” graph on back

1,080 Scented Stickers

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Student Folders for Speech Therapy

speech therapy homework folders

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for your convenience.

Student folders are a thing I have gone back and forth on throughout my career in the schools.  I've used them and not used them and this year, they are back!  What I like about using folders for each child is that it really helps me to keep organized.  Some people send these folders home (I used to be one of those), but these stay in my room.  They are just the paper, three prong, two pocket folders.  I let the kids pick whatever color they want because it seems to bring them a lot of joy….and I really understand that kind of joy!  You could color code by grade level or type of therapy if you want to, that's just not for me.

speech therapy homework folders

Each day, I pull the kids I am going to see and load them in this wall pocket organizer that I found on Amazon .  I've placed these right next to the door, so that when the students come in, they grab their folder and have a seat!

speech therapy homework folders

In the middle, I am clipping their data sheets into the prongs.  This will make it easy for me to slap their data collection label onto the sheet when I am ready.  If you want to read more about my data collection, hop over HERE .

speech therapy homework folders

In the back, I've added pages for their goals, like this /r/ words page (from my monthly toolkits ) so that I have stimulus items ready to go, no matter what activity we are doing.  It also helps me plan for downtime or homework by adding extra pages of activities to the back for anytime we need them.

speech therapy homework folders

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Student Folders: Tips and Ideas for SLPs

Shannon July 11, 2018 14 Comments

This post may contain Amazon affiliate ads at no cost to you. See my disclosures here for more information.

Using student work folders in speech therapy has been a huge time saver and keeps my therapy more organized and on track. Below I’ll share tons of tips, tricks, organization ideas, and storage tips.

I’ve been using student work folders consistently for the past few years and finally thought I’d share what’s worked well for me!

There’s so many options when it comes to student work folders. Below is what has worked for me but feel free to mix and match ideas to make it work best for you and your caseload!

Without further adieu, here are my top tips for student work folders for SLPs:

speech therapy homework folders

1) Use color-coded labels.

Two years ago, I started labeling the folders by what the student was working on (pink = artic, blue = language, purple = social).

This has helped SO much because I can easily fill the folders up with activities by just referencing the sticker on the outside of the folder.

2) Organize by grade or IEP due date.

Organizing your folders is so important! It will help your students find them easily AND will help you stay organized. Two ways that I store my folders (depending on the year/my site) are by grade and by IEP due date.

By Grade – If you want to organize them by grade, label each box/bin with a grade number. This way makes it super easy for your students to find their folder.

speech therapy homework folders

By IEP Due Date – The other way I’ve used is organizing folders by IEP due date. This comes in handy if you have a larger caseload and need an extra reminder of IEP due dates. When I organize my folders this way, each box/bin is a month of the school year. The folders are kept in the box/bin according to when the student’s IEP is. This reeeeally helps if you’re worried about missing deadlines! Each month, you grab the bin for the following month and get started looking at student’s work samples, data, etc… and create the IEP. When you’re done with the bins, swap it for the following month!

speech therapy homework folders

3) In addition to activities, consider including data sheets, attendance forms, rubrics, parent/student info, and the student’s IEP at a glance.

While I definitely use these folders to store activities, they also store my student’s most important forms including data sheets and parent contact information. If I use a rubric or my cycles data collection sheet, I try to put them in a separate pocket or in the middle using a fastener. Read on to the question section below for a few links to my favorite forms!

speech therapy homework folders

4) Empty at least once a quarter.

I’ll talk more about homework in future posts but I don’t do homework for 90% of my caseload. Instead, I collect worksheets and work samples. Each quarter, my students go through their folders and remove old, completed work. I staple them together (sometimes I add a quick note), and send them home! Parents appreciate seeing what their students are doing and it barely adds any work for me! Win-win!

Emptying the folders frequently also prevents them from growing and growing until they burst. I learned this lesson the hard way my first year using student work folders! Oops!

5) Hand over ownership to your students.

If you use student work folders, have your students help set them up! I let my students write their name on them and draw a picture.

They are also responsible for getting their folders at the beginning of each session and putting it away before they leave. I’ve found that this is a predictable, structured way to start and end sessions.

6) Incorporate behavior management.

I don’t have a prize box anymore, but when working with younger students, I still hand out stickers for extraordinary effort 🙂 My students can pick from a variety of stickers and they use their folder to store them. I like to tell them that their families will be so proud to see how full their folder is at the end of the year!

7) Send home at the end of the year!

Get rid of them every year! If you do summer homework, fill them up and send them home. If not, send a quick note saying how much you enjoyed working with their child, take out any data/attendance forms, and send home!

speech therapy homework folders

8) Staple in plastic baggies to store cards.

Many of my students use cards for drill. I was struggling with how to store them until I realized that stapling in a plastic bag to the front of the folder works super well. Try it out if you’re struggling with card storage too! I send them home frequently so it doesn’t get too bulky or heavy.

Other Questions

What folders should I get? – Over the years, I’ve used a variety of folders for student work folders. I tend to like laminated (shiny) folders with fasteners on the inside. I use the fasteners to separate an attendance form and a data sheet for each student. Other options are plain paper folders and manilla file folders.

speech therapy homework folders

Manilla file folders are nice because you can fit a ton in a small space and you can label the tab with the student’s name. When I’ve used these for student folders, I am the only one who touches them (instead of handing over ownership to the student) because things fall out the sides and my students tend to make a big mess of them. I like stapling important forms to the front and back of the file folder for easy access (as shown in a picture earlier in the post).

What attendance and data sheets do you use? – This depends on the student. I like to keep things flexible! I almost always use the fabulous and free attendance forms from Natalie Snyders (shown above).  I also like these simple data sheets from my store. In some of the pictures above, I showed data sheets from my cycles toolkit .

What if they get too full? – Because I plan pretty far in advance, I also like to combine this system with expandable file folders. I use the folders to store overflow papers and informal assessments for each student. I have one expandable file folder per grade. Not all of my students need this extra space but many do! If your folders are filling quickly, you could also try sending work home monthly!

What if I hate taking data in four different folders? – Seeing large groups can make data collection in folders pretty tricky. If this sounds like you, I’d recommend taking data on sticky address labels . Then, when you’re done, you can just stick them on the data sheet in each student’s folder. Voila – no flipping pages!

What folders and boxes do you use? – I purchased the white cardboard boxes shown above on Amazon . They are amazing! I purchase folders on sale during back to school sales, usually at Staples. I’ve also gotten these folders from Amazon . I got the stickers at Staples ( you can see them online here ) but or get them on Amazon . The clip labels (on the white boxes) were a gem found in the Target dollar section.

Note: The Amazon links above are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase through them, I may get a small referral fee, however I only ever share products that I’ve purchased and used! Promise!

Student work folders have been a lifesaver for me organization wise! I hope this post was helpful in giving you lots of ideas on how to use them effectively!

I’d LOVE to hear your ideas and how you use student folders! Share your thoughts below!

Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions! <3

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About the Author

Shannon is a pediatric SLP and the creator behind Speechy Musings. As an SLP, she is most passionate about language, literacy, and AAC. Outside of being an SLP, she loves hiking, camping, dogs, and travel.

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data collection organization sheet

Reader Interactions


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July 11, 2018 at 7:38 PM

I really love the idea of speech folders. I am beginning my CF this fall and am planning to utilize speech folders. Do you perhaps have more images of examples of your speech folders witht he prongs? Thank you!

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July 16, 2018 at 8:39 AM

Hey Taylor! Great question! I added a picture of a folder without the prongs. I usually put worksheets to-do on the left side pocket and data sheets/student info on the right side. Hope that helps!

July 24, 2018 at 8:21 PM

Thank you, it helps a lot!

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July 14, 2018 at 12:26 PM

I have students retrieve their work folders from their mailboxes (magazine holders.) These magazine holders may or may not be manufactured any longer, they are 2 feet high and 3 feet wide and have approx. 24 slots for student work folders. I have a wide variety of student ages and abilities (K-10) and they are all able to “find their work and bring it to the work table,” as stage 3 of the posted entry routine (yes, visuals!)

July 16, 2018 at 8:38 AM

That’s another fantastic idea!! I’ve seen those holders and always wanted to try them for something. Thanks for sharing!

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July 24, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Wow….thanks SO much for putting this post together. I was looking for a new system instead of sending home folders that don’t ever get looked at and takes up valuable minutes. You’ve helped me figure out a new plan. THANKS!

July 26, 2018 at 12:49 PM

Yay! I’m so glad it was helpful!

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August 9, 2018 at 9:26 AM

I use the working folders , too!! It works great for me! As I see lessons / materials appropriate for a student, I just put it in the folder. Your system is much more professional looking. I love the sticky notes system. I’m gonna add that to my routine. Thank you for sharing!!! What a helpful post!!!

August 9, 2018 at 11:26 AM

I’m so glad the post was helpful! I do the same as far as putting in lessons/materials as I find them! Thanks for commenting!

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January 27, 2019 at 6:11 AM

Hi! Are there specific data sheets you recommend that have open areas that the Avery labels would fit nicely on? I absolutely love your idea of using sticky address labels when you take data for larger groups!

January 31, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Not at this moment but I’ll definitely look into it and try to share out my ideas in another post! Great idea!

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October 4, 2019 at 7:57 PM

I love the post it notes idea and then to add it to the data collection sheet. Have you had time to develop a sheet on which to put the labels?

November 4, 2019 at 2:48 PM

I haven’t! Sorry about that!

[…] can learn how I use working folders in one of my blog posts here. I typically use them for sample student work, data, and sometimes student-specific visuals that I […]

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For just $195/year, the brand-new All Access Pass gives you access to every single resource of mine! You read that right. That means you’ll have easy-to-use speech sound activities, AAC implementation tools, language intervention resources (linked to goals!), themed units, original wordless picture book story units, and MORE! Get in on this, you won’t regret it.

Hi, I’m Shannon!

I create speech therapy resources for busy pediatric SLPs who want to be effective at their jobs without sacrificing their personal lives.

I’ve been designing speech therapy materials since 2012 and am passionate about both SLP effectiveness and wellness. I started Speechy Musings my first year in graduate school as a way to share my SLP experiences, musings, and creative therapy ideas with other SLPs. More than 10 years later, I’m still at it! My resources combine my years of experience as an SLP with my love for reading research. I’m most passionate about literacy, AAC, and language interventions.

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Setting Up Articulation Speech Folders For Students

Jul 30, 2019 | 2 comments

School-based SLPs have a lot of disorders and goals to treat. It can be overwhelming to plan therapy and stay organized. That’s why I make articulation speech folders for certain students. See how you can set up speech folders to make planning articulation therapy more efficient and save time! #slpeeps #schoolslp #speechies #organizedslp #dabblingslp #speechtherapy #articulation #speechfolders #speechpathology

Recently, I polled the SLPs that follow me on Instagram to see how many of us make individual student folders for our caseloads. It was a pretty even 50/50 split of speech pathologists that do make individual folders and those that don’t.

I personally do not make individual speech folders for each child on my caseload. I use a giant therapy binder that has tabs for each child on my caseload. If I cover two schools, then I store a therapy binder at each school. 

Setting Up Articulation Speech Folders

For each student, I store their therapy logs, a communication log, their IEP-at-a-glance, and specialized data sheets as needed. Typically, I just flip back and forth between students to keep everything documented. 

However, I always have certain students that I service in a quick artic model, or I want to have some specialized visuals organized for my artic students to use when running mixed groups. In these circumstances, I will make an articulation speech folder for the individual student or the particular sound/phonological process. Today, I am going to share how you can set up your own articulation speech folders to help you streamline your therapy planning process.

speech therapy homework folders

Did you put a link to the visuals you have for self monitoring? Maybe I missed it…thanks


Hello Brooke, the pink button is how you can download those visuals or just go to my password protected page and enter the password for being a newsletter subscriber to grab them there as well. You can email me if you are having trouble. [email protected] https://thedabblingspeechie.com/subscriber-freebies/

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Super Duper Publications | 20 Speech and Language Homework Folders | Two Pockets &amp; Sticker Saver Chart | Speech Therapy

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Super Duper Publications | 20 Speech and Language Homework Folders | Two Pockets & Sticker Saver Chart | Speech Therapy

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  • 20 Different Themes - Pandas, Skateboards, Trucks, Owls, Sea Animals, Llamas, Creatures, Castle, Dinosaurs, and more!
  • Size - Generous 9” x 12”
  • Inside each folder - Two pockets to neatly store homework papers - One on each side
  • On the back of each folder- Sticker Saver Chart for students to save stickers (Stickers sold separately)
  • On the front of each folder - Label each folder - Includes block for writing Student’s name and identifying information

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Get your student organized for speech therapy with these colorful folders! 20 new themes such as “Sports,” “Mermaids,” “Cats,” “Superheroes,” “Dinosaurs,” “Llamas,” and more! Homework Folders help students keep important papers neat and organized with easy storage pockets for homework sheets and more. 20 folders per pack.

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speech therapy homework folders

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SLP Now® Blog

SLP Now® Blog

A blog created for SLPs--by SLPs! Featuring therapy ideas and resources to helps busy SLPs streamline their caseload management.

How to Set Up Working Student Folders for Speech Therapy

Piles of papers stacked on all desks and tables. Therapy materials scattered across the room. A to-do list that’s a mile long.

This unfortunately isn’t an uncommon situation in the life of a school-based SLP.

Sometimes some of that clutter is inevitable, but I absolutely hate it when I can’t find the materials that I need for a session.

I needed a streamlined and efficient way to organize my students’ data and activities.

I tried a number of systems (file folders, binders, portfolios) in attempt to keep track of it all.

The New Student Folder

I was browsing on Amazon for cheap solutions, and I came across these adhesive prongs.

Keeping track of therapy activities, student work, and data is easier said than done! Student folders are a great way to keep track of it all! Learn how to set up and organize your student folders here.

I stick them in regular portfolio folders. They make it so easy to quickly add new pages (and flip through old ones).

Here’s a look at how I assembled the folder:

What Do You Keep in the Folder?

Visuals : I keep sleeve protectors in the folder to store my students’ visuals. This way they always know what they’re working on, and it’s easy to quickly scaffold a new skill.  (I store most of my visuals in my therapy tote , but I use student folders to store visuals that I customized just for the student or visuals that the student created.)

Vocabulary Journals : Vocabulary journals are my favorite! There is so much research on the benefits of vocabulary journals, and the sheets can be easily stored in the folder.

Student Data : Increasing student goal awareness is related to better outcomes. I want to give my students ownership of their data. I include worksheets from my Progress Monitoring Kit .

Therapy Activities : I also stick in any paper activities. It’s nice to have a mini-portfolio to share with parents/teachers at conferences.

Curriculum-Based Therapy : I set up a folder for every student, but I also use it to keep track of activities that teachers share with me.

I keep a two-hole punch by the therapy table. This makes it so that my students and I can quickly add new pages to the folder.

Keeping track of therapy activities, student work, and data is easier said than done! Student folders are a great way to keep track of it all! Learn how to set up and organize your student folders here.

I keep the folders in my therapy cart for easy access.

So there you have it! Do you set up student folders? How do you organize them?

speech therapy homework folders

Tags: Organizing Therapy Materials , Progress Monitoring , Student Engagement , Therapy Plans , Visuals

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Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

Reader Interactions

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December 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

I love this idea. I use the same folders that you use and it is definitely a pain. I’ll be using your idea when we come back from winter break.

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July 11, 2018 at 7:49 am

Hello! I know this isn’t a super recent post but I’m wondering if you print out colored visuals for every student for their working folders? Does this seems a bit expensive/ time consuming for you? Do you think it would make sense for me to instead have a binder of visuals in my therapy cart (love your therapy cart post, btw) to use instead of giving 40+ copies to students individually?

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July 15, 2018 at 7:13 am

Yes! I store the majority of my visuals in my therapy tote and use the student’s folder for “customized” visuals. I updated the post to be a little clearer. 🙂

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January 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm

This is sooooooo helpful. I have a BUNCH of these folders and I stoped using them because they are a pain and TIME consuming. Where is the link for the student articulation folders set up? Thanks a ton!

March 13, 2019 at 9:44 am

Here you are, Natalie! https://blog.slpnow.com/articulation-stickers/

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Speech homework folders

September 6, 2013 in Articulation | Tags: home practice

Frequent practice is the biggest factor (aside from instruction from a speech therapist) which impacts how quickly students progress in articulation therapy. I have tried a variety of practice systems in the past, and am trying a new one this year to see if it helps students and parents to practice at home.


speech therapy homework folders

Speech Homework Folders

Each student will have their own Speech Homework Folder, which will have a page showing their speech goal, some information about the process of articulation therapy, and a homework log for parents to write notes about how practicing went.

I am starting this up by sending home a “Parent Speech/Language Survey” to each family, asking what growth they have noticed over the summer, what they would like their students to achieve this year, and whether they or another adult will be able to practice the homework with their child. I am hoping that this will help parents to “set the tone” for the year, by emphasizing how important it is to practice regularly!

Each week I will send home a page to practice, with instructions for what to do. Ideally each student will practice at home 3-5x during the week, and then the parent will put the page back in the folder and send it back to me. I will check off the homework, and put in another page for the next week.

The parent log page is possibly the most important page in the folder. It gives parents a chance to write notes back to me, saying how the practice went that week. “Great!” “Too hard.” “She didn’t know what to do with her tongue.” “How do I cue this sound?” This feedback will give me a chance to give better directions, adjust the difficulty of the home practice, or connect to trouble-shoot if things are hard. I hope parents will take advantage of the communication! (Of course parents can always call or email me… this is just another, easier way to connect).

speech therapy homework folders

Parent log page

The last page I am including is a brief overview of how articulation therapy works. Students start with their sound(s) in isolation, then move to using the sound in syllables, words, sentences, while reading or telling stories, in conversation with teachers/parents, and finally generalize their skills to other environments. I got the visual from the excellent Mommy Speech Therapy blog , where you can download it for free. There is also a great post describing the process of articulation therapy in detail.

speech therapy homework folders

From Mommy Speech Therapy

I have also decided to implement special incentives this year. I have never done this before, but my students may need some motivation to carry their speech folders to and from school, and bug their parents to keep practicing! For every 10 completed homework pages, the students will earn an invitation to a cupcake party with a friend. I will hold cupcake parties at the end of each semester, for the primary and intermediate grades.

I have a crop of 6th graders who, if they practice this year, will be ready to be done with speech by the spring. I am hoping this will inspire them to rise to the occasion!

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September 12, 2013 at 12:51 am

Sheila Williams

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This is a great explanation. I appreciate being kept in the loop of how I can support my student at home with his speech practice. Thanks for all the hard work you do. I can’t wait to see the progress this year.

September 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

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I am also excited to see the progress this year. It’s going to be fun!

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Speech and Language Homework Folders

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Quick Overview

Help students keep important papers neat and organized with a safe and easy storage solution


20 new themes such as “Sports,” “Mermaids,” “Cats,” “Superheroes,” “Dinosaurs,” “Llamas,” and more. There is a design that each student is guaranteed to adore. Homework Folders help students keep important papers neat and organized, allowing for better storage space.

  • 20 folders per pack
  • Generous 9” x 12” size
  • Two 4” pockets
  • Block for writing student’s name and identifying information
  • “Sticker saver” graph on back
  • Privacy & Security


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