October 21, 2012

Data Keeping

One of the things I really struggled with last year, which was my first year working as a school speech pathologist, was organizing my student data. My caseload had quadrupled compared to what it was at my previous job (at a private pediatric outpatient clinic), and the world of IEPs, quarterly progress reports, and parent-teacher conferences was all new to me. My method of data-tracking has evolved many times throughout the past few years.

At the pediatric clinic, we had to write daily SOAP notes, so I kept track of all my data for each patient's session each day all on one notepad. After I was done writing my SOAP notes, I shredded each paper. This method carried over into my first month in the school setting last year. It didn't last long:

I don't recommend this.
*Names are fictional*

Suffice to say, it was a bit chaotic, unorganized, and messy for the school setting. I had to keep track of all my papers, then sort through them in order to make progress notes, or to look up a student's progress in order to complete IEPs, etc.

2) So I moved on to using the Log of Services page that was in the online IEP program my school district used. Each student had their own form to track data on, but a new form needed to be started each month. I quickly got sick of filling out new forms for my students each month and again having multiple sheets to keep track of for each student.

3) Finally I designed my own data form:

At the top of the sheet is room to write the student's goals they are working on. And at the bottom I write the times their sessions are scheduled. Each morning, I pull out the forms for all the students I will see that day, in the order I will see them. I keep the rest of my forms inside my clipboard.

In the state I work in, we are required to graph student data on the web IEP system at least every two weeks. I can quickly glance at a student's data sheet at the end of every week or two and enter in their current data.

I love this system. It works great for me. All my data for one student is in one place. I can quickly plan ahead for the next session by writing activities on the next line, and each sheet holds many weeks' worth of data. I usually only need two sheets for a whole year for one student.

This is what works for me, it may not be best for you. But if you are interested, you can download a copy of my data sheet here. Hope you find it helpful :)

Leave a Comment: What are your helpful hints for tracking student data?

October 16, 2012

Online Interactive Story Starters

I was reading a newsletter from Scholastic today and they had a link to their new online Story Starters. I checked them out and they are fantastic! A quick interactive online game to use for targeting story telling, conversation starters, sentence formation, fluency, and generalizing articulation skills.

Students get to choose the theme they want to have: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Scrambled. You also get to select the grade level of your students. Then (this is the fun part) students get to "spin" the wheels to come up with the elements of their story.

If there is an element that you want to change, you can then spin the wheel and change just that part of the story starter. Then, the student needs to complete what the prompt says. In my example, I needed to write a one-sentence postcard about a dark bird who goes on a safari. Students can also choose to draw a picture to complete their creation!  

**Disclaimer: I am not an artist!
After they are finished, the creation can be printed (great to show parents what we worked on!) or downloaded.

My only complaint is I wish the wheels had pictures and words on them instead of just words because I work with preschool and early elementary students and lots of them still need those visual supports. But I love that students get the chance to create their own picture at the end!

What an awesome and {{FREE}} resource! I can't wait to use it with my students tomorrow.

Leave a Comment: What are some of your favorite online resources for your students?

October 10, 2012

Yes/No Monsters

Fun MONSTER cards to practice Yes/No questions

The other day I was working with a student on yes/no questions, and could just NOT think of any good questions off the top of my head! So I decided my first attempt at creating my own therapy materials would be a set of yes/no question cards.

I found these graphics from Cupcake Cutiees on mygrafico.com and decided to give this card set a monster theme for the current season. These monsters are seriously adorable!

This set includes 24 question cards, and a playing mat with the yes/no answers.

There are many ways to use the cards. I have held them up so my students can't see them and they simply "pick a card, any card". Sometimes that element of being able to choose what's next, or the suspense of not knowing what card they will get is all it takes for students to be motivated to participate. The second page of the pdf can be used as a mat where students can place the cards on the correct answer.
The yes/no cards can also be cut apart and the student holds up the correct answer, or the cards can be glued to popsicle sticks. My students had a lot of fun and really got into the game when they were raising yes/no popsicle sticks.

These questions are appropriate and straight-forward enough for my Preschool and Kindergarten students who are working on answering questions. You can download your FREE copy of this activity here. Please leave me a comment or become a follower if you download! Enjoy!

October 09, 2012

Look What I Made!

I adore decorating my door for the seasons. Thanks (again) to Pinterest, here's what I came up with for the month of October...

Love it!

October 04, 2012

We All Fit Together

It has been such a busy couple of weeks collecting baseline data on my students, attending new staff trainings, organizing files, and completing the SIX speech referrals I have already had this year, that I haven't had much time to put together a post about my getting-to-know-you activity I did with my speech students this year.

Pinterest is so inspiring. I found so many great activity ideas to use to get to know my students that I had a tough time narrowing it down to just one or two that would be quick. Most of my sessions are 15-20 minutes this year, and I didn't want to spend a whole session just completing one getting-to-know-you activity.

When I saw this idea I decided puzzles was the theme I wanted to go with, and then I found this download on Sub Hub and knew it would work perfectly.
I photocopied the puzzle piece onto coordinating colors, and let students pick the color they wanted their piece to be. Then I asked students to color a picture of themselves doing one of their favorite activities. While they were coloring, I talked about what is expected of them in the speech room and discussed their speech goals so they would understand why they come to speech - it's not just about playing games! ;)

I was floored by their creativity! I work with Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade students, and I absolutely loved the adorable drawings they made. Some of my faves:

To save time, I cut out the puzzle pieces after school and taped them together into a giant puzzle.

When my students came to their next session they were excited to find where their piece was located in the puzzle. I also used my cricut and cut out puzzle-shaped letters for the sign "we all fit together". I love how the colors pop against the black cardstock, and love how the whole thing came together.

Leave a Comment: How do you get to know your students?