September 30, 2015

Speech/Language Learning Targets

help students understand their speech/language therapy goals and progress

Does your district require you to post student learning goals? Where I work, we follow the Marzano teacher evaluation model, which does require us to post learning goals. With special education, it's a little more tricky to post goals since everything is so individualized. And you know with speech/language students that we have dozens of different therapy goals that we work with.

I have a set of learning targets that I have been using, but needed something portable that I could take with me if I was working in classrooms or hallways, and would also allow me to quickly let students know what they are working on. My district has also talked extensively about using scales with students to give them some insight into how they are doing. Thus, this little flip book was born:

- 88 different learning targets with "I can..." statements
- student rating scales on each card to discuss progress
- blank cards for you to write your own student goals
- full-page blank targets
- tabs to make it easy to flip to the content area you are working on

You can pick up a copy for your own therapy room here. I hope they are useful for you and your students and help you score points during those teacher observations/evaluations!

September 10, 2015

Sticky Note Command Center {free download}

use this free download to help keep your to-do lists organized

Hello friends! By now I'm sure you are all getting into the swing of the new school year, but if you're anything like me you have a million things on your list of things to get done, and random sticky notes posted everywhere! I had so many notes and reminders jotted down that I was actually forgetting things, so I decided to do something about it.

I created a sticky note command center for my desk! Now all my notes are in one spot for each building I work in and hopefully I won't be forgetting any more important things.

You can download your own sticky note command center here. The pages are editable so you can label the boxes to suit your own needs. There are two colorful versions, a grayscale version, and a blank version so you can add your own background to match your room decor. Enjoy!

(Please leave feedback if you download - it helps me know what to keep or change about the materials I create. Thanks!)

September 04, 2015

Using Google Forms to Get Started with Scheduling Therapy

use google forms to get started with the scheduling process

When trying to attack the daunting task of scheduling therapy in the past, I have handed out scheduling forms for teachers to attach their schedule or to write down the times that will absolutely NOT work for me to meet with students from their classroom. This has worked fine, but still resulted in me shuffling through a dozen different teacher responses to figure out how to fit my students into the times available. And you know there are never enough times available.

This year I decided to approach this in a different way at one of my buildings. I created a Google Form for teachers to fill out in which they can select all the times that WILL and WILL NOT work for me to meet with their students. Here's how:

Step 1: Sign into your Google account and go to Google Drive.

Step 2: On the left-hand side of the screen, click "new", then "more", then "Google Forms".

Step 3: Make sure to name your Form at the top, and then you can start adding questions. The "Question Title" is where you type what you want your question to say. This is what will show up on the response spreadsheet (more on that later). I made my first question "Name" so that I would be able to see who each response belonged to.

Step 4: Select the Question Type. Google Forms has a lot of different question types, but for this scheduling form's purpose I chose "Checkboxes" because I wanted teachers to be able to select more than one answer. You can also choose whether or not you want your questions to be required. I used the "Help Text" to provide further instructions ("Please select all times that would work for students to go to therapy.")

Step 5: To add another question, click "Add item". You will go through the same steps as you did to create previous questions. In this case, I created another question that allows teachers to select all times that do NOT work on a specific day of the week.

Step 6: This is optional, but at the bottom of my form I added an additional question using the "Paragraph text" option. This is a space where teachers can type in any other information that might be helpful for me to know.

Step 7: When you've added all the questions you need, you can change the look of the form by clicking "Change theme".

Step 8: When you are ready to send your beautiful form out to all your teachers, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click "Send form". A pop-up box will allow you to copy a link to the form or type in email addresses to send invitations to.

Once people respond to your survey, their answers are automatically compiled into a handy spreadsheet for you to see their responses all in the same place! Now you will be able to have just one form to refer to when attempting to schedule students. (cue heavenly music)

Unfortunately, you're still on your own to put it all into an actual therapy schedule...but at least this is a great starting point! I liked that I wasn't shuffling through a stack of notes and teacher schedules to figure out where to put students on my schedule. So will you try this out? Let me know how it works for you!

If you'd like to watch a more detailed video tutorial, this is a great one on YouTube.

P.S. I also see this being a great tool for creating progress monitoring "quizzes" for students working on vocabulary skills!