Data Tracking Dilemma

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This year will be my fifth year as an SLP.  I would like to say at this time that I have data tracking mastered. However, I can't seem to find "something" that works consistently. I am not sure that "thing" exists. Tracking data is an imperfect and ever evolving task!

What have I tried so far?
  • I have tried Super Duper Inc.'s data tracking app. It took a LONG time to input all students goals. Then to keep them updated after every IEP was a nightmare. 
  • I have also tried creating an excel sheet with groups. It worked for a while, but I grew tired of having my computer open during groups. 
  • I don't think I can even count how many different paper forms I have tried! I think I probably adjust my form about three times a year, maybe more. I end up getting inspired by a new form I find and then try it out for a while. 

 What works for me?
  • This last year I set a goal for myself to at least track the student's number of sessions to ensure I was meeting their IEP times.  This was the reason I created the Attendance Calendar (free!) I have the students circle that they are present in speech. 
  • I also created a log for myself that stated that they were in attendance, if not the reason why. I circled the goals we worked on and a note about what we did that session (e.g. artic drill, board game for vocab, etc.) 

Where I have trouble? (Admitting your weaknesses makes you stronger right?)
  •  I couldn't finding a place to track the actual trials, data, notes, levels of prompting, behavioral notes. As well as attendance and things got messy.
  • I had kept all my logs in each students folder, and I found myself with piles and piles of folders in front of me. At the end of the day it was daunting just to look at!
  • I like things streamlined...this was NOT streamlined. It wasn't easy to take data either and I ended up making things harder for myself.

What am I going to do about it?

  •  I got inspired by the lovely Ms. Thrifty SLP She shared her log with me. Which I loved! However it was still in paper form and wasn't working for me
  • Another SLP on the Facebook SLP group said she uses 2X4 shipping labels to take data.
  •  I married the two, I created a form using my old form, some of Ms. Thrifty's form, and 2x4 shipping labels and now I want to give it to you!!! 

  1.  Buy Avery White Shipping Labels in 2x4 (#18163) I found mine at WalMart. I only bought a few to start to see how I like it! 
  2. If you want to make your own version download the Avery Template here.
  3. If you want to use my pre-made labels download that here (note the preview will not show what it actually looks like, download it!) 
  4. Make a place to stick the labels, I used the same Avery template but deleted a few boxes to include a place for the student's name etc.  Download my version here or a new one with room for goals here
  5. Print and GO! 

  1. Grab a clipboard. 
  2. Keep a big stack of the labels on it. 
  3. I plan to fill out most of the info that I can. This way I have less work to do. If you make your own you can fill out the year, school. You can even make pages for groups and preload the students names on them!
  4. Take data during the group.
  5. When done with the session or at the end of the day take the stickers and SLAP (haha) them onto the students data sheet! DONE! I cannot wait to try this system out!
Would love to hear how it works for you, or feel free to share other ways you track your data!

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No working from home.....whoops

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Confession time! I brought work home!! NOooooOOoooo!

I work at a school where "No Excuses" is our policy...

BUT....I really did have to bring some work home. The wildfires of San Diego meant that school was closed for 2 days, and thus I got behind. I am not far enough ahead in my days yet. Which leads me to my next point...I will do better the next time around!

 Sometimes we are not going to succeed. The point is I tried. Even better, I did pretty well! Since April I have only completed 2 reports/IEPs from home. For me that's a huge improvement. While I was not at the level of 0% work from home. I am not sure that's even possible as if I am not working from home I am then staying late (not good either). I am not going to give up trying to keep work at work. I am also going to carefully look at my year next year, make a better schedule and tell people when I need help!

I am also a happier person when I don't focus so much on the SLP side of myself.

Again I think the most important part is BALANCE.
 Ain't that the truth!? 

I thrive on stress, but that doesn't mean I should. I have a hard time with quiet, sitting still and waiting. I had a teacher with me the other morning, waiting for a parent. She observed me whirling and swirling around my office getting things done and she actually said aloud, "Woah! You are busy!" Uh-oh am I that bad!?

I need to learn to slow down, think and plan better. If I don't I fear I will burn-out. My goal in the coming year is to really stop, plan and ask for help when needed. If I slow down, I might actually be more productive and happier. Not everything is an emergency.

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10 Things I Want To Do This Summer!

Sunday, May 25, 2014 

This link-up randomly popped up in my facebook feed today! Decided it was the perfect blog post for this weekend! Thanks Mrs. Jump's Class!

My top ten list in no particular order

1. Spend more time with this little love! We got our new puppy in December, so I had some time to spoil her rotten! However, I have not had as much time to walk her and train her as I would like. This summer it will be puppy time!
Bindi and her dragon. Too cute.
2. Spend more time with my husband! We are newlyweds after all! We will be headed to Las Vegas for a friend's wedding this summer and it happens to be the same weekend as our 1 year anniversary! Can't believe it will have been one year since this glorious day....could not have been more perfect....
3.  Go to Pilates! A good friend of my suggested I go to reformer Pilates with her, I was a bit skeptical about my enjoyment of something with a strange machine...however I LOVE it! The problem has been finding the time to go. This is one of the reasons I started my vow to bring as little work home as possible so I could start taking better care of myself!

4. COOK! Okay, I have to admit I am horrible at planning what to eat during the week. I even made a cute menu board! haha the funny thing is it just hangs there empty. So we result to eating something easy or we go out, which is not always the healthiest thing to do!
Mine looks like this, isn't pinterest awesome!?

5.  Crochet. I am a serial crafter. I skip around various crafts. Right now my favorite pastime is crocheting! It has stuck around for a quite a while because it's easy to do while watching tv! Here is my summer project.
The inspiration from pinterest.
I am using only jewel tones and so far I am loving it!
6. Wish my amazing parents a happy retirement in person! My dad is retiring from Lockheed Martin after almost exactly 33 years to the day! My mom is retiring from Clement Preschool after gosh I think like 14 or 15 years? Maybe longer? She has been a preschool teacher for at least 20 years! They both retire this June! I cannot wait to go visit them!
Easter with my parents, sister and I in our front yard. My dad made that arbor! 

7.  Enjoy the beach! This is the beach that is 3 miles away from my house! Right now the "May Gray" and "June Gloom" are hanging around, I cannot wait for the sun to come back out of the marine layer!

8.  Spend some time creating TpT products! It's been too long since i Have made something new. My long list of ideas and my hoard of clipart continues to grow. 
9. Clean up the "wedding room". We have a spare room that has become the dumping grounds for all miscellaneous junk, along with wedding decorations and such. It's a mess up there!! 

10. Read a book and relax. 

What are you doing this summer!? Link-up with Mrs. Jump's Class!

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S...Peachy Feedback!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Speachy feedback time!!
I have never gotten around to doing this! Never to late to start!
I want to make sure you all know how much I appreciate all of you and the feedback you leave!
I am linking up the Allison's Speech Peeps and honoring one lucky feedback giver!
Thanks Val. O for the great feedback!
 I have used Structured Sentence Building the most with my preschoolers as well.  I love being able to complete the page in therapy and then send it home!
 I have more pages that will be added this summer! I can't wait to have more time to add to it and make more! The students really like them and I am glad that you are finding them enjoyable too!

email me with a product of your choice from my store!

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Day ??? of the no taking work home "vow"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Time goes by way to fast these days! I have held fast to my no taking work home "vow". It hasn't been easy....but here is how I have survived.

1. Lists (but not long ones) are my new best friend. I used to make LONG to-do lists. I ended up getting down on myself because it felt never ending.  One of those moments where you throw your hands in the air and say "I GIVE UP", but with no lists I was lost.
Now I make a short to-do list for that day. That's it. Short sweet and to the point. I try to get my little list done by the time I go home. I also numbered all the students I have due for assessments and get them done one at a time. I did all the testing first, now to get all the writing done. I also have a to-do sticky on the front of each file I am working on that says what I have left to do (e.g. CELF-4, report, IEP, meeting notice and so on). That way I can quickly reference what I have left to do! 

2. Changing my mindset. I can be a real Negative Nancy. Dwelling on all the work, how overwhelming it all is, the never endings lists. Negative, negative, negative. I lost sight of why I love my job! So I try to find more positive things about my day, even if they are small, like remembering to do my medical before I leave or copying that IEP that has been staring at me for 2 days.
I may just need to buy this poster for my office. Find it here
3. Staying a little bit late, sometimes. Now I am talking 15 or 20 minutes if it means not taking that IEP home. I don't encourage this behavior, but it really helped me keep work and home completely separated. Just don't do this....
property of
4. Think about your schedule! Thinking this year is bad? What could I do better next year to improve this situation? If you are really swamped think about your options right now! Are there some groups you could make a little bit bigger to give you more report writing time? Think about your time management skills, am I getting enough done during my prep time or am I talking to much? Maybe I should close my therapy door and do some work! Honestly sometimes you just have to be a little antisocial and then you can apologize later! Thank goodness for my awesome coworkers for understanding! Here are more tips:
Not my property. Find this image here
Lastly always remember this about yourself, no matter what...
I do not own this image, nor do I claim to. It can be found here

15 more days of work for the school year and more tips to come soon!

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Happy To Be An SLP Blog Hop

Monday, May 12, 2014

I am happy to be an SLP! Are you? 
BIG shout out to Felice Clark for inviting me to participate in this blog hop for Better Speech and Hearing Month!

If you are a busy SLP like me, it can be difficult to navigate all the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) that exists for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  It's like a sea of information on the internet. How do you find anything? 

Don't you wish you just had one worksheet to reference all the different EBP?  Well I found one!  I attended a training sponsored by the Diagnostic Center in our state.  They introduced us to a great website.

The following table is not my property, but is publicly posted information published by the following authors: 
Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. Cox, A. W., Fettig, A., Kucharczyk, S., … Schultz, T. R. (2013). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Autism Evidence-Based Practice Review Group.

 Click to download-->  View 2014 EBP Report [DOWNLOAD and find page 23 to view the table]
The graphic can be found on page 23 of the downloadable pdf.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the Diagnostic Centers of California or The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. I take no credit for creating the posted table. I do not own it, but published it with citations as allowed. 
Why do I love this graphic? 
You pick an area at the top that you are focusing on in therapy (e.g. communication), find the age range of your student (e.g. 6-14), and then see if the type of therapy you are doing has EBP to back it up (e.g. video modeling). EASY! Talk about a time saver! 

Not sure what all the acronyms mean? Want more facts? 
The main report (if you downloaded it above) has all the fact sheets within the 114 page report OR you can click here to see them individually (my preferred way, it's faster)--> View EBP Fact Sheets

The fact sheets are amazing and totally FREE!  They include a brief overview of the type of intervention, outcomes, age ranges and a long list of evidence behind it.  You will find you are conducting a lot more EBP than you thought just by reviewing these fact sheets.  I have been using video modeling and had no idea how much research there was actually behind it.  I can rest easy knowing I am using best practice for SLPs!  Hooray! 

Hope you learned something about EBP for ASD today. Thanks for stopping by!

Happy Blog Hopping! Good Luck!

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{Day 1} Living a more balanced life, or so I hope.

Monday, April 28, 2014

If it hasn't been obvious, I have been less active on the blog and creating Teachers Pay Teachers products. For a while I couldn't quite figure out why. I felt a creative block and to be honest a little over being an "SLP" all the time (read my last post!). Anyone else feel this way?

I realized I can't do or be it all.  I was told by my doctor to try to live a more balanced life! 
It's funny because I hadn't realized how caught up I was in working. Lugging my rolling cart (yes, I bought a dreaded rolling cart!) to and from work was my new ritual. Sad. I am an overachiever at heart. If I could work every hour of the day assessing, writing reports and lesson plans I would. I want to be the best and I want to be perfect. Uh-oh.

Can I get an amen!?
BUT.... a really BIG of April 11th I have not done a single bit of work from home.  Two blissful weeks of Spring Break breezed passed by! Each day I became more of my old self.  I brought out my yarn, gardened, played with my puppy, reconnected with my husband. It was fantastic! Oh the perks of working for the schools!

As going back to school approached, the panic crept it's way back into my brain. I kept thinking of all the looming IEPs, progress reports, DRDPs and assessments.  My calendar for May has more IEPs than actual work days and the number just keeps rising. Here is the part where I start getting caught up in the twisted thinking, "There are so many! How will it ever get done? I don't think I can do that many!? HELP!"

Then I took a breath and thought about this....

Today is Day 1 back at work. I have 31 more days of the school year. I only have my student teacher for 3 more days, so I had no choice but to "WORK IT GIRL!"

No more of this....

I was a MACHINE.  I decided to tackle and complete a few small things on my list. Starting with the things that were most important and due first.

What I did today: All meeting notices for the rest of the year were completed, printed in English and Spanish, stuffed in envelopes (1 for teacher, 1 for parent and 1 for my records) and then sent out. I wrote 5 IEPs (minus the goals and notes). I also assessed 1 preschooler and filled out my student teacher's final evaluation. Oh and I ate lunch too!

Day 1 was a success, I came home with an empty rolling cart!  I am not saying that I will be able to keep up this pace, but I am going to try. I am still doing my job to the best of my ability, but I am not willing to let it take over my life anymore. I am hoping on keeping you updated on my progress to living a more balanced life as Rachel the SLP and the person!

I do not own these photos, I found them all on Pinterest.

Happy Monday!

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