Welcome to the kickoff month of “Frenzied SLPs” FB page: a place where some of your faviorite SLP bloggers will collectively attempt to make life easier for you, the frenzied SLP! 😉
Allow me to introduce myself for those who are new to my blog. My name is Maria and I am a wife and mother, who began this blog over two years ago, during a time of great transition from serving in the school setting to opening my own private practice (my dream come true!). As a military wife, I have moved around often and worked in several states across the US. I’ve worked with elementary, middle and high school students for several years but my “bread and butter” so to speak is working with “the little guys”. I love birth-5 years of age! In addition to this blog and website, I currently write a column on ASHAsphere, ASHA’s blog, titled Kid Confidential, where I discuss all things related to child development.
Let me share a few things about my personal life. My motto right now is “roll with it” as 2014 has brought a number of BIG transitions for my family. At the end of September we welcomed our second child, a week early. Oh how both of my sons fill me with joy! After 20 years, my husband retired from the military which of course left us with another transition: leaving military life and finding a new job for my husband while moving to what may be our “forever home”… possibly? In fact by the time this blog post is published we may STILL be in transition! It’s hard to fathom living in ONE place for good, but I suppose we shall see what the future holds for us. This move of course also means moving my business to a new state and starting from scratch building a client base. Oh brother! I think baby #2 came at a great time in my life, as I’ve been in mommy bliss for a few months taking some time off from work. With all of these changes, taking time off has worked out well for us.
Whew, that was a lot of personal information, but now you know where I’m coming from as an SLP, wife and mother and why being organized is a MUST in my life. Today I’m going to share with you my simple system of lesson planning and data collection.
Below is an example of what my lesson plans look like. (Note: this picture was first posted on my original blog website as observed by the address at the bottom of this picture.) I simply create a table in a word document with four columns: student name, goals, lesson/activity, data. That’s right folks, I take data right on that lesson planning sheet. I like to keep my students paired together by session rather than by grade or age. This way I can take data for each student in the current session easily without having to flip through pages to find each on. When working in the schools, each district’s rules and regulations regarding data were different. In some districts, simply keeping my lesson plans was enough. In other districts, I had to then transfer my data from this sheet to a district specific form for each student. However, when working in several schools, I did not have the luxury of having an office in each school so I had to keep all my student files in the one school I was granted an office. Therefore, keeping data on my lesson plans, no matter which school I was in and transferring later, was more efficient than trying to lug 20-30 student files with me from one school to the next.
Transferring this system to Private Practice:
I still use this same system in my private practice. The biggest difference is rather than putting several clients on one sheet of paper, I have one sheet of paper for each client. As I see clients one-on-one, I simply take the lesson plan out of their folders when I see them, take data and type it quickly into my SOAP notes at the end of each session. Again, I have found this system works well for me as sometimes I change activities or target different goals last minute depending on a number of factors: client interest/motivation, parental request, client stimulability, new skills observed, etc.
So that’s it! This is my simple system for keeping my lessons and data organized for each student while ensuring I’m working on all goals throughout the school year.
I hope you are enjoying our “Frenzied SLPs” FB page. Stay tuned for more great tips from other bloggers this month!