This year, I am trying to streamline some caseload management processes into a digital format. What I love about using Google Docs for speech referrals is that you can view and share information digitally. This means fewer piles of paper to organize, and that I can store the info digitally and then can print out the referral information if needed.
Why I love using google docs for speech referrals
There are some tasks for which I prefer to use pen and paper, but sing Google Docs for speech referrals is one tool I am very glad to have in my belt. Here are a few reasons why I love using Google Docs:
Once you’ve created your Google Doc with your speech referral process, you can email it to your entire staff with one quick click!
Sometimes my staff need a reminder about my process. Instead of writing out new emails with the same answers, I have been able to automate this process. I can just re-send the referral process to teachers.
I have fewer piles of paper. I can store information digitally and print referrals only when I need to (or not at all)!
I can access the information at no matter where I am. If I need to access the information to help me plan for the week, I always can.
Teachers can send me their referrals for students using Google Forms. They can easily check off sound errors and answer questions about their student’s communication.
I have a paper trail for when someone sent me a referral. I don’t have to worry about losing the referral form because it is all digitally stored.
How to access and use my Google Docs for speech referrals
One of the great features of google docs and forms is that you can share them with people! So, you can access the google docs and forms that I have already created.
This will show in view only, so you’ll need to save it to your drive first. To do this, go to File –> Make a Copy –> then save it to your drive! This will allow you to edit the file as you need for your own caseload.
If you hit request access, it will send me an email and I will not be able to respond to requests. If you follow the method above, you will get access and be able to edit for your own use.
Have you made any speech therapy Google Doc forms? I would love to add some digital forms and docs to my stash. It’s saved me so much time and helps me communicate effectively while completing all my necessary tasks.
I know many SLP’s don’t get a large budget with their employers. Most SLP’s rely on their on pocket books to access new materials. When I first started out in the schools as a newbie SLP there were minimal therapy resources available to me. I wish I had Pinterest, SLP blogs and TPT at my side during that rough first go of things.
There were days that I felt like I was on a stranded island trying to figure out how to make whatever debris floated on shore into a therapy material! Today, I am going to share tips and deals for utilizing your lamination supply well (Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience).
A Quick Tip For How To Spend Your School Supply Money
A tip from an SLP friend shared that if you get a personal school budget (I get about $200) to spend that money on consumables such as: card stock paper, laminator pouches, pens, etc. With your personal budget, you can acquire cool therapy resources that you can take with you if your assignment changes or you move job settings. I love this idea! Also, whenever possible, I try to utilize my school laminator for therapy materials.
Tips For Choosing What To Laminate
This past year, I stopped laminating everything. In a perfect world, all of my visuals and resources would be laminated, but I don’t always have time. When you purchase a resource that may need lamination, you can ask yourself these questions:
“Can I use it on my ipad and not print at all?”- maybe you just need the visuals and don’t need to print the resource out to laminate. Time saved.
“Is it something I am going to use a lot and need it laminated for durability?”- My Visual Sentence Frames I chose to laminate because I use them almost every session and I plan on using them for years to come.
“Can I print the resource and protect it with a plastic sleeve or just accept if they don’t stay perfect?”- Some resources may only be for a short theme or season. I found that some resources I bought really don’t need to be laminated and still stay in good condition. Also, I may not use the resource again next year, so I don’t want to spend extra time prepping something that I may not use again that was for a specific student.
Best Deals For Card Stock
I buy all of my card stock on Amazon Prime. It is the best deal and I don’t have to leave the house. I buy Neenah Astrobrights white cardstock in a three pack at the beginning of the year because when you buy it in bulk, it comes out under $6 a ream. They also have them in single reams for 250 sheets. I tend to print resources on card stock to help it with durability. If I am creating a file folder activity, or putting visuals on the wall, then I just print on regular paper.
Best Deals For Laminator Pouches
Sam’s Club has an awesome deal for 200 3mil pouches for $20.68.
I bought a scotch thermal laminator a few years ago because it was under $20 at the time. Now, it isn’t the best deal, LOL.
Amazon Basics has a thermal laminator that is under $20 and is a best seller.
Swingline has a laminator on Amazon for just over $20.
Apache has a laminator for a little over $20 and it comes with 20 laminating pouches!
Best Deals On Paper Cutters
When I was prepping my interactive articulation flipbooks over the summer, I enlisted my husband to help me with prepping them. He totally jumped in and starting cutting out flipbook pages. A few minutes in, he got up and said “I don’t know how you have been prepping materials with just scissors. I am buying you a paper cutter!” And that is how I got my husband to buy me a Swingline paper cutter, LOL. It is under $30 and I love having mine at home or in my speech room. My room is waaaayyy out yonder and to get to the supply room is a nice walk. I also found this Fiskars Recycled Bypass Trimmer for $15 on amazon that looks like a good deal.
Best Velcro Dots
Last year, I didn’t read the fine print and bought Velcro dots from some place in China. It was a steal of a deal, but all the dots came individually wrapped, so I had to unwrap each one. I was ticked! Since then, I found Velcro dots that I like to use when I need to make a resource interactive. Vkey sells 250 and 500 velcro pairs of dots that make it much easier to make communication and interactive books.
Can you tell I love Amazon Prime!? It has been a very convenient and cost effective way to snag lamination supplies. Where do you purchase lamination supplies? Have you found any deals? I would love to know about them!!
Speech therapists are BUSY. We have caseloads with 55 children or MORE, do assessments, bill medi-cal, write reports, collaborate with teachers, create visual supports for students, hold IEP meetings, plan therapy and work with groups all day. Organizing speech materials seems to be the last thing on our list of priorities. In order to get everything else completed, we put organizing speech materials on the back burner.
I loved this quote from Christina Scalise (found it thanks to google. I have no idea who she is lol) “Organization isn’t about perfection. It’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time & money & improving your overall quality of life.”
Figuring out easy organizational systems for your materials will help with easier planning for therapy, make your room look orderly and will make cleaning up easier. This means you will feel less overwhelm and will have some extra time to focus on the BIG task items. Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience.
Organizing Speech Materials- Give yourself a clutter paper place
Total confession- One way that I keep things clutter free is I have a “clutter paper place”. When it is a busy month, I know that I can stack all those papers that I am not sure if I want to throw them away in one place and deal with them when I have time. This helps me to keep my desk clear when I don’t always have time to sort through everything.
Organizing Speech Materials- Use Your Wall Space
The secret to organizing speech materials is all about finding a functional place. I am more of a type B+ SLP. This basically means that I do strive to be organized, but also accept the organized chaos that happens in my speech room during the busy times of the year.
Hang your materials on your wall with thumb tacks and binder rings. Got task cards or my interactive articulation flipbooks? Attach your materials with binder rings and you can hang all over your room! If you want more ideas for FUNctional decor & organization, check out my post about it HERE.
Have a supplies basket in reach of your speech table. I fill my basket with all the supplies I may need on the fly for lessons, so I keep behavior visuals, timers, dry erase markers, etc. in my basket, so I am never without my supplies. I clean it up after each group and access it as necessary. Dollar store has some great bins!
Use those file folder boxes to organize your seasonal and skill based materials. I like to use this box to organize all of my craft templates for the year.
I love finding containers like this poly zip file that can keep all my similar things in one spot in different pouches. That way I can shove it all in there and can store it easily. This storage container has all of my AAC Low Tech Communication Tools and it keeps all the small visuals in one place.
Hang frequently used visuals or resources on magnetic hooks. The sides of your metal cabinets work perfectly! When I can see my materials that I use often, it is easier for me to remember to use them lol. These are my visual sentence starters that I use with all of my speech and language groups. I have a metal cabinet right near my therapy table, so I can grab these whenever I need them for a student!
I put all of my TPT resources in plastic bags or zip pouches. Then I store them in larger bins when I am not using them. So, every couple of months, I will look through my big bins and put the seasonal or skilled resources that I need for the upcoming months in my file folder crate that I keep near my therapy table. I use binder clips and washi tape to label the different files.
All of my themed resources that I either create or buy on TPT are placed all in one plastic container. I try to even fit the themed books that I like to use with the theme, so I can grab it and use everything in it. This way materials don’t get misplaced and I know in a pitch, I can grab that container and it will have enough materials to cover me for those days when I don’t have time to plan.
Have a quick organizational tip to share?
If you have a fabulous SLP hack or tip to make the #speechlife a little easier, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to feature more “quick tips” from school based SLPs on the blog.
I love doing whole group lessons with my language kiddos you can cover a lot of language skills. Lately, I have been using non-fiction text and articles to target vocabulary, inferencing, grammar, answering wh-questions and citing evidence. The therapy is more engaging when everyone is discussing the same topic, but it can be difficult to take data during the session. Usually each student only answer 1-2 questions independently, which doesn’t give me very accurate data because if they miss one question, then they are only 50% accurate. One of my great SLP friends gave me her little tip about taking group data and I have been using it ever since!
When I want to progress monitor my students, I grab one article or passage and photo copy it. I also photo copy the questions and answer choices (used Spotlight on Reading & Listening Comprehension: Understanding Everday Information) or have the questions prepared ahead of time that I will read out loud to the students. I put file folders up, so people can’t see each others answers and have them write their answers on scratch paper. This time I had them read the passage to themselves and answer the multiple choice questions. I wanted to see how they do independently as this is how it is in the classroom setting. Then, I either review the answers or grade them at a later time, so I can move onto another activity!
That activity took my two language groups about 10-15 minutes to complete and I got some great data from each student! We had time to play my “inference challenge” game, which I was to get even more data!! Oh yeah!
In previous weeks, we were working on making “inferences” and citing the evidence to back up our “smart guess”. Last week, we did an “inferencing challenge” where the winner got two sour punch straws! Everyone got one for trying their best.
I used task cards from Rachel Lynette’s TPT store which had awesome inferencing passages. The students could get a point for answering the inference question and another point for citing the evidence. This way I could award a point if they got part of the answer correct. I had each student write down the answers and then share with the group before I revealed the correct answer. The kids loved the competition aspect, I got better performance from the group and I took data for each student without it being influenced by other people’s participation.
How do you take data with your upper elementary and middle school language groups?