Jenna over at Speech Room News has set up another linky party for this month, and the topic is organization! This is one of my FAVORITE topics! I love organizing things, so I’m excited to share with you some ways that I stay organized.
1) Manila File Folders: School SLPs have lots of papers to file, and sometimes those file cabinets can get a little hectic. One area in your file cabinet that is easy to organize are you articulation worksheets. I have several manila folders full of copies of articulation worksheets so that I can grab them for drill practice, or grab them to send them home as homework with the kids. Each green hanging file folder is a phoneme. Within that file folder, I have separate manila file folders for initial, medial, and final positions of words and sentences. Here’s the trick: You know how manila folders come with the tab either on the left, middle, or right of the folder? I pick the manila folder that matches the word position of the target phoneme! For example, in my /s/ folder, I have initial /s/ words, so I used a manila folder with the tab on the left. This way, it’s easy to find what word position you’re looking for within the hanging file folder. Plus, it just looks pretty, and that’s always a bonus! Nefty, huh?!
2) Speech Binders: I know it’s all a matter of preference how you organize your papers for each student. Some SLPs like folders, others swear by binders. I happen to be in the binder group. I love having easy access to all of my students’ information in easy-to-grab binders. To organize the binder, I use binder dividers with pockets. You can find them at nearly any office supply store, but I use these from Walmart. I use the back side of one divider and the front side of the following divider, so that when I open the binder to a child’s name, everything I have on them is right in front of me. These dividers eliminate the need for three-hole punching (thus saving time), and all of the papers are protected, so they stay looking nice. I use one pocket for data sheets and worksheets that we are currently using in therapy. The other pocket is for anything else (ie: returned homework, letters to be sent home, etc).
3) Data sheets: Having an organized, easy-to-use data sheet for each student is critical if you want to stay organized! I have created my own data sheet that I’ve found works for most students that I see. Read my post about it here for more information. You can access of copy of my data sheet here. Because it is a word document, it is editable, so you can easily add other important info for each student (ie: DOB, IEP date, Grade, Teacher, etc).
4) A Planner: This is also a very personal thing. Some people like a paper planner, others like to use technology (ie: phone, iPad, computer) for planners, and some like to use both. I personally love using iCalendar on my Mac laptop, because it’s so easy to use. I can color code events (ie: separate schools, meetings, to do, personal, etc). I can also create a repeating event for appointments that happen every week, such as Special Ed Team Meeting. Finally, it’s so EASY to make changes! Have to reschedule an IEP? No problem, simply drag and click the appointment to the new time slot. I don’t have to erase and rewrite my appointments a thousand times!
Until next time,