Thursday, September 18, 2014

Yes, Siri! Voice to Text makes Therapy Note Documentation a Smooth Experience!

Many of you have newer iPhones.  I have an iPad Air.  I have shaved valuable time off of my therapy session documentation by dictating my notes into the iPad.  My colleagues who have iPhones do the same. 
Similar to my own writing :(

Handwriting is going by the wayside!  I have terrible handwriting, but when I type or dictate, my notes are detailed and organized (and Medicaid compliant).



How do we set up notes for dication?  First, make sure Siri is enabled on your iPad or iPhone.

1.  Create Google forms for each student. Google forms can have specific questions geared to your students' IEPs. I also have a place on each form for a synopsis of the therapy session.  Tutorial for this is here.

2.  Add the child's Google form to your home screen on your iPhone or iPad. Keep in mind that you need to have an Apple gadget that is more recent than an iPad 1 or 2.  A tutorial for adding the Google form to the home screen is here.

3.  Then dictate your notes!  When you open the form, touch a cell.  The keyboard will open, and you will see a microphone icon in the bottom row.  Touch that, and talk......slowly. 




Play with it, and find the lingo that Siri will recognize (although I'm totally amazed at how well Siri recognizes what I say).  Complicated names are hard, so you will want to proofread and edit a bit.  It's faster than handwriting, and looks great on a spreadsheet.  I use it a lot....with my door closed.  When people walk by my room, they may think I've lost it when they see I'm talking to my iPad.

Perhaps it seems like a lot of work frontloaded?  I find that this saves so much time in the long run that the time is well spent.  

I want to thank my Chapel Hill colleagues who enlightened me about Siri and voice-to-text dictation.




I'm sure there is something similar for Android devices.  This will be a later blog topic.


Monday, September 15, 2014

My Feelings Book---translated into Indonesian

I realize that my readers probably have no use for a book translated into Indonesian; however, did you realize that 1 out of every 30 people in the world live in Indonesia?  It's the 4th most populous country in the world. 

When we visited there this past summer, we stumbled upon a school in Bali for handicapped children.  Keep in mind that public schools in Indonesia do not offer special education---so this school is private, and seems to be funded by kind folks who are Dutch.  I totally loved the school, and the short visit.  Kids are kids--same everywhere in most ways, and I saw my American kid friends in the faces of these Indonesian children. 
During my short visit, it seemed to me that the kids could use some simple adapted books in Indonesian, so my wonderful daughter (living in Indonesia volunteering for the Peace Corps) translated the feelings book I had found on Boardmaker Share.  Here it is.  Most of you won't need it, but I'm hoping that this finds its way to that little school in Bali. 




Click here to download the Indonesian feelings book in pdf


Click here to download the Indonesian feelings book in Boardmaker.



Child selects which icons make him feel happy, sad, or mad.  
Original book in English


Go here for the original feelings book in English.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Inclusion thoughts

On the subject of inclusion, sometimes I feel, unfortunately, that our state/school system/school  backpedals.



With every new testing mandate, or demand for teacher/school accountability, rumblings occur that possibly some children shouldn't be included in regular education classrooms. (The thinking is the school/class test scores go down, teachers can't meet all the needs, and kids with disabilities can't complete the work the same as typical children.) It doesn't seem to matter to some that research points to improvements in literacy, behavior, social skills and communication skills when children with disabilities are included with typical peer role models. The thought at the moment seems to focus on class proficiency, test scores, mClass, Common Core, reading groups, 'showing your thinking', writing personal narratives, and myriad other typical tasks that fill a day. The child with a disability is pointed out, and blamed, at least in thought, for the cause of a classroom/school problem.  I say this is total nonsense---and antiquated thinking.

I will continue to be a staunch advocate leaning towards the side of inclusion each and every day. Inclusion is win-win.  A child with a disability wins, and the typical peers win.  I can't even begin to describe how my own children were influenced in a positive way by being a part of inclusive classrooms, joining lunch bunches, being in cooperative learning groups, and playing at recess with children of all abilities.  Out of school, they joined play dates, birthday parties, and girl scout events---ability was not a factor.  All of my own children are now involved in public service.  I want to think that being raised in an inclusive environment helped guide them in this direction. 

What does the research say?  Here's one view.

What does a kid say? Watch this!


What does a parent say?  Go here for information about Including Samuel Watch the documentary! It's wonderful.



Kids don't have to earn inclusion.  Go HERE for more of my thoughts on this.     





.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apples Everywhere---printable book, free as usual

It's apple time!!!!

Here's a simple printable book which is like many of my past ones---"Apples Everywhere".





15 pages of fun and apples.  



Students can match icons to pages, and you can use the blue shaded icons as a sentence strip. 


Download 'Apples Everywhere' in Boardmaker.

Download 'Apples Everywhere' in PDF 




.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Student Self Monitoring Visuals

How has everyone's school year been so far?  Several long trips and granddaughter babysitting has taken its toll on my blog postings!  Sorry!

I have a delightful young man this year on my caseload.  He's funny, and shares freely all of his knowledge about baseball.  Apparently his dad is a high school coach who he also played for the minor leagues at one point.  My student appears to be athletically inclined as well.  His one problem is a lisp which is a bit distracting to the listener.  I told him when he's a pro, he will definitely want to have good speech for his television interviews! 

I feel kids need to know their goals (this student and I have read his IEP together), and need to have a system to monitor progress.  I've devised an interactive way for kids to see where they are and where they are going in terms of speech sound production.  You'll need velcro, a file folder, and little pictures or words in a hierarchy---isolated sounds at the bottom, conversation at the top (or parent/teacher report). You will also need something to easily represent the sound targets. Each student has his own interactive chart as pictured below. 





If you want something even more simple, you can use a system like the one pictured below.  This image was lifted from a nice blog, The Communication Window.  Apparently, this therapist uses clothespins---each student has a clothespin with his name and moves it up as he progresses.  I guess if a student has more than one sound in error, he might have several clothespins.  Several students can share the same visual, which is nice if you don't have time or space to make a chart for everyone. 

Hopefully, you all have some way for students to track progress, especially if sound errors are simple, and more traditional articulation therapy is being implemented.  Let me know your ideas!






.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back to School Collection

Hi Friends!  After a month overseas, I'm back, and with school starting up, I wanted to repost this modest collection of free materials.

Look for more new stuff later---I've only been at work one day so far.   Sometimes, life takes over blogging and work. I loved our Indonesia visit, and seeing our awesome daughter navigate the culture, language, and school blew me away. 

_________________________________________
(repost from last year)




If you haven't been following my blog, you may not know that I now actually have a very small library of 'back to school themed' printables for all of your speech/language or special education needs.   Here they are!  This should work for you for a couple of weeks!  Just click on the links beside each picture.





"Things we do at School" printable book and icons.










Riding to School---printable book and icons













Back to school Prepositions Bingo--free printable















What do you hear at school---free printable book with icons.









I hope your states are treating you better than North Carolina is treating its teachers!!!! Click on the link below the picture for a depressing picture of the state of our system (written by a teacher near Asheville).


                                           "I can no longer afford to teach."



.




Monday, August 18, 2014

Living the Life of a Celebrity

We are winding down our amazing month in Indonesia.  Every day has been a new adventure. I've loved the scenery, the food, and the people...especially the people.  

Apparently throughout most parts of Java, white people like me don't visit.  One resulting phenomenon that David and I didn't anticipate was the numerous requests from random strangers to pose with them for pictures.  Families, school groups, couples.....they all were almost as excited about a photo with me as I would be with Barack Obama.
Random new friends in Solo.

Random new friends at the top of a volcano outside of Bandung.

A dad takes this shot.....wanting me to pose with his family.

Everyone was so genuinely happy I almost always obliged to pose.  For me, it's a gentle reminder of the world's diversity and  my own culture is a small slice.

Back to the states in two days!