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My class is obsessed with our Letter of the Week iMovie productions! It's a quick and engaging way to assess your students' knowledge of letter identification, beginning sounds, and capital/lowercase differentiation. I'll show you how to use iMovie with your students. First, here's an example:
Please note that I did edit one of our class iMovies for a preview. Most iMovies contain pictures of my students.

Activities Day-by-Day: 

Monday and Tuesday - Investigate the letter via books, songs, etc... Use your usual teaching tools.
Pretty easy so far, huh? Nothing new needed.
Wednesday and Thursday - Have your students walk around your classroom or school and take pictures of letters and objects that begin with the letter of the week. Send all of the photos via Dropbox- more on that below- and put them in whatever order you would like on iMovie.
Friday: Have a viewing party and watch the iMovie. The kids will want to watch it several times.

Don't feel discouraged if you don't have a class set of iPads or any iPads at all! Just use your iPhone! The students could search for objects and raise their hand once they have found their object/letter. Then, you'd just have to send them iMovie. I did this at the beginning of the year and it worked perfectly.

How to Set Up and Use Dropbox:

For security purposes, Airdrop is turned off at my school. I have 1:1 devices in my classroom, so I share all of the photos via Dropbox. I just send them to myself during nap time or after school. You can teach your kiddos to share photos via Dropbox....IF YOU'RE BRAVE! ;)

If you don't have Dropbox, go here to create an account. It's really easy and only takes 2 minutes max.

If you already have a Dropbox account, just make sure you sign in.

How to Make a 1-Minute iMovie: 

Reasons why I love Letter of the Week iMovies:
  1. The kids are completely engaged!
  2. Technology! Technology! Technology!
  3. The students feel a sense of pride because they are taking ownership of their learning!
  4. They get to yell, "That's what I found!" really loudly while the other students cheer.

As I prepare for parent conferences, I am so thankful for the "Parent Conferencer" tab on ESGI. I can create a schedule and print out conference letters within minutes! 

Here's how you can utilize the "Parent Conferencer" tool on ESGI: 

Go to the "Parent Conferencer" tab and add dates and times you would like to schedule conferences. 
Click and pull student names into desired time slot. 

Once all students have been placed in a time slot, click on the "Print All Letters" tab to print a conference letter to send home to parents. Each letter is generated with the students name and their conference time. *Spanish translation is also available! 

When it gets closer to conference time, click the "Print All Reminders" tab and send home a reminder letter to parents. 

Don't have ESGI? No problem! Try a free 60 day trial using the code B7165. You won't regret it! 

Ah, it's that time of the year. Therapy is rolling along, referrals are on a steady pace, it feels like whatever "balance" is might actually be achievable, and then the REMINDER on the calendar pops up - END OF REPORTING PERIOD. And suddenly, the prospect of writing multiple progress reports makes us lie on the ground in the fetal position. To help with your sanity, and to keep people from wondering why the SLP is speechless, we've rounded up a few tips to help SLPs get through progress reports.

Plan Ahead

I know, easier said than done. Try creating calendar reminders as a countdown, as in "2 weeks until reporting period ends", "1 week until reporting period ends", etc. Just plant a seed in your mind. You don't have to do anything with the reminder, unless you want to. It's kind of like allowing for a snooze (or few) on your morning alarm. When the final reminder of "Reporting Period Ends TODAY" comes up, you'll be less frantic.

Check the Data

At least two weeks before progress reports, take a quick look at the data for each student. Don't analyze the data. This should take no more than a few seconds for each student. Quickly make a list of students you need data for before writing the progress reports. Maybe a student has been absent due to sickness, or a student moved in mid-reporting period, or you yourself were out. This fast glance will tell you which students you need some good hard data before the due date. And yes, I've learned this the hard way for multiple reporting periods.


Consider writing progress reports for students who have services in addition to speech first. The Sp Ed teachers will thank you. If your data is already in the progress reports when the Sp Ed teacher is ready to print them, they might kiss your feet. Not really, but this act will go a looong way in working with them.

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Chunk your assignment. How many reports can you reasonably write at one time? Is it a time limit, like 30 minutes? I tend to write my progress reports by groups. For example, I try to get through at least 3 groups at a time. Or complete all the reports for the morning groups, take a break, then concentrate on the afternoon groups. 

Make Sure Your Hard Work is Seen

You've done the therapy, the data collection, and written the progress reports. Make sure the right people get the progress reports, whether it's the teacher, parent/guardian, or student.

The progress reports I am required to use have tiny print. They are not user-friendly for reading. To solve the problem of distributing the progress reports, I use Progress Report Covers for SLPs. These are templates, and they are editable! I download one the pages, type in the common information (date, my name, and school/district). Then, I run off a bunch of the covers and write in the student's name and grade/teacher. The progress report covers are ready to staple on top of the progress reports! Parents/guardians and teachers have user-friendly print to know that the progress report is included.

Reward Yourself!

Progress reports are hard work. Treat yo self! And give yourself a big ole' pat on the back!

A summer of bathroom remodeling and getting my own children ready for college left my wallet a little empty. When I got my official assignment 20 days before students returned and found out I would be moving, I quickly realized a needed a budget. $25 it was!

The school's space is pretty nice. It will hold me, a licensed assistant (M), and student groups. The first thing I did was review tips for setting up rooms. My goals were to make it student-centered and functional.

Note: I will be serving two schools. I'm showing you one room right now. It's nicely located in the center of the school, so it had to be ready for Meet the Teacher Night. The room at the other school is larger and in a portable, so I'm still working on it.

When I first set up the room, M didn't think it had the right "energy". We angled the horseshoe table in front of the mirror. Students will sit on IKEA stools. They are so much better than chairs, and the wooden stools are lasting much longer than the metal stools I tried 2 years ago. Another IKEA product - the storage shelf - is within reach during therapy sessions to save time.
The items in the picture are things I already had, so the cost so far is a whopping $0!

This is the beginning of my 25th year. I have stuff. After purging, we filled up the bookshelves already in the room. The materials still looked distracting, so all of my budget went to fixing that. I found tension rods at Big Lots for $2.25 each and fabric shower curtains with hooks included at Wal-Mart for $9.88 each. I'm not crazy about the pattern, but they will do for this year. Total cost - $24.26.
To make the shower curtains fit, we doubled them over on the tension rods and hot-glued the bottom hems.

Next to the shelves are therapy cards in shoe holders. The pockets are labeled.

Other areas include the desk:
The thirty-one bag holds my PLS-5 manipulatives so I can grab it and go. The phone and electrical plugs are to the bottom left of the desk. Notice the fan? I'll be using that while M operates her personal heater.

 Lightbox Inserts for SLPs by All Y'all Need
Of course, we have a welcome sign that will change each month and lots of books. Organization of the books comes courtesy of my librarian sister, Amy.

NOTE: Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that if you should choose to click on them and buy an item, we may get a percentage of the sale at no cost to you.

And how wonderful is the school's theme - Happy Campers?!?! Upon my cousin Lisa's recommendation, I bought fadeless paper and a bunting from Amazon. I'm sure you're wondering how I bought those for 74 cents. I used some Amazon reward points, and I already had the chevron ribbon and an IKEA frame, so this cost me nothing!
I'm super happy with our room. It's student-centered, functional, looks nice while still having space, is welcoming without being over-decorated, and it's within budget!

As I set up my classroom, I can't help but think about all of the labels I need to create for my new students.... Come on class list!!!! However, I rest assured because ESGI totally has all of my labels covered. The Classroom Management Tool saves me so much time! Here's how:  

First, Sign Up for ESGI:

Here's How ESGI Can Save You HOURS During Classroom Setup: 
Y'all, the classroom management tool is going to be your best friend. After plugging in your student names, look what all the Classroom Management Tool automatically generates! 

(Click on the image below to watch an overview of the Classroom Management Tool)

Here are some helpful demos of how to use the Classroom Management Tool: 

Class Management Tool:

CMT Cubby Names Report Printing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBhayuyPtk

Look how great these look! 


The first 60 days are FREE! Just sign up for the 60 day trial!
After you have fallen in love with this assessment tool, the usual yearly subscription fee is $199.
But, I have a code that will make this product $159 instead!
Just enter the code: B7165 to save $40

ESGI is also doing a HUGE Back to School Giveaway! 

Here's How to Sign Up:

Sign up for a free trial using our code B7165 and you will be entered into a raffle to win one of ten $50 Amazon Cards!

Sign up for the free trial! You won't regret it!

Have a great school year!
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