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!

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