------------------------------------------Here's the post from last year---------------
What isn't always so great is the paperwork. Each child has goals and during the 5 week session, I'm to write two reports for each child I work with (although the purpose of ESY really isn't to make progress---it's to prevent regression, but I still need data and a report). Each session needs a therapy note, and each day needs some detailed planning. ESY for me is in three sites--two elementary schools across town from each other; along with a home visit twice a week. Most of the teachers and students are new to me. The documentation required is part of my job, and I do it; however, most of the time, I don't have access to the basic necessity of a printer. I am not on the internet server for the schools, since they aren't my usual places to work. In the past, I coped by printing reams of paperwork and forms at my home, or driving to yet another school (my own) hoping that I could find a working printer there to print out lesson plans and therapy note forms.
This year, as much as possible, I've gone almost paperless for ESY. Here's how:
1. Therapy note documentation using Google forms---this required a little bit of work prior to seeing the children, but I have been using Google Forms and Spreadsheets to record both anecdotal and objective data for each session. I was given paper copies of the children's IEPs prior to ESY, so I spent a couple of evenings transferring goals from the IEPs into a Google form.
I have a tutorial HERE, and although the tutorial specifically mentions the iPad as the tool for filling out a Google form, I have simply been using my laptop for all data purposes. Google forms helps me to keep in my mind the specific goals I need to be thinking about for each kid.
Go HERE for the tutorial.
At the very end of ESY, I will print out each spreadsheet (from my regular school) and pass it on to the child's regular speech pathologist, with my signatures (I've learned to allow a spot for my signature for each session after printing).
Some people have wondered if Google forms and spreadsheets are confidential. I maintain confidentiality by not including last names or personal information of the kids such as birthdates, medicaid information, or other identifying information in the Google form. Google forms is simply an efficient, paperless way to record session notes. Printing them out at the very end of ESY and putting the hard copy in the child's speech folder with added information works, while keeping information secure.
2. Lesson plans
|Sample plans on Google drive|
I take attendance every day with Google forms.
Go HERE for a little lesson on how to do that. You can take attendance with either an iPad or a computer, as long as you have access to Google.
Going paperless has allowed me to not have to carry cartons of files around. When writing therapy notes, I simply open my laptop and fill out a form. My notes are actually much more detailed with data and anecdotal comments than if I hand-wrote all of these notes, plus the notes are legible (my handwriting leaves a bit to be desired). Most of the time, I insert a detailed account of the activities and the student's response. I have detailed accounts of behavioral issues, and on a positive note--some communication breakthroughs that have happened.
Extended School Year can be a little intense; however, going mostly paperless has helped me with the work load and has enabled me to write more detailed notes, and spend less time doing so. I've loved it! I do realize I need to print these notes at the end of ESY, but that's nothing compared to lugging files around and printing all the time! Google drive has helped me immensely. I hope it helps you!