Saturday, December 9, 2017

So you need to do a Professional Portfolio....

While I will admit that I could have spent hours pouring over ASHA's PACE guidelines and the NC Evaluation Tool for SLPs to develop my own system, I decided that it would simply be too much stress on me this year with all that I already have on my plate. So I decided to purchase the Editable Danielson Portfolio by Natalie Snyders. It was $20 well spent in my books.


1) Natalie has already done the hardest part of the work for you. She spent hours doing the research of what does and doesn't belong in a professional portfolio using the Danielson model.

2) The templates are very clean and professional. You don't have to do much of anything to the formatting asides from adding your name and pictures.

3) Natalie includes a well-written description on most of the pages that you can simply tweak. She also gives you a PDF copy of her binder as an example. I found this really helpful on the few open-ended pages where you describe your own style.

4) She also gives you ideas for evidence. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process. You will need to collect samples of paperwork (evaluations, SOAP notes, rating scales/rubrics, therapy artifacts, CEU certificates, etc). I, for one, am really bad about saving our speech meeting agendas even though I often share about materials or new therapy ideas that I've run across. This binder forces me to be a little bit better about keeping those to show how I collaborate and share.

Things that I have learned:

1) You should keep documentation of the things that you are doing regardless of whether or not it is a requirement. I had saved some samples over the years that I could use, but there are many activities that I don't have any samples from that would have demonstrated even more skills. I can recreate some of it, but I may not have any students working on those goals now.

2) It is good to keep a running record of contacts with teachers beyond looking back in emails.

3) It is sometimes better to spend money than time. I am not a huge fan of buying materials from Teachers Pay Teachers (although I like freebies) since they still require a little tweaking. It's easier to make my own that are tailored to my students. It is helpful to have the resources for things that are not necessarily used for therapy, like letters to parents or the summer calendars. I can only imagine how long it would take to make this binder from scratch. There is definitely a balance.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

I can't believe that it's already December! It seems like 2017 has flown by. It has definitely been an interesting year. I've given a presentation at a state level conference, discovered Project CORE, seen several wonderful coworkers move on to new positions, and started making a professional development notebook. I am grateful for the challenges and learning opportunities that I've had this year.

I am wrapping up this year with a month full of crafts. We are going to make paper chains with our articulation words to decorate my door and trees for the hallway. I cannot wait to get it finished as I continue to struggle to find a place to keep what we've done so far.

Here are some freebies that I'm using with my students this month:
1. The 12 Days of Christmas articulation craft. I am actually using this in a different manner to talk about gratitude. We brainstormed things that we are thankful to have and wrote them down on our papers. 
2. Reader's theatre: Bob the Goofy Reindeer. I am using this to target articulation and reading comprehension.
3. Christmas Search. While this is geared towards articulation, it is also a great activity to talk about holiday vocabulary words and work on following directions with coloring.
4. Christmas similes and metaphors task cards.
5. Christmas Clues. This is great for inferencing.
6. Christmas reinforcement worksheets. I love the roll and color sheets in this packet.
7. Christmas interactive book. Students have to find the sweater based on the description.
8. Christmas around the world. I use this with my older students to talk about other cultures. I found this beautiful  New Zeland wreath craft to use this year.