Technology Tuesday- QR Code Basic Concepts!

At the end of the 2011-2012 school year. all certified staff members in my district received an iPad, as a result of a big push to increase use of technology in the classroom (which, ps, I’m not sure how I ever lived without an iPad–now that I have one, I don’t think I could go without it!).  “Use more technology” has been a common recurring theme in the therapists’ performance evaluations by our SPED director.  I’ve used plenty of articulation and language-based iPad apps and have used a couple different interactive websites, but struggled a bit with figuring out how to utilize technology  in other ways that were appropriate and doable for my preschoolers.

Within the last few months, I’ve seen a few other SLPs blog about their use of QR, or Quick Response, codes.  I’m sure you all know what QR Codes are– they’re everywhere!

The first time I used one, actually, was in Walmart last Fall when I was looking to buy new lamps for our nightstands in our bedroom.  I found a base I really liked, and it had a QR Code on the attached tag.  Scanning the code took me to a video that showed a variety of different lamp shades that went with the lamp base– pretty cool! Until, you know, I set my phone down on the shelf to try some of the different lamp shades it suggested, and then subsequently forgot it was there and left the store– whoops! (then I was silently cursing the QR tag that just a couple hours before had seemed so cool!)

At any rate, while the QR Code activities I’ve seen from other SLPs looked great, many of them were a bit too high level for most of my caseload.  I needed something simple, with no reading involved.  I happened to stumble across this post on Pinterest the other day, where a preschool teacher used QR Codes for sight words, using audio files– genius! Feeling inspired, I went to work on a new game to use with my caseload– a farm-themed basic concepts bingo game using QR Codes.

How I made it: I made 5 different Bingo cards, with each picture portraying a different concept (24 basic concepts in all). Then, using, I recorded myself saying a sentence to describe each picture using a basic concept word (i.e. “The pig is dirty” or “The frog is above the lilypad.”)  When you save an audio clip on that site, it gives you a URL where your clip is saved, which you can then plug into QR Stuff under “web address” to make your QR code for each separate audio clip.  I’m sure there are many other websites out there that do the same thing, but those two were very user-friendly!
How to use it:  You’ll probably first want to cut out, back with cardstock, and laminate the QR cards for durability.  With this game, students can draw a QR card and scan it with a scanner app using a smartphone, iPad, or iPod Touch.  When they scan the QR Code, audio will play and they’ll hear a sentence (i.e. “The pig is dirty” or “The frog is above the lily pad”).  The students will then cover the corresponding picture on their Bingo card. First one to get 5 in a row wins! Farm vocabulary and basic concepts simultaneously– Easy peasy!  This activity could easily be used in pull out therapy or in class during small group instruction.  You can grab a copy of it here.  Note: You will need to have a WiFi connection to hear the audio played.  The app I used to test the codes was “QR Code Scanner Tool” (free!) for the iPad.  It’s pretty seamless with this activity.  Download it here
Check out this great post on using QR Codes to give your contact information to parents, too!

Show Me The Data!

Linking up with Crazy Speech World for my first post!

I’ll be honest… Being highly organized is not my strong suit. My desk (and the surrounding area) is chronically messy. I told myself at the start of last school year that I’d put everything back in its place and leave my desk clean every night before I left, in an attempt to be more neat and tidy.  I’m not sure why I thought that’d last more than two weeks (because it didn’t), but hey, at least I tried.  Even with my coworkers right there, cheering me on, asking every few days how it was going and encouraging me to keep it up, I STILL couldn’t keep it going for any prolonged period of time.  It’s just not in my nature, I guess. In my defense, though, among the piles of papers in and on top of my desk, I still generally know where things are… an “organized mess” if you will.  

(Ok this was in the middle of cutting out materials one of the first weeks last year, so this is worse than usual.. (Well, worse than MOST days, anyway!)).  It’s usually messy, but still more organized than this. I promise.

That being said, I’ve tried a number of ways to try and be more efficient and organized with my data collection.  This is the one area that I would REALLY like to be more organized in, so I don’t just have pieces of scrap paper shoved into a folder or binder, and then have to waste precious time transferring over to the actual data sheets.  But, I think I’ve finally found a method that works really well for me!

What I started with…

My first year, I started off with a log sheet from grad school, but soon adopted another method from a coworker– instead of 1 page listing all the goals, each goal had a separate page within the binder.

After using this method for a while, I discovered a couple things– while I loved that I had a TON of boxes for data collection for each goal, I didn’t like that I couldn’t just easily see what we had/hadn’t worked on recently at a quick glance, when the goals/data weren’t all on the same page.

Onto the next great idea– Mailing Labels!

I’ve been known to scribble data on scrap paper in a pinch, so I did actually like the address labels a lot because it was like my scrap paper, but instead of wasting precious time transferring from scrap paper to data sheet, I could just peel off & stick on! The labels can get a bit pricey, though, which is mostly why I stopped using them.  

Lesson plan/data collection together– two for one!  

Another method I tried last school year, that I found that I really liked as far as ease of use for group data collection and for daily Medicaid billing, was this document, from Public School SLP:

I added an extra column on the end for data.  It was super easy to sit down at the end of each morning/afternoon and flip through each page and enter in the daily logs for my Medicaid kids.  BUT, it’s not really conducive to tracking data for each individual child across multiple sessions; I was stuck with a big packet with EVERY kid’s data when I tried to look back at an individual child’s data/progress.  So, while it worked well for a lesson plan document, it didn’t quite work out as well as I had envisioned for data keeping.

   … and finally ended up with!

This is the data sheet I’m currently using.  Grab an editable version here

It’s probably similar to many other SLP’s data sheets.. but one thing I do differently from most other data sheets I’ve seen, is that instead of just minutes, I put the actual time on there (i.e. 1230-1245 rather than “15m”).  This just makes it easier for me for Medicaid billing– I don’t have to flip back and forth between my data sheets and my schedule– especially because my schedule in preschool is changing constantly with all of the new evaluations from screenings and infant/toddler transitions. If I’m doing Medicaid for a kid 3 weeks back, their current time slot on my schedule may not be the same time I saw them 3 weeks ago!

I keep my data sheets in folders instead of binders– I’ve tried the binder thing, and it just didn’t work for me.  Also included in their folders are language/fluency/intelligibility sample forms.

The language sample form is front/back and has 50 lines total.  The blue form is for intelligibility or fluency samples, and each set of boxes has 100 spots for +/- so each sample is based off 100 words.  Makes for quicker and easier division! 🙂

I also have these forms in their folder, from Playing With Words 365– Grab them here and here

Data sheet for Cycles for my phonological
processing kiddos

This is one I haven’t used yet, but plan to put in each kid’s folder this school year.. a great visual of progress on goals to show parents at conference or annual IEP time! 

So that’s my method to the madness– what I’ve tried and what works best for me!  Check out the original link up post at Crazy Speech World (by clicking on the first image at the top of this post) to see what methods other SLPs are using!