Have you had a chance to check out Tx Tools? This free app from PediaStaff bundles together four simple “calculator” type tools that you can use in your daily treatment/evaluation sessions. While this is very handy, they can also be adapted for therapy use within your treatment sessions. Here’s how I would do it:
Just as the name suggests, this is a tally counter handy for keeping track of how many trials you’ve achieved in a session. Of course you can always set a goal of, let’s say 100 trials, but a child can also use it to track how many levels they’ve built a Jenga tower, how many chips they have on the Othello board (the subtract button is critical for this one) or how many items you need to remember in a memory chain game. You could also use it to track how many questions have been used up in a round of “20 questions”.
I’m always calculating percentages, so the idea of being able to do it and see it while it’s happening is great to me. I also like that, depending on the child’s personality, you could use it as a motivator. “Look, if you get two more correct you’ll have 80%!”
But here’s something even more motivating–trash can basketball! Print your articulation targets on regular computer paper (several to a page is fine) or have a couple of language worksheets ready. Really, anything that will give you “completed” paper at the end! You can keep the sheets whole or rip them into 2 or 4 pieces (although a single, crumpled sheet tends to be a little easier to toss). Have the kids throw complete work towards the trash and use the “right” for baskets, “wrong” for misses. Lots of kids struggle with the idea of percentages, but the real world demonstration of free throws tends to turn on lightbulbs!
We’ve all miscalculated the child’s age on an evaluation and had to go back and re-score the test. This is an easy-to-use tool to make sure you have the age right, even if a caregiver is nervously chatting while you work.
You can also use this as a fun rapport builder or a quick “prize” at the end of a session by figuring out a celebrities age. www.celebritorium.com or www.celebritybirthdayylist.com will let you look up birthdays for who you want; I’ve listed some popular ones below. You could also consider using this in a language activity by looking up 5-10 celebrity birthdays and then organizing them with superlatives, youngest to oldest.
|President Obama||August 4, 1961||Selena Gomez||July 22, 1992|
|Taylor Swift||December 13, 1989||Sterling Knight||March 5, 1989|
|Justin Bieber||March 1, 1994||Jeremy Lin||August 23, 1988|
|Johnny Depp||June 9, 1963||LeBron James||December 30, 1984|
|Rihanna||February 18, 1988||Derrick Rose||October 4, 1988|
|Miranda Cosgrove||May 14, 1993||Alex Rodriquez||July 27, 1975|
|Demi Lovato||August 20, 1992||Tim Tebow||August 14, 1987|
|Bridget Mendler||December 18, 1992||Derek Jeter||June 26, 1974|
The final tool allows you to plug in a date (current date is the default), input the number of days and it calculates that future date. This would come in handy, not just for IEPs but any kind of on-going assessment you might want to schedule. For example, I might calculate dates at 30, 60 and 90 days to plan a re-assessment of general intelligibility in connected speech. Kiddos might like using this to “schedule” prize box dates or to figure out exactly when their half birthday falls.
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