Sunday, March 10, 2013

Statistically Speaking (of course)

"teaching with emotion: a halloween story"
by woodleywonderworks / flickr (CC)
Creativity comes easy to me.  Having fun comes really easy to me.  Thinking quick on my feet is pretty easy too.  Keeping really good track of data....well, I stink at that.  To be honest, I'm pretty darn good at keeping up with my numbers at the beginning of the school year.  Usually, when I work during summer school, I have some open time to tweak or develop a new system to taking and recording data from each of my kids.  You see, part of my problem is that I see the majority of my kids in a group setting.  This becomes tricky when you have a group of kids with a variety of needs.  Those who aren't ready to make the jump to a whole-class approach usually list this as one of the biggest obstacles to transition to this type of service delivery model.  In my case, they're pretty much correct.  It is tricky.  I've been able to switch it up a bit this year because instead of servicing five schools, I'm down to three.  That means I can spend two full days at one and three at the other.  This helps because I still get to do the whole class and I also get to see the kids in a "traditional" speech therapy setting--in small groups or one-on-one.

Taking data in small groups is much easier than for an entire class.  In fact, one of my classes has about 12 speech therapy kids and it is nearly impossible to take accurate data on each kid every time.  I think I've asked just about every speech therapist what their fool proof way of keeping data is and they all have similar, but quite different ways of doing it.  So where does that bring me today?  Well, it's late in the school year and I'm writing a blog on my lack of data keeping skills.  So guess what? My co-worker walked into my office the other day and showed me how to list all of my students, create an activity, list each student's goals, rearrange group order, indicate my type of response, and then email it to myself as a document!  Geez, that was easy.  Um...that sounds exactly like what I need.  Of course, it's an app.  There's always "an app for that" out there, right?  So Super Duper does it again.  It's called Super Duper Data Tracker.  I know...I've been using it for years.  How in the wide, wide world of sports haven't I heard of this before?  I'm the guy on Twitter.  That makes me some sort of genius (I'll say it.  People on Twitter think (know) that they are super smart.).  Well, my non-Twitter using co-worker came over and showed me.  I'm hooked.  I'm sold.  And, it's only $2.  

(That's not me in the video.  That's Mr. Super Duper.)

The easiest way to learn about the app is to watch the video above.  If not, here's what you can do with the app in a nutshell:
  • Create multiple goals for each student
  • Choose your own type of response (correct/incorrect, approximation, cued)
  • Store data for unlimited number of sessions
  • Manipulate your groups (to accommodate absences or additions)
  • Write individual notes
  • Graph progress
  • Email results for individuals or all members within a group
I use an iPad, but lucky for you, they also offer it through Google Play, (Kindle?), and Nook.  By the way, I am not affiliated with Super Duper Inc. or any of its products.  I guess my disclaimer is that I liked the product and thought I'd share it with others.  Does that count?  Anyway, let me know what you think?  Do you have a fool proof method?  I love collaboration.  Let's hear it!