Surviving The First Week: Check Off Your To-Do List!

The Frenzied SLPs are coming together this week to talk about...Surviving the First Week:  Check Off Your To-Do List!  Make sure to visit our Facebook page here and link up below to tell us about how you survive the first week!

The first week in my speech room will happen this year beginning on August17th which is far earlier than I am ready to accept.  I am pretty sure this is the earliest I have gone back to school ever!  I am totally in denial that it is one week away.

Since the start is early and a bit different this year {the students don't start until Wednesday}, I thought I would run you through my first few days.

MONDAY:  Staff meeting at my home school, which for me is the only school I service for the second year in a row.  District kick-off speaker is next and then time to work in my room setting up. The room is already set up for the most part.

TUESDAY:  Staff in-service day which usually consists of an open campus of selections all day long. Some mandatory and some elective options are offered.

WEDNESDAY:  First Day for 1st-5th grade students at my elementary school.  Kindergarten students meet the teacher in short individual parent/teacher/child conferences.   Our wonderful speech department meets for a staff meeting part of the day.

THURSDAY:  Kindergarten students continue with meet the teacher conferences.

FRIDAY:  Kindergarten students first day!

It is always a scheduling frenzy attempting to create a schedule for speech when all other schedules are being tossed and turned and new students are appearing right before my eyes.  Sounds like a perfect job for a Frenzied SLP!  Although I could dedicate a whole post on how I schedule {and did dabble in that topic here}, I thought sharing my schedule template might offer some support for other school-based SLPs during the scheduling frenzy!  You will find both a weekly and daily schedule option.

During these first two days with students, I will also meet and quick screen the new kindergarteners as they arrive for their conference.  With five kindergarten classes, I surely cannot expect to screen all students during these days, but getting a head start will save time once my schedule is set with caseload students.  My kindergarten screening template is also in this file.  I type in all students that either failed the screening or were borderline and send a copy to each kindergarten teacher.  I will use this to follow up throughout the school year.  The file also contains an assortment of workload forms that can be adapted for your use.

Finally, I will make a contact with all of my caseload students.  Since the schedule won't be set, the goal is to meet to review my expectations and therapy room routines.  I use my Back to Speech packet to help organize students.  "I can" CCSS posters and a communication contract identify speech and language goals.  Folder labels are used for organizing student folders.  A parent letter and communication logs connect home and school.  Also included is a student snapshot "all about me" worksheet, student sticker charts, and speech time reminder cards.  This packet is all I need for the first week in speech and the black & white format is perfect for running copies on colored paper to differentiate between items for my organization!  Although this post was not meant to promote this product, I am ever so grateful that I finally put this together.  I have used this similar format for most of my career and it is nice to not have to reinvent the wheel at the beginning of each new year.
So there you have it, my first week in speech!  Wish me luck!  I'd love to hear about how you check off your to-do list the first week back!


  1. It always seems simple in theory! Why then is it so difficult? The key for me is just staying in my room with my nose to the grindstone. I get the most done that way. No social butterfly for me!

  2. Love your ideas for the first week back to school-I love that you review your expectations and your "I can" statements with your students.

  3. This was the first year in a long time that I had to screen all of my students without any help. It helped that my Kinders are on a staggered schedule for the first 2 weeks and only stayed until 12. I screened in the morning and organized in the afternoon!
    GOOD LUCK!!! :)

  4. Loved reading this! Thank you for sharing about your week and for the handy form!


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