I am fortunate in that I work in one building. I have the luxury of having a quick conversation on the run. I also have the benefit of knowing the students in my building, however, the inability to professionally connect becomes an issue when working as an itinerant SLP or evaluator. Recently, several of my colleagues expressed concern that itinerant evaluators may not have the inside scoop on students and subsequently their testing may not paint an accurate picture of our students. As a result, I decided to create a document that could be completed by a classroom teacher or case manager and given to an evaluator as a means of having a better understanding of the dynamics of a student. I based some of the criteria on the Habits of Mind (HoM), but also included general information such as the types of prompting the student responds to best, preferred reinforcement, response speed, signs of fatigue or frustration, ways to redirect the student, whether breaks are needed and the preferred type of break. The document also includes demographic information and opportunities to incorporate work samples and class schedule.
The HoM present a way to think about the way students learn and are, to a large extent, a determinant in academic success or failure. The HoM include persistence, managing impulsivity, listening with understanding and empathy, thinking flexibly, metacognition, striving for accuracy, questioning, applying past knowledge, thinking and communicating with clarity, gathering data through the senses, creating and imagining, responding with wonderment and awe, taking responsible risks, finding humor, thinking interdependently, and remaining open to continuous learning. Having an understanding of a child's ability to manage impulsivity perhaps, or task persistence paints a more complete picture for an evaluator. Such knowledge would allow an evaluator to say, schedule movement breaks or encourage a child to take risks when responding. The upshot is, the information obtained could yield more accurate test results. I am hoping that this document provides evaluators with greater insight when interpreting test results as well as improving the accuracy of those results.
I'd love to know what you think! Feel free to comment.
|Student Information for Evaluators available for free here|
|Habits of mind PDF available here|