Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Virtual work samples?! Yes, Please and Thank you.

Let's be honest. I use work samples a lot as a means of keeping records and to accompany my daily note documentation. However, I absolutely dislike keeping a MILLION pieces of paper in a working file. I also almost never took the time to look at or go through working files given to me by other therapist with tons of papers and work samples.

Last school year, a wonderful teacher at my school told me about the app Seesaw. The light bulb came on in my head and my face lit up.  Here is the answer to my work sample nightmare!

SEESAW is an app for making digital portfolios. I am not completely using it as intended. I am using it to keep records and document student progress in Occupational Therapy

To start, you have to set up an account. Next, you add all of your students into your "classroom." Next, let the fun begin!

Here are some of the features:

  • take pictures of students work
  •  take video of your students in therapy or the classroom
  •  students can draw and/or write in the app
  • Therapist can make notes about the amount of support needed to accomplish the final outcome
  • Therapist can also draw on the photo to indicate therapist model vs student work
  • Therapist can import work directly from other apps or camera roll

I like that I can view all work added for a given day for all students or just the items in an individual student's folder. Items can be flagged for later review.   Parents can be given access to view their child's progress from home by logging into the app or individual pictures can be shared with them via email.  I just love this aspect as it gets families involved in OT more and allows for more communication.  A picture or video can be very helpful and worth a thousand words.  It is definitely a great way to share work samples with the rest of the IEP team as well. I have the free version but there are more features with the upgraded/ paid version.

I give the SEESAW app a big three thumbs up! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Documentation - using Google Forms

Last school year, I said goodbye to handwriting notes and typing just narratives on word.  My school district doesn't have a standard method of documenting therapy sessions. A colleague of mine switched to Google forms years ago so I decided to give it a try  So far, so good!

Here's how I got started -

1) You have to have a google account. Sign in to your account.  Go to the multiple squared icon. Then scroll down to the purple forms icon and click on it. You may have to click the more button to see the icon.            

2) Select the blank form.


3) Next, I recommend to start out with a template. The template has all of the information that you use with all of your students. For each question you have several choices for how you would like the data to be entered. This is what I am currently using: Date (text box),  Location (checkboxes),  if no, OT why? (checkboxes), session length (text box), Progress (checkboxes), Activities and Outcomes (paragraph text), Plan (checkboxes), and signature (text).   I save this and then add the students individual goals by going to file and then make a copy.

Screen shot of the top of my template form

5) Next, making the individual goals as checkboxes is how I usually complete the data for the goals. How you complete this part depends on how you write your goals and how you want the data to appear in the summary.

Example for cutting goal
Example for grasp goal - level of support needed
Example of grasping goal - percentage of accuracy

6) I like to customize the page for each child to go along with my students interest or things that remind me of the student. You can change the color or pick a theme. This is just for fun. :)

7) You can make folders and place students into a school folder or make multiple forms (per quarter) for each student and then make student folders. There is various ways to organize your forms.

8) When you complete a form, the information goes into a spreadsheet. To view the responses, you can go to 'view responses'.  To see graphs, counts and percentages, go to responses and then to summary of responses. These are sometimes nice to share with parents at IEP meetings.

example of summary of responses

9) I  dictate in the paragraph box by hitting the fn key twice after my cursor is in the activities and outcome box (I am currently using a MacBook Air).

10) You can also set it up to use on your iPad.  If you email yourself the form and then open your email on your iPad. Touch the link in your email. Next touch the box with the arrow coming from it in the left hand corner. Then add it to the home screen. Last group them together in a folder.

                                                Hope this helps.  Happy Documenting!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Vacation - My current Occupation

This is where my soul comes alive. The feel of the sun kissing my skin and the gentle breeze floating around my body. The initial chill of the water that quickly becomes comfortable. The smell of the ocean and light fragrant scent of suntan lotion. The roar of the ocean brings such peace to my mind. To see the excitement on my son's face and the joy my parents had playing with him in the ocean that appears to meet the beautiful blue sky. To taste a bit of grit from the sand and any guilty pleasure of the beach such as seafood, ice cream, water ice, funnel cake, salt water taffy, etc. This is where I am inspired, where I am happiest, where soul comes alive. --Tamika


As an OT, I realized that I wasn't practicing what I preach. In thinking about Models of Practice and going back to the roots of my practice, I recalled learning the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) and the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance (CMOP) in school. My OT students have made me aware of the KAWA model. I have been missing balance in my life for a number of years, especially since I became a mother.

Occupational Therapist write goals all the time. I have recently been working on setting several goals for myself.  One of my new goals is to take the time to stop and notice the beauty all around. Slow down and enjoy life. Live and not just survive.


-  reminds me to include my spirituality.

- environment influences occupation. Therefore, I need to take time to be more aware of my environment and the environments that I create.
- Focus of MOHO - engage people in occupations that restore, reorganize or maintain the motivation, patterning and performance capacity, therefore their occupational lives. (Ramafikeng, 2011).

- Belonging, Being, Doing
- Harmony and balance

Vacation provides rest, and renews your being so that you are ready to return to your everyday life ready to fulfill your purpose and be all that you were called to be. It makes me a better mother and therapist. It inspires your life and ideas. I challenge all that read this to work toward balance and harmony and engage in the occupation of vacation.