Using Sticky Notes for Speech Scheduling- Back to School

Using sticky notes to make speech schedules with less stress and more success! Looks Like Language

Scheduling is one of the most annoying things we do at the beginning of the school year, in my opinion! If  you missed part 1of my tips for scheduling, you can catch up here. You might also want to see my grouping hints here!

Don't Match the Colors!

Now that you have organized your groups, gotten your sticky notes done and made your color coded master schedule, you are ready for one of an SLP’s worst nightmares: scheduling! 

Take the sticky notes and place them on your schedule, following these rules:

Never place a sticky on the same colored spot.
Fill in all the colored spots first, leaving the white spots (with more flexibility) open until the end.
Place all of the group slots first, starting with your groups that have the most limited openings and the largest sized groups.
Next, do your students who have the most individual sessions, so you can spread them out over the week.
Then, fill in the rest of the sticky notes while humming your good luck mantra!

Keep putting your sticky notes on until your schedule is filled, If you get this done without encountering a problem, you win the Scheduler of the Year Award! That has never happened to me. (SIGH!)

Scheduling Problems

Inevitably, I get to a spot where someone doesn’t fit. I try first to find a sticky that will fit in the problem spot. Just pull it up and peek at what color is under it. If the switch works, great! If it looks like there will be multiple switches needed, I take a photo or a photocopy of the schedule at this point. 

Sometimes, a sequence of changes works and your problem is solved. Other times, you start making changes and it just gets worse. That is what the photo is for. If a muddle happens, look at your photo or photocopy and go back to where you were. Picking a different sticky note to make the switch usually works for me. 

In the worst case scenarios, pull off some of the stickies for your easier to group slots and stick them on the side of the schedule. (I love this because I won't end up losing track of one of the groups while figuring out the scheduling snafu!) Find new slots for your hard to schedule kids and then go back and fill in the easier kids.

Success! Now that your schedule works, put it in a page protector so that none of the sticky notes can accidentally fall off. Go make a photocopy to work from and keep your sticky original intact. It will come in handy when the teachers’ or your students’ schedules get changed! 

Last, but very important, go home and de-stress at the end of the day. I find that a glass of wine with dinner works wonders. What do you do to unwind at the beginning of the school year?

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