Thursday, September 8, 2016

Documentation Binder

Last year I posted about my documentation system that I planned on using this year.  I formerly used Google Drive to document students seen, as described in this post, but I felt a little uncomfortable posting student information on the internet.  So as stated, I have switched to a binder system!  I have had several e-mails asking to see how I organized my binder.  I created my binder and decided I wanted to test it out before deciding whether to share it or not.  Well, the verdict is in and I love it! I designed the binder using some documents that I created and then added in alphabetized dividers like these.  I also added some pocket dividers to hold my extra forms.  That way I have plenty blank copies inside my binder to pull from when I meet with a new student or have a new consultation.  These are the ones I like.  Below, I have included pictures of all of the documents I created and if you click the pictures, you can download the forms to use!! So here is how I designed my binder:

At the very front is a blank form where I record students I have seen for individual counseling.  This could be a quick check in, or a long counseling session.  But I record every encounter with a child on this page.  Here is a picture:

If it is a student I am seeing for a longer counseling session or need to take notes on, I will put a star beside their name and then they will get an individual counseling summary sheet which will be filed behind the letter their last name begins with.  The item that says "scale #" refers to the likert scale I use during counseling sessions with students to assess their mood.  Here is a picture of that form:

If it is a consultation I have had about a student (with an administrator, teacher, parent, or community resource person), I will use the consultation summary form seen below.  They will not get their name written on the students seen form, but this will be filed under their alphabetical tab.

Another form I have included in my binder is a getting to know you sheet.  I created my own using the idea found in Diane Senn's Creative Approaches for Counseling Individual Children.  This is something I sometimes use when it's my first meeting with a student.  It helps me to make sure I've covered several different aspects of the child to get a sense of what we may need to work on and to help me get to know them better.

Last but not least, I also wanted to a way to track my small groups.  See below for the form I created to track who is in what group and what we discussed.  These are placed behind my student seen form.  At the end of the year, the students seen form and the small group documentation forms will be filed behind the dividers where extra forms are held.

I hope that you find some or all of these items useful while trying to organize your comprehensive counseling program!  I'm also interested in hearing about your systems and how you stay organized!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

New Documentation System

Holy smokes, I've been bad with keeping up with this!  As previously posted, I am currently working as an elementary school counselor split between two schools.  There are full time counselors at both schools and I love having a co-counselor to work with!  As it is my 2nd year in this new position, I have learned many new ways to conduct my counseling program with my caseloads.  Some of my old systems are not necessarily as efficient anymore.  I have already started thinking about new ways to document.  Currently I have been using a notebook with sticky flags to write my student notes in.  (I do not write detailed notes, keep it simple for reference only).  This is also where I write down any parent contacts, meetings, etc. pertaining to students.  Next year, I have decided to officially become a binder person! :)  I still plan to use technology for recording student contacts (see previous post about google forms).  

As far as my individual student notes I will be using a binder system.  In my binder I will also keep my classroom lesson and group schedules and any other information I may need to get to quickly and use as documentation.  I have created two forms that I will put in my binder concerning individual students.  The first form is my individual counseling log.  I like being able to see how many times I see a particular student in a year.  Each year, students will get a new sheet if needed.  There is a place for the date and scale #.  I like to use a likert scale for each session and will record there progress here.

I will also be using a consultation summary sheet to record any parent phone calls, parent conferences, teacher meetings, etc. concerning students.  All of these documents will be organized by last name and I will use alphabetical dividers in my binder.  I will also be coming up with a system to document which groups students have participated in.

You can download my individual counseling form here and my consultation form here.

Having a plan for documentation always makes me feel so smart and organized! :)

I am always looking for new ways to document what I do...what do you use?