Session Preparation

The Session Preparation screen contains all reports, alerts, forms, checklists, and actions needed for the next session, plus the attendance list and makeup session video links.

How to get to Session Prep

  1. Select your group in the drop-down menu.
  2. Open Session Preparation form the LENA Start section of the main menu, or click the icon on the group's detail dashboard.
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

Tabs across the top of the screen represent the LENA Start sessions. The upcoming session, indicated by a blue "information" icon, is automatically selected.

A toggle at the top lets you choose In Person or Virtual sessions to customize your session checklist. LENA will remember your selection for this group, but you can also change it at any time.

What's on the upcoming session tab?

Think of this tab as your session preparation dashboard. Click each numbered item for more information.

1. Group Alerts
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

Group alerts identify any immediate actions needed to keep the group on track. These include:

A green check mark means all is well. A red alert means action is needed now! Click the alert to see what it means and how to fix it.

All green? Congratulations...you've got pep in your prep!

Work through your checklist and be sure to review the Prep Report for child-by-child details and for issues that don't rise to the level of a Group Alert.

2. Checklist

The Checklist section takes a moment to load, but it has all the steps you need to complete before the upcoming session and actions to complete when the session is over, as well as information on essential components of the session and fidelity reminders to help ensure your families get the most out of LENA Start. Handy links throughout the list take you instructions.

Click the Virtual/In-Person toggle at the top of the screen to display the right checklist for your session type. The virtual checklist supports both the virtual-presentation model and the send-ahead video playlist model.  

Click the purple "eye" icon to hide or show the checklist. Hiding it brings your Prep Report up higher on the screen, which can be helpful for comparing the participant notifications against the group alerts.

If you prefer to work through your checklist on paper, highlight all of the checklist text, then right-click and select Print.

3. Prep Report and Attendance
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

The Prep Report contains details for each enrolled family, including:

  • child and caregiver names (no more "Hello, Mr... Ellie's Dad"!)
  • notifications - noteworthy achievements, problems with reports, and issues to address ASAP to keep a family on track
  • number of star stickers each family earned for this session (including stars from the previous session, if missed)
  • current reading minutes, so you can quickly scan to see who needs to have these entered (Session 4 and later)
  • current attendance and recording counts, color coded for quick identification of who is on track (green) and who needs help to graduate (yellow or red)
  • check boxes to mark this session's attendance

Want this report in hand during the session? We thought you might. Print it from the Materials section at the bottom of Session Prep.

4. Materials (for printing)

The Materials section is your source for session-specific printed materials and LENA Online items. What's included varies from week to week.

Required Materials

These are the printed materials you would typically have on hand for an in-person session using the Coordinator Notes.

In most cases, for a virtual session you will provide these items electronically, but you may still need to print or PDF some items if families do not have texting access. See the Pre-Session Checklist for details.

If printing or saving as PDF, do so the day before the session or the day of, after checking that all LENA Days have processed and all reading minutes have been reported.

  1. Click the Print/view button to generate a single, multi-page document containing everything you must hand out to families for this specific session - from reports to Snapshots to graduation certificates.
  2. Review.
  3. When ready, right-click on the document and select Print (or use Ctrl+P on Windows, or Command+P on Mac). If appropriate, you can select only certain pages. Be sure to select a color printer.

Additional Materials

Click any item to view. Send items to the printer as needed, selecting the appropriate quantity in the print dialog.

The materials section and group text buttons are no longer available after the session date has passed, so be sure to access what you need before they disappear!

Technically, the bulk text options and and Group Stars Report are also in Materials, but each has its own special instructions below.

5. Snapshot Texts
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

The Snapshot Texts section appears in sessions when the Snapshot will be administered. Click the Send button to text each primary caregiver their child's online Snapshot link.

Be careful not to project the Session Prep screen to the group if sending during a session, as it contains families' private information, like number of stars earned, graduation status, and notifications.

This button sends texts only. For a caregiver without a smartphone, you can do any of the following:

  • print a paper form from Additional Materials
  • send the link by email
  • plan to pull up the child's individual link from the Snapshots screen on a spare tablet or computer during an in-person session
6. Parent Survey Texts
LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

The Parent Survey Texts section appears in sessions when the survey will be administered. Click the Send button to text each primary caregiver their own survey link.

Be careful not to project the Session Prep screen to the group if sending during a session, as it contains families' private information, like number of stars earned and graduation status.

This button sends texts only. For a caregiver without a smartphone, you can print a paper form from Additional Materials. Be sure to have only the primary caregiver complete the form.

7. Send LENA Report Texts

For Sessions 3 and 4 you can click the button to send report links to all caregivers. This is a great option for virtual sessions, or if printing reports is not feasible, for the two sessions before automatic report texting begins.

This button sends texts only. For a caregiver without a smartphone, you can print a paper report or print to PDF from the Additional Materials section.

8. Send-Ahead Playlist Texts
Send-Ahead Playlist Texts

If you're holding a virtual session with send-ahead videos, this is how you'll send caregivers the link to the videos to watch before your discussion. Click Send to trigger a text to all caregivers in the group who have valid numbers, in their preferred language.

This button sends texts only. For details on other options, see Send LENA Start session videos to caregivers. To send make-up session texts to individual families for previous sessions, use the Group Info section of that session.

9. Group Stars Report

The Group Stars Report section appears in Session 6 and later so you can show the report during the session, like this:

  1. While setting up for your session, click Show to bring up the report in a new tab.
  2. Leave that tab open, close the Session Prep tab, and start the presentation.
    • Closing the Session Prep tab prevents accidentally showing sensitive information to the whole group.
  3. When you reach the Group Stars Report slide, use keyboard shortcut Alt+Tab to switch from the slide to the report.
    • The report will still be open even if your connection to LENA Online has timed out.
  4. Present the report as outlined in the Coordinator Notes.
  5. Use Alt+Tab to switch back to the presentation, and continue the session.
Session Prep full composite image

What's on the previous session tabs?

The tab for a previous sessions shows the checklist (hidden in this image, by clicking the "eye") and a Group Info section.

Use the Group Info section to mark attendance after the fact and to send the video playlist to individual families in advance of make-up sessions.

LENA Online™ - Google Chrome

When to use Session Prep

Check your group's Session Prep screen at least one day before each session to get everything ready. (For Session 1, give yourself a few extra days to follow steps for preparing your devices.)

Use Session Prep during each session to take attendance, and to send group texts or display the Group Stars report as needed.

Use Session Prep after each session to work through the post-session checklist, wrap up data entry, and send make-up session playlists.