One thing about us special educators, we’ve got a million “tools” in our pocket, car, or desk drawer.

Seriously, I have NEVER lost one of those “What’s in your pocketbook?” games because I always have the weirdest stuff on me.

In the past, I wrote about “all the things” I always keep in my therapy bag.

We grown-ups who work with kids really need those “weird” tools you’d never think of: A protractor, painter’s tape, an Allen key.

I know—it’s surprising.

But there’s one tool that’s been in my in my therapy bag for two decades—a measuring tape!

I use a measuring tape ALL THE TIME at work. The smaller and lighter, the better. I use it to measure:

  1. The length of the floor tile where you work to document how far a kid jumped, scooted, etc. (Example: One tile = 12 inches. Johnny pulled himself on the scooter for 27 tiles = Johnny went 27 feet!)
  2. For handwriting or scissors assessments (Johnny is able to write within 1/5th of an inch of the baseline, Johnny is making 50% of his letters one inch or smaller, Johnny is able to cut out a circle within 1/8th of an inch of the designated boundary).
  3. To order the right size, measure a child’s trunk and waist for weighted vests or proprioceptive vests.
  4. Measure a child’s head for helmets or headphones.
  5. How tall the student’s desk or chair is—this allows me to ask the custodian for exactly what I need: a 14-inch chair, not a “smaller” chair. It’s so important that we assess the furniture our kiddos are sitting in.

I bet you can share a few of your own uses in the school setting below…? What is it? I’m so curious!


I feel so strongly that every teacher and therapist should have a Tape Measure that I donated them to the SWAG BAG for the The swag bags are sold out, but you can still Be sure to use the coupon code SEL10 for an additional 10% off (until July 31, 2022).

Isn’t it cute? I love that it clips on your backpack—it will always be with you.

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