9 Practical Tips to a Speech Room You will Love!


Ever feel that if you don’t have your speech therapy space organized before students start school that the year will be a long, downhill slide?
And if you have multiple schools, the effect is just magnified!

9 Practical Tips to a Speech Room You will Love!
Since time is so precious at the beginning of the school year, here are some tips to think about before you even enter the building. Going in with a priority plan can help you get off to a good start more quickly!

Organizing Furniture


     1.  Seat students where they can see a bulletin board with posters of the strategies you will be teaching. It is great for helping them to use the strategies more independently over the year.

     2.  Place your chair in a position where you can can reach the phone (for help if needed) or door (for students who are runners) before your students can.

3.  Have a low file drawer, or even better, a rolling cart, within arm’s reach of where you are sitting. This is the place to keep basic supplies, log notes, books and other therapy items that you are currently using.

4.  Have your desk/table with the computer in a position where the students can easily see from the table or pull their chairs over to it. This makes accessing online resources as part of your therapy easier.

5.  Consider individual student needs. Some students are better able to work in a defined area with boundaries.

-  If your room size allows, it is great to have a single desk for these kids who come individually. Place it where there is a wall at their back and/or side and they have an undistracted view, if possible. Windows tend to be more distracting than wall decorations because of the movements you can catch out of the corner of your eye.

- If your room is small, you have boundaries built in! You just might need to give your table a push in one direction or another to make it work.

In a perfect world (LOL), there would be a rug symbolizing a quiet break area next to the work area, with a ‘BREAK’ symbol near it, allowing you to prompt your student to request a break when they get up from the table.


Organizing Materials


9 Practical Tips to a Speech Room You will Love!
1. There are so many ways to store materials! 
For my tips on how to store worksheets 
and TpT materials, check out this post.

2. Shelving is the best bet for games and toys. 
If you don’t have built in classroom 
shelving, inexpensive plastic shelves that 
come apart easily for summer storage can work.

- For young or easily distracted kids, you 
might want to have something covering the shelves until work time is done. 
Felt (or a colorful sheet) work great since you 
can just pull them to make the toys visible 
when it is request time.

3. Bins have many uses!

- If you do thematic therapy, try keeping a bin of books, activities and worksheets at varied levels within easy reach (on top of your short filing cabinet or in your rolling cart.)

- This makes it easier to quickly grab what you need and to adjust activities for mixed levels or add a quick activity to end the session.

9 Practical Tips to a Speech Room You will Love!
    4. Containers! I just love containers!

    - Keep a container of some sort in easy reach with school supplies you frequently use.

    - Use colorful seasonal boxes, or containers to match your theme, to keep a review activity in to start the next session. You can even use felt shapes to match your theme!

9 Practical Tips to a Speech Room You will Love!
Even better, put some thematic toys for younger kids, or challenge activities 
      for older kids, in the box for 
      unprompted language samples. 

Sooner or later, someone will get curious 
and ask about it!

The photos show some of the types of activities I'd have available for my 
      themes. 

Even if the levels and language skills are different, having a variety of fun activities on a theme helps pull mixed groups together!

The funny apple pictures and sorting board are from the Apple Activities set at my store. It includes describing puzzles, mazes and homework worksheets, too! 

The describing apples poster is a bonus freebie that comes with the Fall Language Skills Bundle. After you have taught the skills, it is great to hang on a bulletin board!

Your Organization Ideas


I’m reaching out to my newsletter followers this fall to share your ideas with us!

We work in so many different physical conditions and with such varied student populations, no one person could come up with solutions for everyone!

So, be sure to open your newsletter to get the contest details. A lucky someone will get a free set from my store to get their year off to a good start!

What? You aren’t following me? That is easy peasy to fix. Just sign up with the pop-up box. (Yes, I hate them, too, but they do make it easy!)

Next time, I’ll be sharing your suggestions and we will vote for the WORST EVER ROOM story!

Enjoy! 
Linda

3 Rhyming Games That Are Fun and Easy! Rhyme Time! Week 4

Have you been having fun with rhyming? I sure hope so! If you missed the other parts of this free rhyming set, as well as my ideas for how to incorporate word play in daily life, start by clicking here.


Looks Like Language has free downloads for parents, too
Now that your children are familiar with rhyming, maybe you'd like to try some challenges! Ask the question and then the children can take turns providing a starting word. 

Be sure to talk about which WORD has the most/least rhymes, NOT which child guessed the best. This helps with keeping it a collaborative family game instead of a sibling fight.

1.  What do you think is the biggest number of rhymes we can make?
(After the challenge: "Great going, guys! We met the challenge!"
OR, "Good try, everyone! That word was harder to rhyme than we thought!")

2. What word is the hardest to rhyme?
(After the challenge: "That was a hard one! We couldn't come up with real words, so let's try some silly ones and see how many of those we can name.")

3. How many real/silly/both rhymes can we make for all the names in our family? Which name do you think will be the easiest? Hardest?

I know you are having fun now! But be sure to download the last set of free picture cards, too!

Enjoy!


Linda

Rhyme Time! Week 3 Freebie

It is Rhyme Time! Since I feel very committed to helping children, I've made a series of easy to play games that can be used by parents, SLPs, SPED and PreK teachers to help build children's literacy skills. This week, there's another rhyming set available to download for free!

Playing with rhymes helps kids get ready for reading! Free download from Looks Like Language.
Why rhyming? It is one of the important pre-reading skills that children need to have! Download this free part of the set here and keep coming back every week to get the rest of the set. 

RHYMING TIP:

When you are playing around with the sounds in words, like in this rhyming set, encourage children to pay attention to their tongues and mouth. When you start the rhyming pairs, the beginning sounds are different. What did they do that made it different? Maybe one sound used lips (like 'pear') and the next word used their tongues (like 'tear'.)

Are you an educator looking for something more in depth?

Take a peek at my rhyming games at my store! There are 66 different pictures in this set, so you can differentiate more easily for groups and even build vocabulary with the less common words. Click here to check it out.

Enjoy!
Linda

Rhyme Time! Week 2 Freebie

Who doesn't love a good Dr. Seuss book, full of rhymes? Theodor Seuss Geisel was a brilliant man whom we should all be grateful for. His funny creatures and entertaining rhymes have taught many children to read!

Easy tips to help your child with pre reading skills. Be ready for school!
The power of rhyming is well known, and it is something that parents can easily learn how to fit into their regular routines with their kids.  Just liven up a boring task with a word game and you will be helping your child to be more ready for school!

Don't forget to start a night time routine for a short story or book, either!

Now, I'm not claiming to have the sparkling wit of Dr. Seuss, but this free download will help you get started playing word games with your kids.

Want more tips for word games? Start at the beginning of the summer series here.

What are your favorite books for kids?

Enjoy- Linda

Rhyme Time! Week 1 Freebie

Summer is for fun, and who says that rhyming games can't be fun? Playing word games with your kids over the summer is a great way to help them keep their skills strong for back to school time!

There are free printable word games on this blog all summer long! If you missed the last set, start here to play with beginning and ending sounds.

Learn tips to help kids withe pre-reading skills at Looks Like Language!
This week's download starts off a rhyme series. The picture are adorable, so keep coming back all summer to get the complete set!

Don't forget to play rhyming games in the car, too! 


Start with basic games:
- Do a round robin where one person starts with a simple one syllable rhyming word like  'at.'  Everyone takes turns naming a rhyming until someone runs out of ideas. See if you can beat your last group score!

Make it harder:
-  Play a game for giving clues for something you can see around you. first give a rhyming clue. Then give a describing clue. Then tell what it is for. Three strikes and you are out!

"I'm thinking of something that rhymes with 'grouch.'
It is (color.)
You sit on it."

For older kids:
Play the same games but use 2 or 3 syllable words only!

Kids love this fun that builds articulation or phonics skills!
Are you seriously in the business of helping students with their pre-reading skills? Try this fun game with 48 different picture cards!

What word games does your family like to play?

Enjoy- Linda

3 NO COST Tips to Help STOP Summer Time Lag!


Did you know that students who don’t keep expanding their vocabulary over the summer come back to school in the fall lagging behind their peers who continued learning?

It is just one way to measure growth, but is closely tied to many skills needed for school success.

Parents, what you do with your children at home is so important! You CAN help your kids to be better prepared for school each and every year. These ideas are NO COST, but they do take a bit of time. And you don't even need to leave your home for most of these!

Stop your kids' summer time lag with these no cost tips from Looks Like Language!
3 tips to help stop that summer time lag!

Vocabulary:

Choose a word of the week and give a thumbs up for every time one of your kids uses that word in a sentence. The winner earns an easy prize:
• Stay up 15 minutes later (or in bed later in the morning)
• Choose the next cereal to be bought
• 1 chore to be shared by the other kids one time
• A star next to their name on a piece of paper on the fridge
• Play word games where you take turns:
-naming something in a category that starts or ends with a letter.
-describing something until someone guesses it.
-going through the alphabet to name an item you would find in a place.

Read:

Reading is the most important thing you can do! If your kids totally resist trips to the library, try these ideas:

• Try a manga (comic strip pictures) book.
• Read the comics together if you get a paper or have computer access.
• Make something your family loves to eat and have your kids read the recipe to you.
• Have your kids read the labels at the store to find out how much sugar or salt are in the food.
• Find a show or movie with subtitles that you have access to and take turns reading the script.


Tell a story:


For school practice, the stories have to have a beginning, middle and end that are connected by a main idea. Try these ideas:
• At a shared meal, tell something about your day.
• Tell a story about something that you will always remember.
• Tell about the worst time you ever had at (place)
• Tell about the last episode of their favorite tv show. Does it make sense even if you haven’t seen the show?
• Tell a wish/hope story, like:
      - If I could could travel anywhere...
-If I won a shopping spree at my favorite store...
-If I invented a _____...
-If I was stranded on an island...
-If I had a personal robot...

Whatever you do, just keep on talking!
Have a great summer! Enjoy- Linda

Having Fun Learning Emotions! Week 1 Free Activity Set

Emotions are such a vital part of our communication process. Try imagining how you would feel if you had to go through an entire week with out being able to express how you felt about events in your daily life. What effect would that have on you?


Have fun expanding vocabulary for emotions with this free download from Looks Like Language!
Anger? Frustration? Powerlessness? All of these and more? We know it would not be good.

Many of our students lack the vocabulary to really express how they feel about things that they have to deal with or are requested to do. Even if they can label the basic emotions of happiness, sadness and anger, is this really enough?

I don't believe it is. So, I have made this printable download free and available to everyone as a way to get started expanding your children's or students' skills. You only stand to gain from this, so why not download it now?

My newsletter followers get the complete set in one download, often with exclusive freebies. Interested? Just sign up for my bimonthly newsletter mailing list now. No spam, no sharing emails, and you can unsubscribe at any time, although I hope you will love it and stay with me!

Come back next week for the next section of the set!

Enjoy- Linda
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