Work Collaboratively with More Success and Less Stress!

4 Tips for SLPs- Making it work! And one time it didn't! Looks-Like-Language with The Frenzied SLPs
Working with our students can sometimes be easier, in a way, than working with our colleagues! I'm joining up with The Frenzied SLPs to give some hints we picked up over the years for working in collegial relationships.

Collaborating with teachers can cover a range of experiences. I find it usually helps if you are able to choose which teachers to work with initially and when to be present in the classroom, so that you have some feeling of ease about how to address the IEP goals before walking in the door. 

For example, in elementary school I was comfortable with addressing all of the linguistic concepts needed for math word problems in the classroom, but I don't feel that way about joining a middle school algebra class!

Even when you have a working relationship of mutual respect with a teacher, it takes some time to develop a co-teaching style that you both are comfortable with. Since this journey is different with every teacher you will work with, I'll just give a few points to consider.

Collaborate with more success and less stress! Look Like Language

1. Try to have a short discussion with the teacher to find out when she will be most comfortable having you in. For example, she might feel less stress having you in at the end of the week when her content has been covered and she is doing activities to review and pull it all together. 

Alternatively, she may love to have you in at the beginning of the week when she is introducing vocabulary and basic concepts.  It all depends on her teaching styles, your comfort level with the subject area, and the needs of the student.

2. Be prepared to do more observation than intervention in the very beginning. Watch the teacher's teaching style, figure out how you can address your goals during that time period without causing a major disruption in her routines, and be sure to find out her comfort level with throwing out comments! 

Some teachers don't mind having you join in and speak, while others are very uncomfortable having their flow be disturbed, preferring that you be more involved at a specific point during the time. Coming up with visual supports and other strategies for the student to use, with minimal discussion, can be helpful in this situation.

3. Realize that, especially in the beginning, you won't necessarily feel that the same amount of personal intervention with your student has taken place. Your first priority is to build a relationship with the teacher and observe how the student's language needs are impacting his ability to do well in the classroom. 

Once you have established these goals, the interventions you put in place will be more likely to be supported and used by the classroom staff even when you aren't in the room, making up for the slower start.

4. Be flexible! Working with your coworkers demands the same skill set you use to adapt the work and the flow of the therapy session for each of your students. You have to fit yourself into the spot where they are and try to move forward together.

Do you like all of the ways you have to work collaboratively with others? What is your least favorite? Mine, quite honestly, was having student interns. I just didn't know what to do with myself while watching therapy all day long!

10 Fun and Easy Halloween Games: Challenge at the Target Dollar Spot

Target dollar finds are great for fun and easy Halloween themed therapy games that work on student IEP goals! It’s even better when you can freshen up and re-use something you already own by combining the old and new materials. Can you meet the challenge and come up with 10 different speech/language therapy activities using your own Target Dollar Spot finds?

Have fun with 10 different Halloween activities for varied speech/language therapy goals using just 3 items!

NEW: Number Clings from the Target Dollar Store

OLD: A Halloween Countdown Box from a Starbucks sales bin

1. Articulation -Window Sticky Game.

   • Roll a die and say a word/phrase/sentence with the target sounds that many times correctly.
   • Then open the box with the same number.
   • Take the cling number and throw it at the window, trying to get it to stick.
   • The student with the most number clings stuck to the window wins.

2. Articulation – Clean Up the Sticky Window Game.

   • Roll a die to see which number cling you will get to take off the window.
   • Try to say a short story with the same number of target sound words used correctly to take off that number and put it back in the box.
   • The student who collected the most cling numbers wins.

3. Vocabulary Word Knowledge.

    • Put vocabulary words on slips of paper, putting one in each box.
    • Roll a die to see which box to open and take out the word.
    • Tell that number of details about the vocabulary word: definitions, a sentence, synonyms, antonyms, part of speech, things associated with it, function, etc.
    • If you can give the correct number of pieces of information, throw the same number at the window.
    • If it falls off, it goes back on the sheet for someone else to use.

4. Making Inferences.

    • Put pictures/words for the inference items on the front of the boxes.
    • Place the number clings inside the boxes, but don't worry about matching the numbers.
    • Read the inference cards from the Halloween Costume Guessing Game, the Halloween Inference Game, or use your own inferences.
    • The first student to make the correct inference about what is being described gets to open the box with the matching picture/word and take out the number cling to throw.
    • Count that many students around the group to see who has the next turn.
    • Play until time is up or the cards are done.

5. Answer WH Questions.

• Place the number clings in a box with the matching number.
• The students roll the die to find out how many questions need to be answered. The student gets to open the box if all of the answers were correct.
• If not, the next student takes a turn.
• The number clings wait on the table in front of the students who earned them until all of the boxes have been opened.
• After ready, set, go, it is a race to see who is the first student who can get all of their numbers to cling to the window first.

Have fun with 10 different Halloween activities for varied speech/language therapy goals using just 3 items!

6. Correct Sentences.

• Fill the boxes with Halloween words/pictures for actions and objects
• Students take turns walking to the window to take off a number cling and open the matching box.
• The student has to tell a sentence or short story using the words/pictures from the box, including the target structure that is being worked on. (singular/plural, verb tense, pronoun, etc.) to keep the box.
• If incorrect, the words/pictures and box go back into the haunted house, the cling goes back on the wall and the next student takes a turn.
• Students try to get the most boxes in front of them to win the game.

7. Narratives- Tell a Short Story.

• Place a Halloween character and the matching number cling inside the box.
• Students roll a die to determine which box to open and tell a story with a beginning, middle and end or all of the basic story grammar parts using the character from the box.
• Then the student can throw the number cling at the window.
• They get a score by adding the number of story parts plus the number on their cling.
• See who has the greatest score after each student has had a turn.

8. Following directions: next to, beside, over, under, above, right side, left side.

• Place one number cling randomly in each box and cover the box with a Halloween picture.
• Give the student directions to find the correct box.
• If the students followed your directions and named the correct item, they get the number cling inside the box to throw at the window.

9. Describing Halloween Items.

• Place a Halloween word/picture in each of the boxes.
• Students take turns choosing which box to open and take out the word/picture without showing anyone.
• They give as many clues as needed, describing the Halloween item with using the label, until someone can guess what it is.
• Then they throw one of the number clings at the window. If it falls off, you keep it.
• When all of the boxes are done, see if the students’ total score of all of the clings on the window beats your score(clings which fell off.)

10. Asking WH questions.

• Place a Halloween word/picture in each of the boxes.
• Students take turns choosing which box to open and take out the word/picture without showing anyone.
• They ask questions whose answer will be that Halloween item until one of the other students in the group answers correctly.
• If more than one question is needed, the student has to use a different WH question word each time until someone can answer. Then they get to throw a number cling.
• The number clings are thrown in order and the game ends when all have been thrown.

Have fun with 10 different Halloween activities for varied speech/language therapy goals using just 3 items!
You May Be Asking….

1. What if moving around like this is too chaotic?
      Although students often have been sitting still for too long and some will work better when given a chance to move around, if your students need to be seated, try these ideas:
👻 Have them collect the static cling numbers first, 
      then take turns after the work is done to throw 
      them at the window.
👻 Have just one student at a time get up to throw.
👻 Place a container in the center of the table to throw the clings into so they can stay seated.
👻 Collect small Halloween plastic pieces to fidget with instead of clings that they can rip apart.
👻Earn tokens on a Halloween themed board to get some free time when work is done.

2. What if I don’t have a countdown box like that?
👻 Cut openings in the top of a shoebox lid glued on to thick paper.
👻 Use small containers  in place of the box.
👻 Use a variety of Halloween containers instead.
👻 Use the cute freebie boxes that are available at ‘It Looks Like Language to Me’ or in the ‘It's Looking Like Language’ monthly email. (Just sign up on the pop-up!)
Free download when you join the LLL FB group or newsletter!

3. What if I don’t have number clings?
👻Use Halloween window clings.
👻Use soft magnetic pieces on a magnet board.
👻Use small Halloween objects to toss in a Halloween candy container.

Did this post get your creative juices flowing? What ideas did you come up with?

3 Thrilling Halloween Activities

Halloween is such a fun holiday! Your students can have a blast learning with just a bit of effort on your part if you make these enjoyable interactive therapy materials that cost you almost nothing!

Thrilling, you might say? Well, I was certainly thrilled that my students loved these activities so much that I didn't have too much planning to do! And if you landed here by accident, scroll down to the bottom for some Halloween ideas on video!

Last year this time, my blog was still so new that these fun activities got hardly any exposure, and they truly deserve better than that! So, I am recapping each activity here,  from youngest to oldest ages, with a link to the full posts. My students have had so much fun with these activities, I'm quite sure that yours will, too!

Halloween therapy ideas from Looks Like Language

Our youngest and most limited students often need help learning the language for routines. What better way to help them than play? Just a shoebox, construction paper and some stickers can help you create great Halloween interactive fun. You can use this over and over all month long! Click here.
Yes, you can create easy therapy materials!

A bit of colored felt, glue and markers can add a lot to any Halloween toys that you own! Puppets are so helpful to get shy students talking. Putting anything into a container gives that element of surprise that kids love, almost like opening a present! Give yourself a little present and check out this speech/language therapy idea here!

Tips for Making Bingo Interactive!

Older students like to have fun, too! Get a little gaming and movement into your therapy sessions with this easy to make bingo variation. I've used it to work on inference skills, but you can do so much more to adapt it to your group's goals! Learn about it here.

                                                           Not so cute :(
Felt Halloweenies are quick and easy to do!

Update: I just had to share my latest Target find since it may still be available near you! While it is true that our hand made materials get kids talking just as well as the 'pretty' ones, we do like to treat ourselves a little and these are just darn cute!

I love the button feature- you can reinforce those fine motor skills while having the fun of hiding something inside one of them! Have your students request each one until they find where the prize was hidden!

                                                     Very cute! :)

Be sure to check out the links to my free Halloween downloads! You can access all of the links here.

How about some thrilling, easy to do Halloween decorations?

Or maybe you'd like these fun tricks for setting up a party!

Happy Halloween! Enjoy!
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