Showing posts with label *. Show all posts
Showing posts with label *. Show all posts

Quick Tips to Save You Time and Money for Years

Do you know an SLP who doesn’t want quick and easy tips to save time for years to come? Of course not! So be sure to save this post to your tips board!

These fun holiday themed activities let you work on any goals!
TIP 1: Remember that the holiday vocabulary is not the focus of the session.

While it isn’t worth our precious time to teach holiday words that only get used yearly, nothing says that we can’t incorporate holiday themes into our therapy sessions in a fun way! This lets students continue to make progress on their specific IEP goals in a festive way.

TIP 2: Cut out basic holiday shapes and laminate.

All you need is some holiday-themed construction paper to cut into basic shapes. If you know someone with a die-cut machine, it is even easier!

Mixed groups in speech therapy are easy with these fun  activities!
TIP 3: Individualize the shapes.

In the picture above, you can see the colorful pilgrim shapes that I used for years.  They are individualized with the addition of pictures for the students’ goals added on with double-sided sticky tape.  If you don’t have double-sided, a rolled-up piece of sticky tape will do!

You can also use a dry erase marker to quickly write on the words your students need to practice, or let them say the words 5 times correctly and then write it for you!

TIP 4: Quick changes are fast and easy!


If you don’t feel like making enough shapes for all of your groups, just keep a full-page laminated sheet nearby. It is fast and easy to swap out a set of articulation pictures for a set of action pictures, for example!

These easy to do group therapy activities tips will work for any holiday!
TIP 5: There are so many ways to use these!

👀 Make mixed groups easy by turning the picture side down and giving each student a set.  Combine varied sets of holiday theme shapes to elicit descriptive words:

•  the color item.
•  small or large.
•  old versus new, clean versus dirty.
•  the functions of the various shapes.

👀 Place the shapes in a square array to have students request using positional words:

•  the color item on the bottom/middle/top.
•  the color item on the left/center/right.
•  the color item that is above/below the color item.

👀 Write question words on one side and a picture on the other. Students are only allowed to keep the card if they correctly ask and answer a question using both words.

👀Add in picture cards from any sets you own to target specific goals before choosing a card. These Thanksgiving photo cards allow for a variety of goals to be addressed.

Then you can add little surprises like these to the backs of the cards that older students appreciate, like:

• No homework today!
• You earned an extra point!
• Bonus minute for free time!

The sky is the limit with how these can be used! Just remember to erase or take off the tape before storing them for next year!

Great Books SLPs will Love to Read: Therapy Tips for Any Book


There are so many great books! How does an SLP choose? When you are at the beginning of your SLP journey, it is probably easiest to build up your book stash one book at a time. Why?


Build Your Skills for Adapting Materials
It isn’t just a matter of buying the books, it is also learning how to adapt materials to meet varied needs and come up with associated materials. 

Tips for how to build your skills for mixed groups using books in speech therapy from Looks Like Language.
Read the book first and challenge yourself

How many different goals that you are currently working on can be elicited while reading the book?  Write a sticky note for each of these and place them in the correct spot in the book.

Provide Repetition for Student Learning
What follow up activity will you do after the book that elicits the same vocabulary and goals you just addressed? This is important! All of your students need additional practice during the session to solidify the growth.

Current practice says that students with articulation goals should make 100 productions during the session. This can be done with any book theme by making a light photocopy of one of the illustrations and having the students daub or color in small circles for each production. 

Just print this free dauber page on clear plastic and then use it as an overlay on the book illustration. 

It is easy to make a dauber page from the book's illustration! Get the free download.
Voila! A book themed dauber page that can also be used for grammar, vocabulary, and WH? Practice, to name a few.

Use the book for a week as research shows that children retain vocabulary better through repeated readings. Plus, kids love to re-read favorite books and we are only using great books!

How to Use One Book for a Week
First reading:
👀 Explain vocabulary in context as you read.
👀 Make inferences from the illustrations.
👀 Make predictions about what will happen next.
👀 Discuss the characters’ emotions.
👀 Summarize the beginning, middle, and end.

Post reading:
👀 Collect additional data while filling out an organizer related to the goals. Students can write, draw, or discuss it together while you fill it out from their responses.
👀 Check story comprehension during a quick drill activity, an open-ended game, or craft activity based on the sticky notes you wrote for each goal.

Second + readings:

Students answer questions related to the post-it notes you took data on during the previous session to check their retention rate before reading.
Have students summarize what they remember of the plot. This is great for quick language samples, too!

Re-read the story:
👀 Answer WH? for each page, noticing details in the illustrations that support the text.
👀 Use a look back strategy when students are not able to answer the question, modeling how to look for the pictures or skim for the words to be able to find out the answers by themselves. Don’t just say the correct answer and move on!

Individualize by the questions you ask.
Vocabulary: What does ‘this word’ mean? Find the __.
Articulation: What is this? What word means __? Say it 5 times.
Sentences: Tell me what happened. What will happen next?
Social skills: How does the character feel?  What could the character be thinking in this picture? Do character1 and character 2 feel/see this the same way? 

Post reading:
Concentrate more on how well students are able to express the ideas from the book based on their specific goals. Use a different follow-up activity than you did in the previous session.

Additional ideas include:
👀 Have students take turns telling the story while drawing a picture for their part.
👀 Watch a YouTube video of the book with the sound off to retell the plot.
👀 Have the students role-play the parts of the different characters to see which of the targets are spontaneously used.

Get a free download and lots of tips for using books in speech therapy!

But what about students with limited literacy skills or other needs?

These students function at varying levels, so you need to individualize to their current needs, not the disability.

Nonverbal students may have appropriate literacy skills, but still need to be able to communicate during the book discussions. This involves programming their AAC device to be able to communicate about books in general. Their devices should only include vocabulary they will want to use again.

Symbol communication boards are best for vocabulary and concepts specific to one book. While they do take time to make, they are part of your materials to support each book and can be re-used, so it is worth your time.  These boards are also helpful for verbal, language limited students to expand their communication skills, too.

Students with limited reading skills can still increase their reading and verbal comprehension when stories are read to them. As they grow older, it is a good idea to support more independent reading skills. For example, you can read online using various dictation and text to speech options.

Students with very limited literacy skills may need to use adapted books, where the words are supported by visual symbols and the text may be shortened. Simple repetitive refrain books are great to do this with, whether you are using trade picture books or creating your own.

 What is your best tip for using great books in therapy?

4 Tips for How to Conquer the Challenge of Mixed Groups


Mixed groups can be challenging until you learn how to conquer them! While it is possible to cobble together varied work and tie it all together with an open-ended game, think about how much more learning goes on when speech, language, and social skills are incorporated into the same session so that you are improving all of your students’ needs. This blog post has tips to help you accomplish just that.

4 Tips for How to Conquer the Challenge of Mixed Groups

TIP 1: Have fun activities that your students enjoy.

It is no secret that learning takes place more efficiently when students are having fun and engaged in the learning process.
Favorite activities for older students include:
        👀Board games
        👀Challenges
        👀Dice games
        👀Spinner activities
        👀Role plays

TIP 2: Make the work look similar.

If you have worked with older kids at all, you also know that middle school age is a tough time for feelings of self-confidence and seeing that those other students in the group are doing different activities can lead to questions about why someone has the hard work and someone else has the easy work.

The secret is to figure out a way to use the exact same materials as much as possible, but let the role of the student in the activity change.

👀 One student asks, the other answers.
👀 One student explains the first part, the next student explains the last part.
👀 One student does the first part the first day to model, then switches up to the more difficult task the next session.


TIP 3: Plan ahead for how to make the activities co-ordinate for a variety of goals.

With some creative thinking and a bit of planning, you can incorporate different goals into the fun activity you have planned for the majority of your caseload. At the beginning of the school year, it may take a bit of time to co-ordinate goals, but soon can become second nature.

Tips for using sticky notes to plan speech therapy sessions.
Visible sticky notes are great!
👀 Once you have the types of activities to make plans for, write yourself a note about which goals to elicit on the days you do those activities.
👀 Figure out ways to get students to interact with each other to use their skills in context.
👀 Think about what is the best time during   
      that activity to address each need and take that student’s data.
👀 This helps you reuse the planning from one session to the next.

TIP 4: Collect materials with multiple levels in one goal area.

While this is perfect for starting students at the lowest skill level and building abilities to a higher level, it also allows students at different levels in this skill to interact with each other.

👀 Letting one student explain something to another student, like playing teacher, can be a great way to consolidate skills for the one student while letting the other student hear the perspective that made it click for his peer.
👀 Having a variety of materials in one set makes your job easier, too. One student can sequence 2 pictures to play the game, another can work on sentences, while others read the passage silently while waiting and tell the answer when it is their turn.

Working with mixed groups is quite possible. Hope these tips help! Enjoy!
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