Showing posts with label SLP Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SLP Tips. Show all posts

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
        👀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!

10 Easy SLP Tips that Work: Expanding Choices for Middle School

As kids get into middle school, the choices they need to make expand in
frequency since they are spending more time away from you and with their peers. Their choices also become bigger, having more impact on their lives at the same time that their peers’ attitudes have a larger role in their lives.

Practical tips for SLPs working with Middle Schoolers
The good news is that parents, teachers and trusted adults still have an important role to play in the lives of pre-teens and teenagers. We can be their sounding boards for decision making, pointing out possible consequences of decisions that they may not have thought about. 

We can offer advice, but older students do not welcome being told what to do. It is important to offer advice as options that students can make, delineating both positive and negative possible consequences related to the choices. 

By discussing these factors and letting our youngsters make the decision, we are empowering them on their paths to become independent adults.

10 Tips for SLPs: Working with Difficult Students

1) Avoid unnecessary confrontations over behaviors. Stay calm and point out the negative consequences of the behaviors that the student is choosing to exhibit. (These hints apply to behaviors that are not dangerous or injurious.)

2) Repeat the request or the direction and give the student time and space to make a different choice.

3) If the student chooses to continue the inappropriate behavior, make sure to follow up with the negative consequence that was stated.

4) If the student chooses to make a more appropriate choice, continue from wherever you were, unobtrusively helping them to catch up. It also helps to find a quiet way to thank the student for making a better choice.

5) Consider whether the student’s inappropriate behaviors were due to internal factors or if it could be a reflection of the difficulty level of the work that was being done at the time. Often students will act out rather than admit that something is difficult or that they need help. 

6) Have choices available for the students' work that day.

    When students are having a difficult day, they may respond better to addressing their goals via a game or a video clip rather than a worksheet.

7) Communicate that you are aware that something is wrong when your difficult student walks in the door looking upset. 
Ask the student if they would like to talk about it or get the work done.

8) Be willing to barter on difficult days.               
Tips for helping middle school students make better choices.

Getting a smaller amount of responses than 
you hoped for is a better use of a session 
than having the student lose it and not 
accomplish anything at all.

9) Try to put a fun spin on some review work. Often students are willing to use a skill in a role-play situation, be the SLP and give you the directions, 
or engage in an online activity on days when they 
would refuse to complete more typical or harder work.

10) Spend time getting yourself ready for difficult days with ideas related to each of the goal areas on your IEPs. I have a few, fun back up games for general language skills, YouTube clips that can be used for a variety of language skills, and websites for making your own stories or comic strips ready to go at any time. 

Putting the links to these websites on one document can be helpful for finding them quickly on days when attention spans and tempers are short.

Pictured above are some fun games to have around for those difficult days. These will let you review some goal on your student's IEP, which is an improvement on doing nothing at all.

Photos, idioms, social language and problem solving for teens!
       When your students are able to settle down to get something accomplished, 
        it can help to work on problem-solving skills to make using the language easier on difficult days.

       Most kids would much rather figure out someone else's problems that bring their own up in a group, so the trick is to find materials that they can relate to in their lives. 

       I know how time-consuming this is, so check out what I have already put together for you!

Success over the Years: Practical Tips for Sharing (and Losing!)

Sharing is a social skill that we start teaching when children are as young as 1-2 years of age, but it continues over the years. To be successful in social interactions, we share more than just our toys and possessions. We share our stories, our thoughts, our ideas, and our feelings with others throughout our lives. 
Tips for successfully building social language skills for peer interactions from LLL.

Our language skills impact how we are able to share and interact. 
These practical tips for sharing will make your therapy more successful at building social language interaction skills while directly working on other speech/language goals.

Research shows that there are many factors that have an impact on sharing behavior: understanding of ownership, impulse control, and thinking about others’ perspectives, to name just a few.

How does this affect what we do in speech/language therapy and classrooms, especially with our autistic kids who are more likely to be bullied?

Tips for preschoolers to early elementary students

👀 Begin to teach sharing in activities with items that are not owned or possessed by either child, such as play sharing activities between two characters, working on pronouns his, hers, theirs.

👀 Practice sharing and turn-taking between children using similar objects that are not highly preferred by either, such as puzzles, and teach pronouns yours and mine.

👀 Have children request toys from each other during play rather than grabbing, teaching polite words such as "Can I?", please, and thank you.

👀 Have  children learn to wait for turns, teaching words like wait, short turn, and long turn.

👀 Start teaching perspective-taking skills by having them look at their peer and tell you how that child is feeling while waiting.

👀 Use a timer at first, if needed, but don’t stop there. Students need to learn to be able to share of their own accord rather than being told when to share (whether in words or timer use.)

👀 It is okay not to share everything! When we have new toys or very special items, we don’t always want to share. Just don’t bring them to school. At home, keep the special toys out of sight when friends come over or designate a nonshared toy for each sibling.

Read books about sharing to discuss how it makes people feel.
    👀 Read stories and discuss how we feel when someone grabs something, when we are waiting too long, or when we don’t get a turn.

      Helpful books for this age range, that directly discuss sharing, are shown in the picture.

Tips for later elementary students to teens

At older ages, students have learned to share objects. Our autistic students may actually share too much, according to research, accepting unfair trades and giving away more than they keep. Students in these age ranges may have problem sharing more abstract items, even though they can share common items perfectly well at this point.    
Tips to build skills in older students for losing games gracefully.

Sharing: Who Wins the Game?

This is often a problem, but there are some things that you can do.

👀 Begin with cooperative games where there are no losers and no winners. Teach concepts like having fun playing the game and co-operating.

👀 Use games where students don’t win, but they get to make predictions about what piece or color will win. They can even change their predictions along the way! Teach concepts such as first, then, next, and change.

👀 Play act sore losers and poor winners versus graceful ones with the game pieces. Talk about how that makes people feel and which type of player they would choose for the next game.

👀 Instead of congratulating and keeping track of the winners, give points for being kind/graceful winners or losers. Talk about if they enjoyed playing the game.

👀 Keep a chart of how many times your students politely played until the game was finished.

Join the Looks Like Language to Me Facebook group for this free social rules story about losing games!
👀 Join the Facebook group ‘Looks Like Language to Me’ to download the free social rules story to use with your students.

Sharing: Telling a Story

Make sure that your students are able to share personal narratives. You may be surprised at who has problems with this!

👀 Students who can only tell a fact about their weekend, rather than a cohesive story, may have problems having age-appropriate conversations with peers.

👀 Students who have problems clearly and quickly retelling a plot of a tv show, movie, or video game will be left out of these conversations.

👀 Students who aren’t able to share what they liked or disliked, and why, may not be able to actively participate in peer conversations about a movie, game or tv show.

👀 For working on narratives, learn about Story Grammar and adjust the ideas to the age level of your students.

Sharing: Feelings

Students who have problems labeling and expressing their own feelings are likely to not understand what to say or do when peers reach out to them in conversation about a problem they are having.

Students who are both impulsive and unable to verbally share their feelings are also likely to be the students who disrupt games with physical reactions like storming out or throwing the game on the floor. Try the tips listed above as they may not have been able to learn this skill when younger.

Sharing Equally- or Being Fair

As mentioned before, autistic students are more likely to just be compliant and overshare, or accept less than their fair share, which can lead to being bullied.

This can cause difficulties for resolving conflicts in middle and high school, where students often need to work in groups. Having the language to negotiate and stand up for ourselves is a functional skill that may need to be directly worked on.

Want to read more?

Helpful Articles

Sharing skills, and what we are sharing, change over the years, but are an ever present part of social interactions over a lifetime. The research is vast, but here are a few helpful articles to check out.

Mine or Yours? Development of Sharing in Toddlers in Relation to Ownership Understanding
This article has a great overview of some research on sharing and gives insight on the development of sharing skills.
Young Brains Lack Skills for Sharing
This quick read gives information about neurological skills needed for sharing.
Do Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Share Fairly and Reciprocally?
An in-depth research article that cites information about the possible roles of many neurological skills in sharing, including Theory Of Mind.
Research finds kids share when it's done by choice.
Another quick read that tells us that we need to teach children to make choices to share rather than making them share.
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