Have you ever thought about co-teaching virtually with your IEP team members? Today, I share about how my special education teachers and I are co-teaching virtually to help our students feel supported during distance learning.
It has been a really positive experience and I share why in this episode! If you have been feeling stressed out with techy issues, not sure how to get parents involved or just missing your students, this is a great way to plan some engaging lessons as a team.
By working as a team you can split up lesson planning to make the load a little easier, and you can prepare lessons that go with the activities your teachers are assigning.
Sponsor: Did you know that the Speech Retreat had to cancel for the in-person professional development this summer? Don’t worry! We are going to be doing the Speech Retreat Recharge virtually on July 18th. Grab your ticket today. If you want swag delivered to your doorstep, then you need to snag a ticket by June 1st. Head here to get your ticket. www.speechretreat.com
Get the free virtual backgrounds and Google Slides for the book In the Tall Tall Grass HERE:
The easiest way to run a virtual teletherapy session or class meet-up has been when using a Google Slide presentation. It is just like a PowerPoint. You can add in YouTube videos, images, and visual supports your students may need during the lesson.
You can screen share your Google Slide presentation while running the lesson. Click pink button below to grab your free In the Tall, Tall Grass teletherapy activity Google Slides and have everything ready to go!
I read the book aloud and showed the students the pictures while the other teacher removed the things hidden in the tall, tall grass on the Google Slide.
Then, we played the game, “What’s in the tall, tall grass?” using the virtual grass backgrounds.
Use Insect Toys To Work on Language
You could also use real toy bugs that you already own and have them land on your head. Just use the ‘STOP VIDEO’ feature to put a new insect on your head. Then, start the video again for the kids to name the insect or give them a CORE word such as “look” to use during the activity.
How to Change your Virtual Background in Zoom
Doesn’t this look super engaging for your students? I would love to know how it goes, so please tag me on social media. Have other fun virtual backgrounds that you use? Let me know! I always need more tools for my speech therapy toolbox. With remote learning, I need all the digital ideas I can get my hands on.
Insect Sensory Bin Ideas
If you are wanting to do more insect themes for your therapy, click the images below to see how you can make these insect sensory bins!
If you like to plan your therapy around themes and enjoy doing an insect/bug theme, then you will love the K-2 language activities in my Insect Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides. You can use the parent newsletter and Google Slide presentations during remote learning and then have lessons ready for when in-person therapy happens again.
For your older students, you can work on learning about insects with these non-fiction task cards. Students can make an insect book to work on tier II vocabulary, main idea, describing, and explaining details.
Many students with moderate-severe disabilities benefit from using low-tech AAC tools to help them communicate. Helping parents at home with easy ways to work on communication can be tough. That’s why showing them how to work on functional communication during meal time is great. Meal time is a common routine in the home and children are pretty motivated to communicate around food. Even if the child protests, this is very empowering for them to know that someone understands they don’t want something! Today, I am going to share how you can coach parents with using a meal time communication board to build language and expand functions of communication.
Meal times are a great way to help train parents and staff at school to work on CORE vocabulary and communication functions.
It can be hard to find ways to work on more than just requesting with our students. Using CORE vocabulary can help you work on answering yes/no questions, requesting more, protesting, sharing opinions (i.e. like/don’t like), social functions (i.e. turn taking, waiting, saying polite communication forms.)
CORE vocabulary are those words that can be used across many activities and speakers such as the word “go” can be used to tell the parent to “go get the milk,” or “go to the car,” or “go away.” The fringe vocabulary is at the top of the meal CORE board in the picture. The fringe vocabulary are specific words that can be used for a certain setting or activity. You wouldn’t have a spoon or fork on a page for math because it isn’t specific to that theme or category.
Tips for Coaching Parents with the Meal Time Communication Board
When helping parents and staff with using the meal time communication board, you want to remember that this might be very new to them.
So, instead of telling your parents 5-10 ways to use the CORE board, give them one actionable step or goal for the week.
It might be as simple as, “Put the communication board on the fridge and bring it over to the table for 1 mealtime.”
Then, next week, you can give them a coaching assignment of modeling “more” with the CORE board. Every week, you want to give one actionable tip. As your parents/staff get the hang of things, you can add in more elements.
Remember, we are trying to establish routines and habits of using it, so that takes time. We don’t want to overwhelm them because then they won’t feel empowered to use the CORE board.
You may have to show your parents what it looks like to model and invite their child to use the CORE board. You can film a quick video with the CORE vocabulary you want them to use and give them tips about providing “wait time,” and “using the board themselves to communicate with their child.”
Helpful YouTube Videos for Parent Coaching with AAC Communication
If you need videos that have parenting tips with using this FREE mealtime AAC communication board, head to my YouTube Channel.
Just click the video links below to send to staff and parents!
Need A FREE Bubbles CORE Board?
If you need more CORE boards that have fringe vocabulary, check out this blog post. You can work on coaching parents and staff while playing bubbles. Playing with bubbles is definitely a favorite in my therapy room. This blog post talks all about how to use bubbles in speech.
Do you have students on your caseload that have a sensory processing disorder? Are you struggling with how to work with these students, so your sessions are productive?
Many SLPs serve students in the clinic and school settings that have sensory integration needs. It can be challenging to know how to intervene when a child isn’t paying attention, having constant movement, putting things in their mouths and struggling to get settled to attend to the therapy materials.
Sponsor: The Marshalla Guide is a great resource for SLPs working with students who have speech motor disorders or articulation deficits. It is 20% right now. Get an extra 5% off with code: dabblingspeechie
Today, I had on Allison Fors, a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant who specializes in how to support students with sensory processing needs.
She shares the different types of sensory processing needs and some solutions for how to improve your sessions. You will love her practical ideas in this episode.
We talk about what could be some signs that your student is exhibiting sensory processing needs, and what to do if you have concerns.
The best part about this interview is when we discuss all the ways you can help your students, so your therapy sessions are more productive!
For SLPs wanting easy to implement ideas for early intervention, Allison is your girl. Follow her at @speech.allisonfors
This paper plate craft is SUCH an easy way to target a variety of goals and skills in your speech room, including articulation, apraxia, and phonology disorder. It’s inexpensive, you probably already have a lot of the materials needed, and it’s a useful way to treat speech sound disorders. Plus, your students will love the gumball craft! To learn more about how to prep this craft (spoiler alert: it’s really easy!), keep reading.
How to Make the Paper Plate Gumball Craft
I love functional crafts that will achieve meaningful outcomes for my student’s progress on goals. And, I love crafts that are easy to prep! You don’t need much to make this gumball craft. Here are the supplies I used:
Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. I get a small commission when you purchase using this link.
Have your students decorate their paper plate with circles using the dot markers. Cut out a red shape for the base of the gumball machine. Then, cut out a top to glue on the paper plate. Draw a black hole for the gumball slot or cut out a piece of black paper and glue on the base.
Tips for How to Use the Paper Plate Gumball Craft with Speech Sound Disorders
Use the dot markers to keep your students engaged with their speech sound productions. Have your student decorate the paper plate with dots before creating the gumball craft. To make sure you get lots of repetitions in a session, you can have your students say their sound/word for every dot they make on the plate. Or, you can have your students drill five words/sounds per dot.
Sometimes, if my students struggle with waiting or if they take a long time to make dots, I will drill for 1-2 minutes and then let my students put 5-10 dots on the paper and repeat this until the paper plate is fully decorated.
Speech Sound Resources to Use with the Paper Plate Craft
If you are looking for articulation resources to use while getting those high trials, you can grab my articulation flipbooks. They include word lists, pictures, carrier phrases, and picture scenes for each sound. Use the L flipbook for FREE.
For your students working on speech words at the word and structured sentence level, use my visual sentence starters to help your students get that repetitive practice while creating this craft.
If you need another paper plate craft for working on grammar skills, check out these ideas in this blog post HERE.
Using Your Paper Plate Gumball Craft for Speech Sound Disorders
Once your student has decorated their plate, they can make their paper plate gumball craft. Don’t send the craft home with your student. Keep it for a couple of sessions as your warm-up. Have your student touch the dots on the gumball machine while practicing their sounds.
Or, flip the plate over and have your students write a list of their speech words that you want them to practice at home. You can use my Any Craft Companion Resource to have your friends glue some words to the back of the plate.
Send this craft home with your students for additional practice. You can direct your parents to put the craft on the front of the fridge. This will help remind both the parent and the student to practice the words on the back each day.
I hope that this post gave you a variety of low-prep and easy, yet effective, ideas for treating speech sound disorders on your caseload. My speech students have loved this fun gumball craft, and there are so many different things you can do with it! If you do this craft with any of the students on your caseload, I’d love to hear how you adapted it to fit their needs. Comment here on this blog post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.