5 Ways to Use Google Forms for Speech Therapy

5 Ways to Use Google Forms for Speech Therapy

Many school-based SLPs cover two or more different sites with their caseload. Managing all the paperwork, documenting progress, and communicating with the IEP team is a LOT!

It can take a lot of papers and forms to document all the caseload duties, so why not use Google Forms to help manage your speech therapy caseload?

Nothing is worse than going to a new site and realizing you forgot that one paper that contained all the info you needed to write an IEP or get started with progress reports.

In this blog post, you will learn five ways that Google Forms can help streamline your speech therapy caseload paperwork!

Use Google Forms for Speech Referrals

Managing a couple of school sites and want all your speech referrals in ONE spot? Use Google Forms for speech therapy referrals to collect information from teachers digitally.

We know how many speech referrals we receive throughout the school year, and managing them can quickly get out of control. I used to put a few copies in each of the teacher’s mailboxes, and often the following would happen:

-The teacher would lose the form and ask for a new one when they had a speech referral
-I would forget to check my mailbox to get referrals, so I was not getting back to teachers promptly

This is why I started using a Google Form to collect speech therapy referrals. I could email teachers directly with the link by digitally storing my speech referrals. Furthermore, I could access my speech referrals no matter what site I was at. If you didn’t know, when a Google Form is filled out, you can generate a Google Sheet of your referrals. With the Google Sheet, you can add additional columns to help you manage what steps you have taken with each referral. Head to this blog post to read more about the importance of speech referrals

Click the pink button to grab your set of Google Forms for speech therapy to help you confidently manage your caseload.

Progress Monitor with Google Forms for Speech Therapy Goals

If you make a progress monitoring approach to assessing your student’s speech and language progress on goals, you can use Google Forms to keep track digitally.

Once you fill out the Google Form, you can create a spreadsheet with the inputted information. The Google Sheet will list the dates and times you took data and individual responses.

If you want ready-to-go Google Form progress monitoring tools for articulation and phonology, check out the Digital Speech Folder Resources. You can click the pictures below to check them out.

Instead of doing your speech and language screeners with paper forms, use a Google Form to input responses. The beauty of Google Forms is that you can create a Google Sheet with the information to track and manage your speech screening results.

Keep track of your data collection for your speech therapy caseload using Google Forms for speech therapy progress monitoring. Y

Administer Speech and Language Screeners Digitally with Google Forms

Instead of doing your speech and language screeners with paper forms, use a Google Form to input responses. The beauty of Google Forms is that you can create a Google Sheet with the information to track and manage your speech screening results.

If you need an elementary speech and language screener with printable forms and Google Forms for easy response input, check out the screeners in my TPT store.

You can print the screening stimulus items, but have the Google Form on your laptop or iPad to take data while administering.

With the screener bundle, you get screeners for articulation and language. The language screener is broken down by Prek-2nd and 3rd-5th grades. Click the image to check out all the details about the screener. 

Have Google Forms for speech therapy that can help you manage your caseload with confidence.

Use Google Forms to Get Input About IEPs and the Speech Schedule

Automate how you collect information about student IEPs and speech schedule requests with Google Forms. As we prepare for IEP meetings, we need teacher input for the present levels page. Instead of hunting them down with a printable form, send them a Google Form for the different areas you need their input. Having the information stored digitally allows it to access IEP information from any computer.

Make sure to download your Google Form templates to have an IEP form ready for the school year!

Improve Parent Communication with Google Forms

We are super busy managing the 50+ students on our caseloads, so keeping in contact with parents can be difficult.

At the start of the school year or even at the initial or annual IEP meeting, you can have parents fill out a Google Form questionnaire to share how to be contacted (i.e., email, text, phone) and information they would like for the home environment. For example, you can find out what toys they have at home, skills they would like strategies for, or how much homework to send.

How do You Use Google Forms for Speech Therapy?

Digital tools can help you when traveling between sites, and Google Forms has been one of those tools! Nothing is worse than wanting to follow up on a task and leaving the form at your other site.

If you are new to using Google Forms and have questions, drop them below. And, if you love using Google Forms for speech therapy caseload management, let me know how you use them in the comments!

3 Tips for Choosing Themed Therapy Materials

3 Tips for Choosing Themed Therapy Materials

Are you a newby to the themed therapy approach? Maybe you are a seasoned them ester SLP? Either way, it can be tricky to pick the right themed therapy materials for your caseload. If you always find yourself spending tons of planning time looking for the right materials, then you have come to the right place! Keep reading below for 3 tips that will help you choose the right themed therapy materials for your students.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

Join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership

If you love using a themed therapy approach with your students and want to cut your planning time, join the Themed Therapy SLP Membership today! Each month you will have access to a variety of themed materials for your elementary students. Gain access to materials you can use for the whole month. With membership access you can reduce your planning time and focus more of your energy on making meaningful connections with your students.

Don’t forget to join the FREE 5-Day Themed Therapy materials Organization Challenge that will be running July 18-22nd.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

Tip #1: Make sure your materials match your theme

While you are selecting the stimulus items for your lesson, you want to make sure that the stimulus items, as well as the materials and toys, match your theme. Using cute, themed graphics with various (maybe slightly random) stimulus targets is a skill-based therapy approach. This is totally fine! However, if you want to implement a themed-based approach, the vocabulary you select also needs to be theme-related.

For example, if you have a variety of functional vocabulary words on cute tent graphics, you may not be using a themed-therapy approach. When the vocabulary on those tent graphics is camp, campground, tent, fire, bug spray you are now using a themed-therapy approach. Your vocabulary, stimulus items, toys, and props should all connect to the theme. Check out my instagram for more examples!

Tip #2: Select themed therapy materials you can adapt across your caseload

Selecting versatile materials that are easy to adapt across ages and goals is a key tip for a themed therapy approach. Ask yourself can the themed materials be used with any books related to the theme? Could you use them with early and upper elementary students? When you can adapt the material to cover a lot of goals, it means less time planning lesson activities. Check out this camping blog post for examples of how you can use this theme to cover a variety of ages and goals.

Tip #3: Some themed therapy materials are worth purchasing

How do you know a material is worth the purchase? Before purchasing try asking yourself these questions:

  • Can the material be re-used for many sessions?
  • Will it increase your students’ engagement?
  • Can you use the materials for the whole month?
  • Can the material be stored and used again the following year?

Whether it is a no prep worksheet or something that requires some cutting and assembling, it is worth the purchase if you answer yes to any of those questions.

While you are getting your materials together, you might need some organizational tips! Here is a blog post for digital speech material storage and ideas for printable storage.

Need help with how to choose themed therapy materials for your speech therapy caseload? Check out this blog post that gives three tips for knowing if a themed therapy activity is right for your students!

The Themed Therapy SLP Membership membership is designed to align with a themed-based approach. It is here to take lesson planning off their plate so that they can focus on enjoying therapy.

Ice Cream Preschool Activities for Speech Therapy

Ice Cream Preschool Activities for Speech Therapy

Eating ice cream on a hot summer day is something that many of your students experience on break!

That’s why it is a great theme to plan during the summer months.

Whether you need quick low prep digital activities or ideas for hands-on speech therapy ideas, this blog post will share engaging ice cream preschool activities for your speech therapy sessions!

Hands-On Ice Cream Preschool Activities

Struggling to come up with ice cream preschool activities that will engage your students in speech therapy sessions? Check out this blog post with different therapy ideas to use with an ice cream theme.

Your speech therapy lessons will always be more engaging if you find ways to make them hands-on. Use ice cream playdough mats for an easy-to-prep activity covering many speech and language goals. The mats pictured are from the ice cream push-in lesson plan guides. Here are some ideas for using the playdough mats:

-Following directions
-Commenting, requesting, and describing by attributes
-Reinforcer for any goal, or they can earn playdough or decoration after practicing their sounds
-Demonstrate basic concepts for the middle, bottom, on top, on, off
-Sequencing the steps for making an ice cream cone

Create an ice cream sensory bin using this kinetic sand set from Lakeshore Learning, or add white cotton balls, cups, ice cream scoop, colorful mini pom balls, or cut-up rainbow straws.

Easy to adapt ice cream preschool activities for speech therapy!

Ice Cream Themed Unit for Prek-5th Grade

Using a theme-based approach for your entire elementary caseload can help you plan more efficiently with therapy. But, it can become time-consuming hunting down enough activities to cover preschool through 5th grade. Because I don’t want time to be why you don’t use themes to serve your students, I created a Themed Therapy SLP membership to help take themed therapy planning off your plate. When you sign up for the membership, you get access to three monthly themes that have everything you need to cover goals on your caseload. See the pictures below for some of the ice cream-themed activities you can use for July. Doors re-open for the membership on July 22nd. Get on the waitlist HERE.

Have an Ice Cream Party in Speech Therapy

Struggling to come up with ice cream preschool activities that will engage your students in speech therapy sessions? Check out this blog post with different therapy ideas to use with an ice cream theme.

You can plan a real ice cream party with your students, which can be great for wh-questions and social pragmatic language. As a whole class lesson, you can map out all the details and then work on speech and language goals during the ice cream party in the next session.

If you don’t have the money to do a real ice cream party, use a pretend play set and invite your student’s favorite stuffies and characters to an ice cream party. Or, you can take a trip to the ice cream shop. I love the set from Melissa and Doug, but there are many playsets on Amazon (Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.)

Need more ideas for how to use an ice cream play set? Check out this blog post.

Digital Ice Cream Preschool Activities

Whether in person or teletherapy, digital apps and tools can help increase engagement and keep therapy low prep for you!

ABCya and the My Ice Cream Maker app are great for teaching sequencing for making an ice cream cone. You can also work on the following skills:

-Following directions
-Describing by color, size, texture
-Making an ice cream cone for someone else to work on perspective taking and conversation
-Answering wh-questions
-Use sound-loaded words or phrases to work on speech sounds in a naturalistic activity

Sago Mini has a fun fair app that features an ice cream cart to make your own flavors.

Get some ideas for digital ice cream preschool activities you can use in your mixed groups for speech therapy.

If you are looking for language Boom Cards that focus on various skills, check out these ice cream sequencing Boom Cards. Some of the activities may be more advanced for the preschool level. Still, the three and four-step sequencing activities work on basic temporal concepts (i.e., first, next, then), and there is also an emphasis on targeting verbs and vocabulary related to ice cream.

Based on research sharing that focusing on a broad set of language skills leads to better reading comprehension, you can approach language therapy to target various skills in one digital activity.

Needing More Summer Speech Therapy Ideas for Preschool?

Ice cream isn’t the only summer theme that works well for preschool-aged students! There are lots of other play themes you can use. To read more about that, check out this blog post

Research articles:

Lervåg, A. , Hulme, C. and Melby‐Lervåg, M. (2017). Unpicking the developmental relationship between oral language skills and reading comprehension: It’s simple, but complex. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/cdev.12861

Hadley, E. B., Dickinson, D. K., Hirsch-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2018). Building semantic networks: The impact of a vocabulary intervention on preschoolers’ depth of word knowledge. Reading Research Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.225

Pool-Themed Play Therapy Toy Ideas for SLPs

Pool-Themed Play Therapy Toy Ideas for SLPs

Going to the pool is always top of mind when you think of summer-themed activities. Cooling off on hot summer days at the pool is an activity many of your students have experienced during summer camps or with family.

Using a play-based activity that your students can relate to makes the session more meaningful. You can reinforce vocabulary and concepts they will use at the pool, making therapy functional.

Today, you will learn about different pool-themed play therapy ideas that you can use to cover your student’s speech and language goals.

Where to Find Pool-Themed Play Therapy Toy Sets

Need summer-themed play therapy ideas for your speech sessions? Check out how to use these pool-themed play toy sets in your play-based therapy sessions.

Having pool-themed play props brings to life concepts related to swimming. I hunted around for pool toy sets and found some affordable and not too big.

If you need a mini pool and slide, this Barbie pool playset is perfect for adding different items that float. Or you can pull out other figurines like Little People, farm animals, or dinosaurs to use with the pool.

When I bought this pool set, I got it 50% off, so it was worth the price. But, if it wasn’t on sale, you may want to check out these other pool sets especially if you don’t want the Barbie that comes with it! 

For your friends who enjoy Peppa Pig or Bluey, these pool playsets are around the $20 or less range and have enough pool elements to cover many speech and language goals. The Peppa Pig set is nice because the pool folds up, making it an excellent travel toy set. At the same time, the Bluey pool set is a little more awkward in size but has innertubes.

You can also make a DIY pool party play set by filling up a container with water. To add pool party supplies, you can add rubber ducks, cut-up felt for a towel, and people figurines to go swimming.

Need Toy Cheat Sheet Companions to Help You Adapt Toys on the Fly?

If you are juggling many different goals in mixed groups and don’t have time to create elaborate lesson plans, try using toy companion cheat sheets.

Play therapy cheat sheets have been a game-changer for jogging my memory for targets to use in therapy. There are over 30 toy cheat sheets, and I will add more as I get requests from you!

And, if you want themed toy guides with sensory bin cheat sheets, check out the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Doors re-open July 22nd. There is a sensory bin and toy guide for a swimming theme for July!

Targeting Speech Sound Goals with the Pool Play Set

When using a toy in play-based therapy for speech sound goals, you want to keep a quick list of words with your student’s target sound nearby!

You can get a lot of trials using this method. For example, if you are having items go down the slide into the pool and working on the phonological process of fronting, you can have students say, “go, cool off, or look.” Similarly, when targeting cluster reduction, you can use “slide, splash, slip, or swish” as the people or items go down the slide.”

Use mini trinkets and throw them in the pool set. Have students use their figurines for swimming around the pool to find the items. Using sound-specific mini trinkets, you can have students practice their sounds when they swim by one.

Need summer-themed play therapy ideas for your speech sessions? Check out how to use these pool-themed play toy sets in your play-based therapy sessions.

Targeting Language Concepts with a Pool-Themed Play Therapy Toy Set

Need summer-themed play therapy ideas for your speech sessions? Check out how to use these pool-themed play toy sets in your play-based therapy sessions.

Whenever you use themed props in your play-based therapy, there are many opportunities to work on basic concepts and word opposites. If you need more ideas on where to find themed props, check out this blog post for some ideas.

With the pool playset, you can use the slides to target up/down, in/out, wet/dry, fast/slow, and over/under as word opposite targets.

Target verb actions such as dive, splash, swim, jump, throw, eat, dry, wrap
Work on describing vocabulary words related to a pool theme such as a towel, diving board, lemonade, innertube, basketball, goggles, sunscreen, umbrella, and floaty.

During play, you can work on social pragmatic language for turn-taking, initiation, commenting, emotions, and problem-solving with pool-related situations.

Create a fun story related to swimming and target oral narration as well as targeting sequencing skills for putting on sunscreen, diving in the pool, or eating a frozen treat after swimming.

AAC CORE words to work on with a Pool Play Therapy Activity

Need summer-themed play therapy ideas for your speech sessions? Check out how to use these pool-themed play toy sets in your play-based therapy sessions.

When working with themed playsets, knowing which target CORE words you want to work on before heading into a session is nice. A cheat sheet list will help you remember to model those words on the student’s device.

Just like with the suggestions for speech sound disorders, you want a cheat sheet list of phrases and words you would like to work on during play. As you play, you can follow the child’s lead and model words on your cheat sheet. Some terms that would work well with this playset are go, stop, more, wait, like/don’t like, what, fun, up, down, don’t, and big.

What goals would you target with a pool play set?

Share some of your pool-themed therapy ideas in the comments. You can help your fellow speech pathologists get inspired with play therapy ideas by sharing your therapy ideas! If you need more summer ideas, check out these blog posts:

Play Themes for the Summer Months

Best Summer YouTube Videos for Speech Therapy (with free download)

Summer-Themed Books to Use in Speech

Crafts to Use with a Summer-Theme

6 Supplies You Need for Speech Materials Organization

6 Supplies You Need for Speech Materials Organization

Of course, we would love to have the time and money to organize our speech rooms into beautifully arranged Pinterest-worthy spaces.

Between the meetings, large caseloads, documentation, assessments, and site duties, there is little time to plan therapy, much less spend time organizing your materials.

So, today, I will share five tools you need for speech materials organization that will help you know WHERE your materials are when you need them.

Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. When you click a link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost.

Speech Materials Organization for Printables

Speech material organization is a whole lot easier with this supplies! Check out this blog post so you can get your speech therapy materials organized so you know where they are when you need them!

If you use many printable materials for skill-based or themed-based therapy, these envelope pouches for binders have been a game-changer.

You can keep full-page sheets, task cards, and visual supports in one spot. So, you can keep everything in one binder instead of having places for different printables. That’s how I organize my themed therapy units by grade level (these units are part of the Themed Therapy SLP membership.)

For your sensory bins, games, or themed units that use a combination of printables and props, zipper pouches are an excellent solution for keeping everything together. 

You can store them in a larger bin and grab the individual materials when you need them. To learn more about how you can create a sensory bin storage system, check out this blog post.

Speech material organization is a whole lot easier with this supplies! Check out this blog post so you can get your speech therapy materials organized so you know where they are when you need them!

Organization Supply for Mini Figurines and Task Cards

Stocking up on mini figurines is a material that keeps students engaged and is great for all sorts of hands-on activities. The only problem is that they can get tricky to store as you collect more sets. Photo boxes are helpful with keeping similar mini figurines together in one container but separated, so you can find the items you need when planning therapy.

Some of my favorite mini figurines are TOOBS and Wild Republic! If you want mini trinkets that are sound-specific, check out Dinky Doodads. I wrote a blog post for how you can use them in mixed groups HERE

Speech material organization is a whole lot easier with this supplies! Check out this blog post so you can get your speech therapy materials organized so you know where they are when you need them!

Join the Free 5-Day Organizational Themed Therapy Challenge

If you have been on the struggle bus with keeping your themed materials in an organized system, now is your chance to change that! The organization challenge starts July 18th-22nd. Each day I walk you through small actionable steps to help you create an easy-to-maintain organization system for your materials.

Click here to join the challenge. Enter your details, and then check your email for a link to join the Themed Therapy SLP Facebook group. On July 17th, you will get an email with some organizational goodies to use throughout the challenge. And this challenge comes with prizes, Facebook LIVES, and the satisfaction that your materials have a home.

Scrapbook or latch boxes for Themed Speech Materials Organization

When I started planning more co-teaching lessons, I realized I had a lot of loose materials with no set place to put them. I wanted an easy-to-organize system that didn’t take forever to keep materials together. So, I started putting everything in scrapbook boxes or latch boxes because I could toss everything in and do therapy!

You can store my themed push-in units in these types of containers. I can keep 3-4 themed units in one scrapbook box with the file envelopes from Dollar Tree.

You can store books, worksheets, visuals, task cards, and smaller items. For more organizational ideas, check out this blog post.

Speech material organization is a whole lot easier with this supplies! Check out this blog post so you can get your speech therapy materials organized so you know where they are when you need them!

Digital Tool That Helps You Keep Your Materials Organized

Speech material organization is a whole lot easier with this supplies! Check out this blog post so you can get your speech therapy materials organized so you know where they are when you need them!

One of the best ways to keep all your favorite YouTube videos, books, PDFs, digital websites, or apps is by linking them to a Google Slide lesson plan cheat sheet.

You can upload all your PDFs to a Google Drive folder and link them to your Google Slide. Similarly, you can link videos and websites so that everything is in front of you when you need to plan therapy. You can use this method for teletherapy or in-person. Check out this blog post for more information on a digital organization system.

The themed therapy lesson plan templates are part of the Themed Therapy SLP membership (doors re-open July 22nd.) Sign up for the waitlist HERE.

Use this Low-Cost Supply to Keep Your Materials Together for Therapy

Raise your hand if you forget what materials you have on hand if you don’t see them in front of you? Instead of grabbing random things off the shelf, take 20-30 minutes at the beginning of the month to select your books, print worksheets, and therapy tools. You can use a crate from Walmart with hanging files to separate your materials by type, age level, or skills targeted. Because I plan by themes, I grab the materials I want to use for two to four weeks and stick them in the crate. I have options for switching out materials at the moment if a group isn’t feeling my current therapy plan.

What supplies do you recommend for speech therapy organization? I always love hearing about new tools and materials that can help me know where my therapy materials are located! Share in the comments if you have a supply that has been a game-changer for therapy. 

Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

Best Ocean Books for Your Elementary Caseload

One of the most efficient ways to plan your themed therapy units is to find books that will cover different ages and skills.

Today, I wanted to share some of the BEST ocean books for your speech therapy elementary caseload. Planning extension activities is easier when you have a handful of themed books to pull from for treatment.

Plus, using books in therapy is a low prep material that works well for mixed groups.

Tips for Choosing Themed Books for Speech Therapy

It’s hard to give you ocean books that will perfectly fit your caseload’s needs because we all have different ages and needs for our students.

Typically, when choosing books, I consider how versatile the book is to adapt for different goals and ages and if I can use the book to cover therapy for two to four weeks.

When I search for themed books, I either aim to find stories that fit the ages I serve or cover skills I need to target. For example, if I have students working on wh-questions, CORE words, and needing predictive text, I may select Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck.

If you need some tips for effective shared book reading techniques to use when reading the story in therapy, check out this post

Amazon affiliate links will be provided throughout this blog post. I receive a small commission at no additional charge for you when you use the link to purchase items.

Ocean Books for Prek-1st Grade Levels

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae would be a great ocean book to use in speech therapy if you want to teach the category of ocean animals. Each page has information about the different animals and targets vocabulary and verbs related to each creature. There is fun rhyming prose with the text; however, there is a lot of text on each page. You can read chunks of the book across several sessions. Because there is a lot of text, there are many opportunities for finding words with your student’s speech sounds.

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck provides a repetitive text that allows many opportunities to see and hear vocabulary words or target specific CORE words. This book greets each sea animal and says goodbye, which can provide practice with language for greetings.

Need Cheat Sheets for Your Ocean Books To Reference in Speech Therapy Sessions?

If you are running mixed groups and struggle with remembering what targets you can use for your group’s different goals, check out the themed book cheat sheets from the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Not only do you get book cheat sheets for each themed unit, but you also get various digital and printable materials to use as extension activities. Doors re-open July 22nd for the membership, so get on the waitlist HERE.

Ocean Books for 2nd-3rd Grade Levels

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson is a book choice for students working on story narrative elements.

This book also uses rhyming prose, which is excellent for working on phonological awareness skills.

In the story, the snail wants to go sail at sea and hitches a ride with the whale. Each page shares where the whale and the snail go, so the pictures highlight different things in the ocean.

Some skills you can target with this book are homophones, s-blends, word opposites (i.e., night/day, emotions), and basic concepts.

Dory Story by Jerry Pallotta is another book that works well for story narrative goals. It’s a tale about a boy who takes a dory into the ocean to explore. As the young boy rows out to sea, he sees different animals eating food, such as blue fish eating mackerels.

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!

This book highlights ocean animals’ food chain and addresses why the boy’s grandfather says not to go out in the dory alone.

Ocean-Themed Books for Older Students

For older students, you can use these two books focusing on non-fiction text. Shark Lady by Jess Keating is the ultimate theme smash because it covers types of sharks, a woman scientist’s work, and the theme of finding beauty in something that others may find scary.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs by Kate Messner is about the works of environmental scientist Ken Nedimyer. This book teaches about the ocean and provides a theme of small acts individuals can do to help preserve the coral reef. Sea urchins

With rich vocabulary embedded in the book, you can target a lot of tier II vocabulary, comprehension, and discussions that spark personal connections to the reader.

What Ocean Books Do You Use in Speech Therapy?

What types of ocean-themed books do you recommend for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade? Share in the comments your recommendation and how you use that book in therapy. If you need more summer-themed book ideas, check out this blog post.

Want extension activities to use with your ocean-themed books? Check out these blog posts and resources to help you plan engaging therapy:

Ocean Sensory Bin

Ocean-Themed Crafts

Ocean Language Activities for K-2

Here is a list of ocean books to use for with your elementary speech therapy caseload!
EP 92 Who Knew My Students Would Love This!?

EP 92 Who Knew My Students Would Love This!?

We can overcomplicate the process when finding engaging speech therapy materials for our sessions! This Real Talk SLP episode shares what kids LOVE, and it might be something you never thought to use.

Have you ever planned an on-the-fly speech therapy lesson, thinking it would be “boring,” only to discover that your students thought it was the BEST.THING.EVER!

Or, maybe you left a game or material on your table, and your next group of fourth-graders walk-in begging to play Candyland in your session?

How To Participate in Future SLP Questions

This episode of the Real Talk SLP podcast will be sharing materials or activities SLPs used that were a surprising hit in therapy.

Many of the ideas shared today were from submissions from other SLPs that commented on my Facebook page. Come follow along to get involved with some of the questions I post weekly.

Get on the Themed Therapy SLP Membership Waitlist

If you LOVE planning therapy with a themed-based approach but often don’t because you lost all your planning time catching up on paperwork, I want to let you know about the Themed Therapy SLP Membership for SLPs serving Prek-5th grade students. We take lesson planning off your plate by providing themed therapy units to cover your Prek-5th grade caseload. Between themed book cheat sheets, open-ended activities, Google Slides, No Print PDFs, themed speech sound word lists, printables, and monthly LIVE webinars to earn CMH units, you will have engaging sessions without the stress of planning on your own.

The membership opens in July 2022. We take purchase requests and group discounts, so let your employer know you need this for a successful school year! Sign up HERE.

In This Real Talk SLP Episode You Will Learn:

 

-How to look at your therapy materials in unconventional ways

-Encouragement to take chances in your therapy and explore what can work with our students in therapy

-Therapy ideas that are cost-effective and engaging with kids

-Think outside the box, what might work for younger students could be used with your older students and vice versa

-What tools or supplies could you incorporate with your worksheets or activities to increase engagement such as using smell markers or erasable pens

-How you can use a simple object and turn it into a hands-on activity

-Our junk drawers could be our most effective therapy tool

 

See the links below to go to blog posts or find materials mentioned in this episode

Blog Posts and Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Amazon affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience. This means I get a small commission when you use my link to purchase items at no additional cost to you.

“I Spy” sensory bin

Articulation Flipbookstry the /l/ book for FREE

Use these ultra fine dry erase markers, your kids will love them.

Smelly Markers, Smelly Pens, Dot Markers, Erasable pens

Candyland and Don’t Break the Ice – If you need toy companion cheat sheets for using these games in therapy, check out this resource in my TPT store.

Lids N’ Lizards Blog Post – Free printables are on that blog post

Beach Day by Karen Roosa Blog Post with extension activity ideas

Make a random item sensory bin by colors. Check out the color-themed sensory bin resources in my TPT store

We can overcomplicate the process when finding engaging speech therapy materials for our sessions! This Real Talk SLP episode shares what kids LOVE, and it might be something you never thought to use.

If you loved this episode, make sure to leave a review on the Real Talk SLP podcast.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

Have you ever had visual supports and cheat sheets that you like to access for your sensory bins in your speech therapy sessions? But, you aren’t sure where to store them so you can access them easily? You are lucky because I have the ultimate SLP hack for sensory bin material storage to share with you today!

Top Tip for Staying Organized With Your Speech Therapy Materials

This SLP hack will help you keep all your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

One way you can stay efficient with keeping your materials organized is by having them together in one spot! With just some Velcro dots and page protectors (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience), you can keep your visual supports and cheat sheets in the bin.

If you need some more sensory bin organizational tips, check out this blog post. I use a similar method of organizing for my speech sound disorders by having a container where I store all my tools, data sheets, visuals, and materials so I can grab anything I need at the moment. Check out how to make your speech sound container on this blog post.

SLP Hack for Sensory Bin Material Storage

When running mixed groups or seeing students back to back, it’s nice to reference your cheat sheets during the session. But, if you aren’t careful, all your speech therapy materials can become scattered all over your room. Most times, we school-based SLPs don’t have tons of time to put visuals and sensory bin materials back neatly in their storage container or binder. So, when using a sensory bin, you want everything you need to be easily put back in the bin.

Once you slide your cheat sheet into a page protector, add Velcro dots to the lid of the container and the page protector. Then, stick the cheat sheet to the Velcro. Now, you can grab the visuals quickly during a session!

You can see this in action on Instagram

Need These Sensory Bin Visual Rules and Cheat Sheets?

Back when I started using sensory bins, I quickly realized that some of my students needed me to help them understand the expectations for how to interact with the bin activity. That’s why I have a visual poster to help remind students what to do! We want to keep germs away while using the bin, and this has been so helpful for my students. Since I used the visual support so often, I needed to have it handy at the drop of a hat! That’s why this SLP hack to put it on the top of the container’s lid has helped me have the tools I need now.

If you need this visual and the printables for a flower sensory bin, I want to invite you to attend a LIVE webinar to learn “How to Use Sensory Bins to Cover Speech and Language Goals.” Click the picture below to sign up! You get access to the webinar replay for two weeks.

Sign Up For the Sensory Bin Webinar and Get LOTS of Tips for Using Sensory Bins

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

What Sensory Bin Hacks Do You Use?

This SLP hack will help you keep your visual supports and play therapy cheat sheets together in the sensory bin!

Do you have an SLP hack for keeping your sensory bin materials together? Or, just tips for keeping students engaged while using a sensory bin? Let me know your hack or information in the comments!

If you need some more sensory bin ideas, here are a few of my faves:

I Spy Sensory Bin (Great for mixed groups)

Ocean Sensory Bin

Penguin Sensory Bin

Snow Sensory Bin with Plow Trucks

Ep 91 5 Strategies to Get Buy-In With Your Older Students

Ep 91 5 Strategies to Get Buy-In With Your Older Students

When it comes to working with older speech students, it can be hard to keep them motivated in therapy. Nothing feels worse than having session after session fall flat because you can’t get your students to buy-in into the therapy process.

That’s why I invited Kristin Bowers from Kiwi Speech to come on the Real Talk SLP podcast to share 5 strategies you can use to get buy-in with your older students.

 

Sign Up for the LIVE Sensory Bin Webinar June 21st

If you are struggling with finding ways to engage your mixed groups and feel confident that you can cover all their goals in a session, I am hosting a LIVE webinar on June 21st 5pm PST/8 pm EST to share how you can use sensory bins to target your students’ speech and language goals.

Tickets are $9 and include:

-1 hour CMH units (Clinical Maintenance Hours)

-Ultimate Sensory Bin Guide – step-by-step instructions and recommendations to help you find the right bin, fillers, and materials to make your sensory bin with a visual rules poster, storage ideas, and printables to make bins

-$15 worth of sensory bin materials

-A fun learning environment that will answer all your questions about using sensory bins in speech therapy.

Strategies to Help Get Buy-In With Your Older Speech Students

In the beginning part of the interview, we discuss some of the roadblocks speech pathologists face when working with older speech students. We then dive into strategies that can help improve your therapy sessions and your relationships with your students. 

In this podcast episode, you will hear about these 5 strategies to help your older speech students:

 

– Teach a growth mindset in your sessions using the three pillars of motivation, rapport, and resilience (the research article is linked below in the blog posts and resources section)

– To use distraction in your therapy sessions

– Finding materials and activities that provide a challenge for your students

– Get your students reading in your therapy sessions

– Really get picky with their speech sounds or the skills you are working on with them in therapy

 

Blog Posts and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast Episode

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Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Epic Beach Sensory Bin For Speech Therapy

Making a beach sensory bin as an extension activity for your beach-themed books can be a great way to cover a lot of speech and language goals and keep your students engaged.

Typically, when I plan my sessions, I find books that fit the theme I want to teach and then plan some extension activities that include vocabulary and concepts about the theme.

Today, I will show you how you can make an epic beach sensory bin and save time hunting around for all the items. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience in the blog post. I get a small commission on items purchased at no additional cost to you. 

Sensory Bin Filler Ideas

 

When it comes to your sensory bin filler, you can add elements representing ocean water and a sandy shore. Kinetic sand can work great for the shore, and there are a variety of options for your ocean as listed below:

Blue Pom Pom balls

Blue plastic rocks

Blue shredded paper 

Cut up blue straws

Blue water beads

Blue glass beads

Blue dyed dry rice, pasta, or chickpeas

I used kinetic sand, blue plastic rocks, and shredded blue paper for my sensory bin.

Materials to Add to Your Sensory Bin

It can sometimes be hard to find mini figurines and elements related to your sensory bin, but I found some CUTE beach-themed items in a most unlikely place, cake toppers!

You can use these beach cake toppers to have umbrellas, recliners, palm trees, shells, and more! You can get mini buckets, shells, and mini paper umbrellas at Michael’s to add to your bin. Here is another beach cake topper set in case you want to compare which one has the elements you need for your bin.

I used the ocean animal TOOBS that I have, or here is another set that would work well for ocean animals. 

Use this epic beach sensory bin to cover speech and language goals

Beach Books to Pair with This Sensory Bin

Here are some beach-themed books that would pair nicely with your sensory bin:

Beach Day by Karen Roosa

Curious George Goes to the Beach by H.A. Rey

Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer

When a Dragon Moves In by Jody Moore

Sun, Sun by Brad Gray

Do you use one of these books in therapy? Or, have a recommendation for a book to use with a beach theme? Let me know your recs in nteh comments of this blow post. 

Therapy Ideas for Using Your Beach Sensory Bin

In therapy, you can target noun functions with the beach items, verb actions, answering wh-questions, basic concepts, and social-pragmatic language. The easiest way to keep things streamlined with your mixed groups is to have a list of words by your students’ target sound. Having the word list makes it easier to remember what you can target with all the students in your group.

For example, you can say, “Who swam up to shore?” to work on ‘who’ questions. But, you can also work on /s-blends/ and /sh/ with that question. How would you use this beach sensory bin with your students? Let me know in the comments! Would love more ideas. 

Need more Summer-Themed Sensory Bin Ideas

If you are on the hunt for more summer-themed sensory bins, check out how you can make an ocean sensory bin. You can also check out how to make a “Can You Find It?” sensory bin with different seasonal vocabulary including summer! To make mixed groups easier, you can grab the summer-themed sensory bin companion that comes with printables and cheat sheets to help you target all the speech and language goals in your group. If you make this sensory bin, I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie