Sentence Strips In Speech Therapy

Sentence Strips In Speech Therapy

Today, I want to share how to use sentence strips in speech therapy with your entire caseload! Have you ever worked with a student not getting the speech or language skills you were working on in speech therapy?

You frantically grab a post-it note and write a visual sentence strip related to your student’s speech or language goal. With some prompting and modeling with the sentence strip visual, your student begins seeing success with the concept. At the end of the school day, you have mini post-it notes tabbed in speech folders, on your therapy binder, or stuck to your table.

Today, I want to share how to use sentence strips in speech therapy with your entire caseload! And I Have a solution for never writing carrier phrases on post-it notes again.

Amazon affiliate links are included in this blog post for your convenience. I receive a small commission when you use a link to purchase an item. 

What are sentence strips?

Not sure what is a sentence strip? This blog post will give you tips for how to use them in speech therapy.

If you are new to sentence strips, they are visual supports that provide a sentence starter to help students create a complete thought or sentence. Visual supports often give a framework for organizing thoughts and ideas. Typically, you write the beginning of the sentence visually for students and provide a dash or box to show them where to add new words. Get your free set of speech sound mats with visual strips HERE

Benefits of Using Sentence Strips for Speech Therapy

When your students are learning a new skill, it is cognitively overwhelming. By providing a visual sentence strip, you can remove distractions so your students can focus on the skill.

You are breaking down a big skill, so your students have a framework to approach the concept or activity. As your students grow in their automaticity with the speech or language goal, you can fade away the use of the sentence strip.

For example, when teaching a child to make inferences, there are many components to that skill. First, you have to look for clues. Then, you have access to your background knowledge. And, last, you have to apply the clues and knowledge to formulate a guess about the picture or text.

Providing a sentence starter to help your student explain their inference removes the cognitive demand to organize their thoughts. A sentence strip for an inferencing goal may be “I think the character is feeling ______ because ________.”

Why I Love Sentence Strips in Speech Therapy

I love using sentence strips to help my students have a structured way to practice their speech and language goals.

When I see a student struggling with practicing a particular skill, I can quickly provide a visual cue without taking much time from the therapy session. Here are some reasons you gotta start using these in therapy:

  • Teachers use sentence frames, so you are aligning with the classroom environment
  • ELL learners benefit from the use of sentence frames
  • These scaffolding visuals help students practice the listening and speaking common core standards
  • More repetitions with speech or language goals because you are stopping less between trials
  • Creates more independence and less verbal prompting

How to Make Visual Sentence Strips

You can write your sentences on your whiteboard, a post-it note, magnetic dry erase strips, or lined paper strips. Or, you can create them in PowerPoint or Google Slides. On apps that allow you to write, you can also digitally write them on the screen. 

But, the only drawback to using some of these methods is listed as follows:

  • You forgot what sentence starter you wrote the last session on the whiteboard
  • There aren’t visual pictures for kids who are not yet reading
  • And it’s tricky to find the visual you need when you serve a LOT of different goals
sentence-strips-speech-therapy

Have Your Visual Sentence Strips in One Spot

Because you serve a large caseload, having access to your visuals at any given moment in the session is key! If you have a lot of goals for the following treatment areas, check out the Sentence Strip Visuals for Speech and Langauge Goals Resource:

 

  • Articulation and phonology
  • Sound-loaded carrier phrase level
  • Pronouns and noun-verb agreement
  • Third person singular
  • Present, past, and future verb tense
  • Describing nouns by attributes
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Inferencing and predicting
  • Social communication
  • Speech fluency

Not only do you get the sentence strip printables for all these skills, but you also get a no-print PDF that is linked so that you can have visuals on your computer or iPad. Switching between goals is easy!

 

And, you have 5 picture words for speech sounds so you can take progress monitoring data or use with the sentence frames.

Speech Therapy Sentence Strip Activities

If you need some ideas with how to start incorporating sentence strips, here are some ideas:

 

  • Create an I Spy sensory bin with mini trinkets and use the items with sound-loaded carrier phrases.
  • Grab your verb action photo cards or real photo vocabulary flashcards and work on describing by attributes.
  • Read any book and work on describing the characters actions using the grammar sentence strips
  • Look at real photos or wordless short videos and make inferences and predictions
  • Progress monitor speech sound goals using the carrier phrases and picture word lists
  • Pair with crafts. Students can glue or write their speech or language targets on the craft and then practice using the sentence strip
  • Incorporate the sentence strips into your play-based speech therapy sessions
Get tips for how to use speech therapy sentence strips in any activity!
Inspiring Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Activities for Prek-Elementary

Inspiring Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Activities for Prek-Elementary

We all need more inspiring Valentine’s Day speech therapy activities to help us plan engaging speech therapy sessions! Valentine’s day is a fun, easy theme you can use in February. I feel lackluster with planning therapy by February, and you might also be in a creative funk. So, I put together the ultimate list of speech and language activities you can do with a Valentine’s Day theme!

Amazon affiliate links are provided throughout this blog post to help you find the materials you need! I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Valentine’s Day Books for Preschoolers to 5th Grade

If you are looking for speech therapy Valentine’s Day books to use with your literacy-based sessions, here are some of my recommendations:

You can find book cheat sheets, story maps, and book companions for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, Love Monster, and Day it Rained Hearts in the themed therapy SLP membership.

Valentine's Day speech therapy activities: List of the best books to use for the theme!

Have visual supports for story retelling and comprehension of the old lady who swallowed a rose to adapt for students needing additional cues and prompts.

Sweet Southern Speech also has some great Valentine’s Day book recommendations to use with your caseload.

Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Craft Ideas

Valentine's day speech therapy activities using easy to prep crafts!

Having some easy-to-prep Valentine’s day crafts for speech therapy can make it easy to plan for mixed groups.

One of my FAVE crafts for Valentine’s Day is the free Love You to Pieces craft. It’s so easy to adapt to speech therapy goals and easy to prep!

For crafts to use with Love Monster or the Day it Rained Hearts, you can make some easy paper plate crafts to pair with those books. 

Use the free love bug craft with dot markers, mini erasers, magnetic chips, or markers. It pairs well with any goal!

love-monster-craft-speech-therapy

If you use Valentine’s Day to focus on kindness, you can make these acts of kindness craft wallets in your sessions or co-teaching lessons. The template for these crafts is in the friendship-themed unit in the Themed Therapy SLP membership. In the Themed Therapy SLP membership, you also get NO PRINT visual support for the steps to make the crafts. 

acts-of-kindness-craft-ideas
Valentine's Day crafts for preschoolers to target a variety of speech and language goals

Valentines Day Speech Therapy Activities for Younger Students

One of the best ways to plan for your prek-2nd grade caseload is to have a variety of activities that you can adapt for different goals. Using Valentine’s Day sensory bins is one way to do this in your sessions. You can also see some of my sensory bins for a Valentine’s Day theme on Instagram

To work on teaching the vocabulary about Valentine’s Day, you can use the free describing posters and visual supports in this free material (click the pink button below.) You can target various grammar goals using Valentine’s day themed verbs.

Planning your push-in lessons is way easier with the station Valentine’s activities included, parent newsletter, Google Slides, lesson plan cheat sheets, and book recommendations. 

For more digital activities you can use in teletherapy, Speech Sprouts has a lot of ideas for a Valentine’s Day theme.

Valentine's day speech therapy activities for push-in or whole class lessons

Play Charades with Valentine’s Day Verbs Actions

One way to get movement in your therapy sessions is to play charades. You can do that with a Valentine’s Day theme using verb action words related to that holiday! Write down verb actions on strips of paper and put in a container. Students can pick out a verb to act out. Once the group guesses the verb action, everyone can practice using it in a sentence, giving synonyms/antonyms for the verb, or decide if it has their speech sound in the word.

 

Here are some examples:

  • Pass out cards
  • Give flowers
  • Write thoughtful messages
  • Bake cookies for a friend
  • Eat a heart lollipop
  • Laugh with friends
  • Deliver chocolates to a friend
  • Bring your teacher a card
  • Decorate a Valentine
Play Charades using this list of Valentine's Day verb action words.

Speech Therapy Valentine’s Day Activities for Older Students

Valentine's day speech therapy activities for older students

Finding engaging Valentine’s Day materials for older students can be tricky! This age group can be hard to please, but once you find something they approve of, you get them hooked coming to speech.

I use the Valentine’s Day free challenge activity to sneak in lots of practice with vocabulary and complex sentence practice. Because it has a game vibe to the activity, kids get into it. Hit the pink button to download the printable and Google Slide versions. 

You can use a TON of love and friendship idioms for figurative language goals in therapy. You can have an extensive list and heart match-ups in the friendship-themed unit in the Themed Therapy SLP membership

Another perspective-taking activity you can do is a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating lesson

To get more ideas for Valentine’s Day with upper elementary and middle school, from Pedi Speechie. You will love the pictures in the post!

Valentine’s Day Reading Passages

Reading passages for Valentine's Day speech therapy activities

When you use a theme-based approach, it’s crucial to use materials that focus on the vocabulary and concepts for that theme. An excellent way to get increased exposure to Valentine’s Day-themed language is using non-fiction reading passages.

The Themed Therapy SLP membership contains non-fiction passages for a friendship theme.

The other places you can look for great Valentine’s Day reading passages are Wonderopolis.org and Readworks.org.

Here is a list of Valentine’s Day comprehension passages that might work for your students:

 

YouTube Videos for Valentine’s Day Speech Therapy Activities

Managing a high caseload means no prep time. On those days when you need practical sessions that are under 5 minutes to prep, you gotta use these Valentine’s videos for your mixed groups. Science videos focusing on Valentine’s Day are great for sneaking in lots of speech and language practice. Mystery Doug is one of my favorites! You can sign up for a membership (it might still be free), including videos and easy science experiments. You can use these for your small groups, making great co-teaching lessons.

 

Here is a list of some great videos:

 

Valentine's day speech therapy activities using YouTube videos

You must check out the Valentine’s Day Simon’s Cat videos to work on perspective taking, story retelling, summarizing, and other speech and language goals. Plus, I have cheat sheets available in my TPT store for 6 Valentine’s day videos for easy mixed group planning. 

I like this video for some wordless shorts to use for this theme. In the friendship-themed unit in the themed therapy SLP membership, you get a Google Slide with links to songs, books, and videos for your Prek-5th caseload. 

Visual Cooking Recipes for Valentines

Valentine's day speech therapy activities using easy, simple cooking recipes

Incorporating cooking and preparing snacks can skyrocket your engagement in your sessions. Cooking can be especially effective when doing push-in with your self-contained classrooms. You can easily incorporate a themed book that pairs with the treat or snack. Check out the visual recipes from Live Love Speech. You can make this free Valentine’s Day S’mores treat, yum! They come with directions and all the necessary visuals to support speech and language goals.

 

Working with upper elementary students, you can also incorporate science cooking videos to explain how certain treats are made. Check out this list of videos that have a Valentine’s Day theme:

 

What Valentine’s Day Therapy Activities Do You Use with Your Caseload?

If you have a fun activity that you use with your elementary speech therapy caseload, share in the comments or tag me on social media @thedabblingspeechie
Valentine's day speech therapy activities for preschool and elementary aged students
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