My son became a reader this year in 1st grade, which is pretty darn exciting! Finding independent reading incentives for my son has been a bit challenging because there are so many other fun things to do. I am a month into summer break and we have been filling it with all things FUN! Day camps, my 3 year old’s birthday party, beach camping, going swimming and lots of activities with friends and family. We are now in July and I realized it’s time to buckle down and get my son back into independent reading every day.
I have been reading books to my kids in the mornings or evenings, but it is super important for my son to continue reading independently. Research has shown that when kids participate with independent reading they build their reading fluency skills (which helps with improved comprehension), increases vocabulary development and builds a child’s background knowledge. In order to keep me accountable and my son motivated, I made some print n’ go bookmarks to keep track of how many books he reads. Once he colors in all the stars, Riley (my son), can cash it in for a reward. His first reward was popsicles!! You can keep it really simple and inexpensive by creating a list of choices like going swimming, ice cream bars, inviting a friend over, IPAD time, no chore day, etc.
Grab this free printable in my TPT store! My son has been liking it so far. Next reward, is a bowling night with the family (this is because I got a really awesome groupon deal). If your child is not yet ready to read books independently, you can still use this incentive for books you read to him/her or maybe use it for when they complete a sight word identification task!
Summer is just around the corner and it is a great theme to use in therapy! Having summer speech therapy activities to send home as homework are perfect for those summer months. If you are working this summer, then grab some summer speech therapy activities on TPT!!
I started using my summer themed resources this week and plan to use them till the end of May. Check out my round up of free and paid TPT products that I have found to help plan therapy. I have links categorized by target area, so you can easily find the items you need!
Summer Speech Therapy Activities
Planning speech therapy lessons is a whole a lot easier when you pick a theme! If I want to do a BBQ theme, then I try to find resources that will cover goals for my whole caseload. These summer speech therapy activities are listed by target area, so you can quickly find items in the areas you need for your summer theme.
Spring is here for many folks, so it’s time to start grabbing some spring resources for speech therapy! I love spring time because the weather is nice and the sunshine is out! Plus, planning therapy is super easy with a spring theme. When I am planning for speech therapy, I look at my caseload’s target areas of need. Then, I pick some themes that I want to use to target their goals. It makes searching for themed therapy items a lot easier when I know what I am specifically looking for on social media. To help all my SLP’s out, I categorized tons of spring resources for speech therapy by target area, so it is easy to find activities that will meet your student’s needs.
Let’s get a head start on planning therapy before the wave of assessments and IEP’s overtakes our therapy planning time! Here’s my list of great FREE & PAID spring resources for speech therapy!
It is still an amazing feeling when I see how many SLP’s and educators have stopped by my store during a sale, bought something (sometimes more than one thing) and then left me positive feedback. I really appreciate ALL of you!!! For those of you who have tried out new TPT materials and went the extra mile trying to find creative ideas to meet your students needs, YOU ROCK! Keep it up!!
I wanted to make you all a “thank you” free antonym flashcard set (print n’ go style) to enjoy for supporting me! Here is a FREE set of print n’ go flashcards to target early developing antonyms. There are 12 antonym pairs included in this set with a reinforcer star sheet to keep kids motivated to practice!
I have a small elementary caseload that I am covering this year. Most of my cuties have articulation goals, so we try to get LOTS of productions in during the session. I see a couple of them for a 5 minute articulation session and then another time during the week in a group. It is imperative that we stay focused during those sessions because I want lots of practice going on with these students, so that they can meet their goals. If one little lady or gent begins to get off task aka silly, then it affects the productivity of the whole group. After giving warnings and many “please, stop talking, messing around, getting out of your seat, etc.”, an idea popped in my head (this happens from time to time, lol). All of a sudden, I blurt out, the next time I have to ask you to stop__________, you will have a speech fine and owe me 10 words to practice. Well, the next time came and I said “you just got a speech fine.” Read off 10 of your words. It worked! I got 10 productions (woot!) and the rest of the session went without a speech fine or off task behavior.
Throughout the next couple of weeks, from time to time, I had to give some speech fines. It was great because I was able to call the student on their behavior, give a quick consequence that ultimately benefited the student (speech practice) and then move on without causing a big reprimand. Now the kids know, if they mess around, they will owe me with more speech practice.
Over break I was able to make these cards to use in my groups. I am just going to put them in a stack near the table and hand them out as needed. What I love the most is you don’t know which card you may get, which can mean 10 word production fine or a 60 word production fine! I also included language fines as well as a sheet of blank speech violation cards, so you can customize as needed! What do you think? Would this work for one of your groups?
Self reflection is one of the HARDEST things for me to do (biggest self critic), yet when I let myself be honest about a situation, I am able to take ownership of my weaknesses, let go of what I can’t control and celebrate my strengths. As an SLP, one of the most important aspects of our job is SELF REFLECTION! Much of the successes with our clients/students centers around how we are interacting with them and the lessons we plan to help students/clients meet their goals. In addition, our relationships with other professionals and parents are a vital part for our clients/students success. Doing the job of an SLP is quite a tall order and in no means easy.
IEP meetings, assessments, paperwork documentation, planning therapy, collaborating with colleagues, writing goals, staying up to date with current research and therapy techniques, taking data, building rapport with students, calling parents, advocating for our students, sharing work spaces and trying to maintain our own sanity is a juggling act. By around December of the school year, the thrill of planning therapy begins to wear off, interactions with unhappy parents may have occurred and conflicts with programs and colleagues may have ensued. For some of you, just the stress alone of a gigantic caseload, paired with excessive paperwork and timelines makes showing up to work a daunting task!
“Don’t become too preoccupied with what is happening around you, pay more attention to what is happening within you.” Mary Frances Winters
Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.
I am not what I have done, I am what I have overcome.
Any of these quotes relate to you? I found these quotes and immediately identified with them. When I am knee deep with work, I sometimes forget to take some time away to reflect about how I am performing in my job. Sometimes when I consume my mind with all the issues of the work place or with a student’s lack of progress, I forget to find the positives in my job. There are those days when I want to beat myself down because I had a horrible therapy session, a mile long list of assessments to complete or a difficult conversation with a parent. It is days like that when I need to step back and look at WHY the session or the day (or weeks, lol) haven’t gone well. Self reflecting also allows me to recognize when the actions of others has NOTHING to do with my behavior and everything to do with their own hurts and issues. For example, is my lack of therapy planning really my own inability to stay organized when I had a caseload over 80 or am I managing things well given my circumstances? You feel me!?
I decided to make some self reflection forms to help remind me of my goals, make a plan for change if needed and revamp my creativity, so that I can be the BEST educator I can! Because we still have 5 months left of school!
Here are some additional reasons why I created these forms.
I have to complete a professional portfolio for my evaluation this year and wanted to show some documentation of professional goal setting & ways I am trying to improve my skills. (page 3, 6)
I needed some forms to help me reflect about the quality of my therapy and interactions with my students. (page 5)
Although I don’t regularly do S.O.A.P. notes like I did back in graduate school, I wanted a S.O.A.P. note form to use periodically to analyze if I planned therapy around student’s goals and what impacted the session (both external/internal factors). (page 4)
Every year, I am faced with challenges in my job. When I write those challenges down, it helps me to accept the things I can’t control and figure out ways around the “road block”. This allows me to not get “stuck in the mud” and move forward with a more positive outlook about my job. (page 7)
Hang your self reflections in a picture frame or store in a binder to help remind yourself of your goals! How do you self reflect in your job? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any cool tips!