Uncategorized Archives - thedabblingspeechie

Ep. 48 Transitioning from Elementary to High School Setting with Robyn Boyd

Hey Hey SLPs! On this week’s episode, you will hear tips on how to transition from elementary to high school with Robyn Boyd. Robyn has been a preschool/elementary SLP for 7 years, and recently made the switch to high school. “The high school setting is a completely different structure than elementary and you have to make a lot of modifications in how you approach things.” In this episode, Robyn will give SLPs 3 tips for making the transition a smooth one!

 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What SLPs need to expect those first 3 to 6 months after transitioning to high school.
  • Differences in working with elementary versus high school.
  • 3 tips for making the transition smooth.

 

Instead of spending the summer procrastinating, why not join the organizational challenge and get your materials in order before the school year starts.

 

You can sign up for the 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge HERE: 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge

 

With every 5-day challenge, there are some free goodies for attending, Facebook LIVES, daily giveaways, and an ultimate prize which this time someone is going to win a $100 Amazon giftcard and a free year membership to my themed therapy SLP membership that is launching at the end of this month.

 

Want to be in the know for when the themed therapy SLP membership launches?

 

Get on the Themed Therapy SLP Membership waitlist HERE

 

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Ep. 47- 3 Tips for Planning Themes on a Budget

Hey Hey SLPs! We have been talking about themes all month long, and now I’m going to share three tips for planning themes on a budget.

So this episode will show you that you can do it without a lot of money, and you don’t have to go with all the bells and whistles. Remember…a low budget themed unit is not worse therapy! And some of you have giant case loads as well, so you are doing what’s gonna be best for your kids. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Invest in materials for themes you can use longer than a week.

  • Look for free materials: Readworks.org, YouTube, ABCya, Library, Donations from families

 

  • Find materials that are used:  Facebook MarketPlace, Goodwill, Donor’s choose

If you are using themed materials, but haven’t gotten them organized, you need to join my 5-day themed therapy organizational challenge on Facebook.

 

Each day, you will get a mini-challenge to help you make progress with getting your themed materials and activities organized, so that you can easily find them when you want to use that themed unit in therapy.

 

Instead of spending the summer procrastinating, why not join the organizational challenge and get your materials in order before the school year starts.

 

You can sign up for the 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge HERE: 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge

 

With every 5-day challenge, there are some free goodies for attending, Facebook LIVES, daily giveaways, and an ultimate prize which this time someone is going to win a $100 Amazon giftcard and a free year membership to my themed therapy SLP membership that is launching at the end of this month.

 

Want to be in the know for when the themed therapy SLP membership launches?

 

Get on the Themed Therapy SLP Membership waitlist HERE

Play Themes for Summer

Play Themes for Summer

When I started using themes to guide my lesson planning, I liked to consider the current seasons. Using a season as a theme is relatable to all of our students. This makes it easy to build in high-interest and highly relevant activities which can be used for multiple speech goals.

Summer is always a fun theme to use because it means a lot of fun indoor and outdoor play activities. This blog is all about great summer play themes you can use with your ESY students, private students, or even for some home carryover activities. Amazon affiliate links are provided in this blog post for your convenience. I earn a small commission when you purchase something with my link with no additional cost to you.

Pretend Play Themes for the Summer Season

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

During the summer season, your students may be going to the beach with their family and friends. The beach is the perfect place to incorporate play! You can easily target those semantic and vocabulary skills by categorizing any beach related words. Make lists of ocean animals, beach snacks, beach items, and ocean activities. Pretend to get ready to go to the beach and sequence the steps. This is a fun, functional way to work on those sequence words and verbs. You can even target language comprehension by giving your students directions on how to get ready for the beach with some basic concepts.

Providing guidance on how to make a sensory bin at the beach to your families is a great carry over activity to support your students’ generalization. Ask your families to simply bring a bin to the beach. They can fill it with sand, water, any shells they collect, or toys they bring along. Then prompt them to target that student’s language goals.

If you want to make the ocean sensory bin pictured above, here is what you will need:

Tasty and Fun Summer Play Themes

S’mores, ice cream, and lemonade! Yum! These three themes are always super fun and engaging for my students because who doesn’t love ice cream and s’mores? You can develop your students’ pretend play skills by pretending you’re going to the ice cream shop, camping, or selling lemonade at a stand.

Plus, you can work on so many social communication skills while you are eating your summer treats. Specifically, you can work on initiating requests for ingredients and flavors, make comments on what you like and don’t like, and work on turn taking/cooperative play.

 

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

For ideas on how to use an ice cream toy set, head to this blog post! It’s full of ideas on how to incorporate an ice cream toy set into speech therapy. Using cloud dough or play dough is also a good for ice cream related pretend play.

There are tons of ways to use a camping and s’mores play themes into speech therapy. If you’re not sure how to get started check out my previous blog post all about camping speech therapy activities.

Lemonade Theme Therapy Ideas

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

Learning Resources has a lemonade stand themed card game that can easily be used in speech therapy.

I would recommend checking out Amazon’s lemonade toy set that is currently under $15 and great for a lemonade pretend play activity.

You can also make a lemonade sensory bin with lemon scented rice.

More Ways to Use Play Food in Speech Therapy

 Have a summer picnic with your student and work on categorizing food by fruits, snacks, and entrees. Additionally, you can use a basket work on basic concepts like in/out, in front/behind, over, under. You can also incorporate those social skills I mentioned earlier. 

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.
Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

Pretend to visit a farmers market with your students. Talk about the produce you would see and what you would need to bring with you. Once you are done, talk about the produce that you saw and bought to work on vocabulary and verb tensing.

If you need more play food ideas for preschool speech therapy, head to this blog post. 

Summer Play Theme Sensory Bins

Use a garden or car wash theme to make sensory bins to target your students goals. Fill a bin with water, soap, and cars or trucks of different sizes and colors. List the attributes or the cars and work on basic concepts as the cars and trucks go in and out of the car wash.

You can also fill a bin with some soil, grass, and seeds. Have your student push the seeds and look for small bugs and critters! There are a lot of bug hunt toy sets that can be incorporates into this sensory bin. 

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.
Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

Summer Garden Therapy Ideas

Use fake flowers and other gardening supplies to create a pretend play theme of a flower shop or planting a garden. This can be a great opportunity to talk about the vocabulary and social communication of growing flowers and buying flowers for others. Buying flowers can teach the concept of giving, showing love with gifts as well as the verbs and vocabulary for making a flower bouquet. This is also a time to practice emotion words with your students! How would someone feel if you gave them flowers? How would someone feel if you didn’t give them flowers?

For more ideas on how to use flowers as a theme in speech therapy, head to this blog post.

More Summer Play Themes

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

Here are some more summer theme ideas to use for pretend play. You can target all of the previously mentioned therapy goals using these themes:

  • Going Fishing 
  • Zoo trip
  • Traveling or planning for a road trip
  • Going to a sandwich shop

If you’re interested in more seasonal themes, check out my spring play themes blog post.

I would also recommend reading this previous post for more information on play based speech therapy!

Need Tips for Implementing Play Themes?

When I first began incorporating play based activities into my therapy, I felt very overwhelmed. I quickly began to run out of ideas on how to incorporate my students’ goals in play without being repetitive or burnt out. I have found that when I have cheat sheets handy in my sessions, I spend less time thinking of targets and more time meaningfully interacting with my students. If you want to save more brain energy AND feel prepared for play therapy without hours of planning, then grab these toy companion cheat sheets for speech and language therapy. Included are cheat sheet guides for over 25 toys!

Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.
Need some play-based speech therapy ideas with a summer theme? Check out these fun summer play themes you can do during ESY or with private clients.

What Summer Pretend Play Activities Do You Use With Your Students?

I always love to hear what other SLP’s are doing with their student. Have any summer themed activities you’ve tried and loved with your students? Let me know in the comments! 

Ep. 46 Using Themed Vocabulary to Teach Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge

Hey Hey SLPs! In this weeks episode you will learn ways that you can use a theme to teach vocabulary depth with your students who have language impairments.  When we use themes it can help add in new words to those existing semantic networks. It can also make it easier for a child to learn new words if they can fit it into a system or category that a child has already learned well. So, if we use themes in our therapy rooms, we can build that background knowledge and semantic networks, thus making vocabulary growth easier for our students. Today, I am going to share 4 strategies for how you can build depth of vocabulary knowledge using themed words.

 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Explicitly teaching the meaning of the words with kid friendly definitions 
  • Teaching about features or function to form category groups. For example, if you discuss a sand bucket, you can name the category of a beach toy, function – you put things inside it like sand, shells, shape- cylinder, made out of – plastic
  • Multiple exposures to words in varied contexts – this is when you can give the child more opportunities to hear and engage with the word while reading a beach-themed book, or using beach vocabulary to build sentences, answer wh-questions, or create a hands on activity such as a sensory bin to use the beach vocabulary in a new context.
  • Relating words thematically or in a taxonomy. Taxonomy – a bathing suit is an outfit for the beach, which you wear during summer, and is clothing. Thematic connection – beach you bring a swimsuit, towels, cooler with food, sand toys, boogie board, sunscreen, umbrella, etc.

If you are using themed materials, but haven’t gotten them organized, you need to join my 5-day themed therapy organizational challenge on Facebook.

Each day, you will get a mini-challenge to help you make progress with getting your themed materials and activities organized, so that you can easily find them when you want to use that themed unit in therapy.

Instead of spending the summer procrastinating, why not join the organizational challenge and get your materials in order before the school year starts.

 You can sign up for the 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge HERE: 5-day Themed Therapy Organizational Challenge

 With every 5-day challenge, there are some free goodies for attending, Facebook LIVES, daily giveaways, and an ultimate prize which this time someone is going to win a $100 Amazon giftcard and a free year membership to my themed therapy SLP membership that is launching at the end of this month.

 Want to be in the know for when the themed therapy SLP membership launches?

Get on the Themed Therapy SLP Membership waitlist HERE

4 Tips To Pick A Theme For Your Caseload

4 Tips To Pick A Theme For Your Caseload

When I first began as an SLP, I started with a large caseload that fluctuated between 72-83 students. There was no time in my day to plan for those individual students. So, my brain immediately went to using theme-based lessons that I could adapt for all of my grade levels. Using theme-based lessons that are easily adapted helped me reduce my planning time (and brain power) by hours! I am heading into my 15th year as an SLP, and using themes continues to be a super helpful strategy! I want to share with you 4 tips for picking a great theme for your caseload!

Tip #1 : Pick A Theme That Is Motivating

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

The #1 tip I have for selecting a theme is to make sure it’s something that is high interest and highly motivating for your students. This is a much easier task for my younger students than it is for my older elementary or middle school students. I can usually capture my younger students’ interest for any theme by simply incorporating dinosaurs, legos, or something shiny! My older students are not so easily entertained (as I’m sure many of you understand). Another SLP shared with me a little while ago that she likes to poll her older students about what they are interested in at the beginning of her school year. Her students’ answers help drive her lesson planning and theme selection. This is something that can easily be incorporated into your therapy plans for your first week back.

Why is this my #1 tip? The more we can build our students’ interest in the lessons and themes we are using, the more buy-in we’ll see, which we know leads to more progress

Tip #2: Keep Your Students’ Environment In Mind

When picking a theme, think about what is going to be relevant to your student. What is something your students can relate to or experience in their day-to-day lives? I like to pick themes about the seasons, the environment around my student, on-going classroom topics, etc.

Selecting themes that are personally relevant to my students helps build that connection between therapy and real life (can’t forget about that generalization!). A great theme for this summer would be the Summer Olympics, especially for those of you doing ESY.

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

Tip #3: Pick A Theme That Inspires You Too

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

The themes you pick should also be inspiring and exciting for you too! Of course, my students’ interests will always trump mine (#therapistlife). However, if you can find themes that are as interesting and motivating to you as they are to your students, then you’re going to kill that session! Your excitement will shine through and therapy will be really fun for you and your student.

For example, I love selecting camping themes because I love going camping and hiking and it’s also a theme that my students love. This makes our camping themed therapy sessions really, genuinely, fun!

Tip #4: Pick A Theme You Can Adapt Across Grades

Picking a theme that you can adapt across multiple grade levels is they key to save yourself planning time. For example, an apple theme is great for younger elementary students, older elementary students, and middle schoolers. This theme can also be adapted for my older student with higher needs or benefit from a very supported classroom. I found that many of my students with this profile had language skills similar to some of my elementary student. I was able to take the same concepts and adapt them with age-appropriate photos and materials that are respectful to those students. Here are some sample activity ideas using an apples theme across different age groups:

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!
Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

In A Theme Rut?

If you’re having a hard time picking the right themes for your students, check out my free Themed Therapy Planning Guide. It has over 100 seasonal and non-seasonal therapy theme ideas for you to choose from! This planning guide also comes with an editable lesson plan template you can use to help plan your themed therapy sessions. If you’re still having a tough time finding the right theme for your students, I would also recommend collaborating with other teachers. See what themes are being incorporated in your students’ classrooms that can also be incorporated and worked on in speech therapy! 

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

Join The Themed Therapy SLP Membership!

If you’re loving themed therapy planning that can be adapted across grade level to save you hours of planning time, check out the Themed Therapy SLP Membership. With this membership you will receive new themed materials to use with your students every month! To kick-off this challenge, I will be hosting a 5-day theme organizational challenge on Facebook. Join now for a sneak peak into the membership, great organizational tips from other themester SLP’s, and fun giveaways! Click on the photos below to learn more.

Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!
Check out these 4 tips to help you pick a great theme for your caseload that can be adapted across all of your grade levels. Save hours of planning time by using themed therapy materials to cover your wide range of goals!

This blog post is based on my recent Facebook live called, “What Makes a Great Theme for Your Caseload“. Make sure to check it out! 

Ep. 45 Why I Use Themes Longer than a Week

 Hey Hey SLPs! Do you ever find yourself scrambling to find enough activities to cover your Prek-5th grade caseload? You might have a gigantic caseload and are having to plan for a wide-range of ages and treatment areas. If that is you…this episode is for you! Planning for a caseload can easily become scattered because of the many responsibilities we have in the job and next thing you know, you begin just grabbing books, toys, and games off the shelf to cover goals. Because I needed some structure to cover so many goals and ages, I turned to planning by themes. Today, I am going to share 3 reasons why I use a theme longer than one week.

 

 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How to streamline your planning – which in turn helps you have a plan quicker, and it is more cohesive
  • How using themes build deeper semantic networks, gives time to work on background knowledge and also increases engagements with the vocabulary and language concepts. There is research that shows students with language impairments need up to 36 engagements with a word to learn it. Plus, you can pick themes that align with the classroom curriculum, the student’s interests, or things that are part of the child’s environment.
  • How themes can be more cost effective when you have to plan for less themes. You aren’t always on the hunt for more toys, books, games, etc. to add to your therapy closet.

 

To grab the FREE themed therapy planning idea guide, text the number 44222 with THEMETHERAPYGUIDE (all capitals)

THEME THERAPY SLP MEMBERSHIP

If you LOVE doing themed therapy, but are tired of spending endless hours searching Pinterest and TPT for themed activities to cover your Prek-5th grade caseload, then the Themed Therapy SLP membership is for you! Having monthly themed activities for a wide range of goals and ages will save you time, stress and money! Want to know when the membership will be ready? Get on the waitlist by clicking the pink button below.   Themed Therapy SLP Membership WaitlistGet on the waitlist to know when this helpful membership is available.

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