speech therapy materials Archives - thedabblingspeechie
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! 

How to Organize Your Themed Therapy Materials

How to Organize Your Themed Therapy Materials

Raise your hand if you start the year off strong with organization, and by the end of September you find yourself scouring through laundry piles of resources and worksheets. I know I can’t be the only one out there! I decided to get serious about organizing my themed therapy materials using a system that would last the whole school year. Here are some ways you can organize themed therapy materials so you don’t have to constantly find your self thinking “I swear I put that articulation packet in this folder…..”

Organize Themed Therapy Materials Using a Crate

One thing I invested in is these file storage crates. They are so easy to find and such a game changer.  You can find these file storage crates at Staples, Target, Walmart, or Amazon. As you can see in the picture, I label each file folder with my themes. When I’m looking for a particular themed activity, I’ll know exactly where to look in the crate which saves me a ton of time. This is especially helpful for organizing themed therapy materials for my whole classroom or push-in activities. When I first started organizing with crates, I quickly realized the file folders were essential! Without them, my materials turned into another pile, but this time they were in a crate instead of my desk!

Use Zip Pouches to Organize Themed Therapy Materials

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Along with the crates, I also love to use these zip or pocket pouches. Like the crates, they are super easy to find and a great organizational investment. These zip pouches are perfect for those themed activities that require a lot of components. For example, crafts, core word squares, books, and sentence strips. It’s super easy to keep all of the themed components in one place with these pouches. They are also very quick to grab and easy to carry from class to class.

A quick tip: if you are interested in buying these pouches, I would recommend going for more durable, plastic ones. These help keep your materials from bending or creasing, and they don’t “flop” as much for easier storage.

Organize Your Story Themed Materials in a Scrapbook Box

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Scrapbook boxes are a great tool to organize themed materials and lesson plans. These boxes are wide and deep enough to store your theme related books and the companion activities. I love these scrapbook boxes because I can use them to store the books I want, the activities, any pouches I have for my loose cards and materials, craft examples I want to use, and all of my visual supports. They are so easy to label, grab, use, and reorganize at the end of my day. I’ve cut down so much time on my planning and organizing once I started using these scrapbook boxes.

Check out my video on Facebook or Instagram to see what my scrapbook box and pouch organizational systems look like using an ocean theme!

Use Bags and Bins to Keep Sensory Bins Neat

One thing I love to incorporate into my therapy are themed sensory bins. However, these sensory bins and the loose materials I put in them can get super messy and time consuming to organize. Using gallon-sized baggies and a storage bin has helped keep my sensory bin materials neat. First, I store the loose cards or small toys I’ll be using in my sensory bin in a gallon-sized zip lock baggie. Then, I store the “sensory” materials in their own zip lock baggies as well. I place all of these baggies in a storage bin. Then, when it’s time to assemble my sensory bin, I can simply pick the therapy targets/cards/toys I need, the sensory material I want to use, and place them all in my sensory bin.

More Ways to Get Organized!

This blog post will tell you all the best tips for organizing your themed therapy materials, so you can quickly find the activities you need!

Looking for more ways to get your office or your materials organized? Take a look at my 7 Tips for Organization.

If you’re an SLP that has an articulation/phonology heavy caseload, then you’ll want to take a peak at my previous blog post where I talk about setting up articulation folders to help with organization.

I love seeing how other SLP’s get organized and what works best for them. Let me know in the comments your favorite way to stay organized throughout your school year!

Best Winter Videos to Use in Teletherapy

Best Winter Videos to Use in Teletherapy

If you are planning some winter-themed therapy for the winter season, I have found some great videos that you can use in teletherapy.

When discussing winter you can find reading passages about winter, hibernation, snowflakes, ice, and blizzards to work on the main idea, comprehension questions, tier II vocabulary, summarizing, and explaining details with grammatically correct sentences. Plus, if you find passages with your student’s speech sounds, it becomes a great mixed group lesson.

I love using www.readworks.org or www.getepic.com to find books or passages. You can now use winter videos to supplement those passages or use the videos in place of a reading passage in teletherapy.

Whether you are in-person or doing teletherapy, you can use winter videos to help organize your therapy sessions with engaging content. In this blog post, I will be sharing some of my favorite winter videos you can use in teletherapy.

Winter Videos for Teletherapy to Target Language

You can work on main idea and details about winter using this video from Scishowkids. The videos aren’t too long in length, so you can use them in a 20-30 minute session. Plus, you can also work tier II vocabulary with this video. With this video, it has 5 different winter videos that you can break up across the entire month to work on language.

This FREE School video is great for discussing how snow is made!

Have engaging winter videos for teletherapy that you can use to cover language skills.

Use Kami Chrome Extension to Write on Worksheets While Using Winter Videos

You can use Simon’s Cat winter videos while filling out this FREE sentence frame graphic organizer. If you need a graphic organizer to fill out about the turkey fact details for teletherapy, you can use the Kami Chrome Extension to add text boxes. Here is a YouTube video tutorial on how to add text boxes in Kami. You can put the graphic organizer on one side of the screen and the YouTube browser on the other side. Then, just screen share your entire screen. If you need a sentence frame graphic organizer to build more complex sentences, grab this one HERE.

If you want to see how you can use Simon’s Cat videos to target a variety of goals, check out this BLOG POST

 

Winter Videos Using YouTube Book Read Aloud Videos

I usually prefer to read the actual book out loud to my students over a YouTube book read aloud, when doing teletherapy sessions, it can sometimes be hard for all the students to see my book over the screen. So, I will use YouTube read aloud in my sessions, so the kids can see the pages while I read the story.

All you need to do is have the YouTube video on mute so that you can read the pages. I try to find a book read aloud that shows the pages clearly so that I can read the lines from the story. These book read alouds allow we to see all the words on the page.

Other ways to use books are by screen sharing while projecting a book from Kindle Unlimited, Vooks, or using Epic. There are a ton of great short winter-themed books on Epic that I use with my students with limited language and shortened attention spans in therapy.

Have Movement Break Videos with a Winter Theme!

Turkey Videos for speech therapy to use with movement breaks

If you work with younger students that need movement breaks in a session, you can use these fun winter-themed songs. When I do whole class lessons on the SMARTboard in a classroom, I would often pull up one of these videos when kids were struggling to pay attention.

You are also providing another new opportunity to learn language through song because many of the songs have verb actions or use winter vocabulary.

You can also work on verb actions, initiating requesting for the song, and discussing if they liked the song.

Some songs you can even work on left or right and other basic concepts.

What movement breaks do you like using? Share in the comments!

If  you want all these winter songs in one place as well as more of my faves, grab this free winter YouTube Google Slides by clicking the pink button.

 

Use Google Slides to Organize Your Winter Videos

winter videos for teletherapy that will help you work on language!

One way you can keep all your favorite videos organized is by adding them to a Google Slide or PowerPoint. I find that adding them to Google Slides are easier for sharing with educators or families. Once you add in all the video links, you can easily navigate to the ones you need for the lesson.

Once you have it organized, you can use it year after year with your groups. If you need all of these videos in an organized Google Slides presentation, grab my winter-themed language lesson plan guides that have a Google Slides™ presentation included. It comes with everything ready to go.

You can see how you can organize your videos and activities in the video below.

What winter videos have you found to be helpful for your caseload? I would love to add them to my stash of materials! Share in the comments.

Middle School Resources for Distance Learning

Middle School Resources for Distance Learning

This week I wanted to share about some resources that will help you with doing teletherapy with your middle school students. It has been a few years since I have worked with those ladies and gents, but I remember it like it was yesterday. For many years, I worked at a middle school and to get these friends excited about seeing me was a daily challenge sometimes.

Distance Learning Resources for Middle School

News-O-Matic is an app for your iPad that is offering free subscriptions until June 30th for families and teachers. I love that there are daily articles and students can choose what they want to read about. There are different levels, and it can be translated into Spanish. You can read more about the app HERE

Jeopardy Labs or Jeopardy PowerPoint were two digital materials I used to create custom Jeopardy games for my students. If you get the PowerPoint version, just make sure to “save as” and re-title the version. You can make a fluency one, articulation, vocabulary, and social language to then use in teletherapy or assign in Google Classroom. Jeopardy Labs is a cool tool because you can use games already created by other users. So, you could share the workload with your other fellow middle school SLPs and each creates a game and then share.

middle school teletherapy materials to use during distance learning
Distance Learning Middle School speech therapy ideas

Use YouTube to use for wordless shorts, Simon’s Cat videos, America’s Funniest Videos or your other favorite channels to engage learning. If you need a social pragmatic Google Slide with all the videos, make a copy of mine HERE. I LOVE wordless short videos too. You can target so many skills with those, so mixed groups are easier with these types of videos.

Some of my favorite wordless videos to use are Simon’s Cat videos. They are so versatile because they are mini video comics, short in length, and always entertaining. You can read more about these videos HERE.

 

Using EdPuzzle with your Middle School Students

EdPuzzle is a website that you can take a video and add in questions for your student to answer while watching the video. This allows you to track their comprehension. It will pause the video when you embed a question. Plus, you can search for other lessons already created and assign them to students on Google Classroom. You can see a tutorial about how to create your own EdPuzzle video on my YouTube channel. Speech Time Fun also has some EdPuzzle videos already prepped for you that can be used in teletherapy sessions.

Check out this YouTube video to see how you can use your favorite videos to create lessons for your middle school teletherapy sessions. 

Free Websites to Use for Your Middle School Teletherapy

free websites to use with middle school teletherapy

If you haven’t used NewsELA or ReadWorks, you seriously need to go check them out. You can find FREE articles that are at your student’s age level and interest to use in therapy.

Use the website Word Sift to help with reviewing the text and key vocabulary from the passage. This tool makes it a little easier to plan. I learned about this website from Speech Time Fun. Check out her Instagram Stories for more details!

I also love using the website vocab grabber to find tier II vocabulary words to work on with students. Plus, these free articles are great for articulation carryover. 

Articulation Carryover Materials for Middle School Teletherapy

Use my articulation carryover resources to assign work in SeeSaw and Google Classroom. You can check out this tutorial on how to use the Kami Chrome extension to use worksheets you already own!

Social Pragmatic Middle School Teletherapy Resources

Need social pragmatic resources that you can use now and when you get back to real life therapy? You can use this No Prep Social Skills Activities to work on lots of skills including conversation (see how I use the conversation visuals in my IG highlights.) This question and answer conversation activity was something I loved using with my middle school life skills students.

Pick a topic that your student’s want to discuss. On one side of the screen put the visual support for asking questions or making comments. On the other side, adjust your website tab and upload the resource using your Kami Chrome extension. This extension allows you to annotate on the PDF. Share your entire screen. While the students are discussing the topic you can give visual feedback about their body language, questions/comments, talking too much or too little. This gives them the visual feedback they need to self monitor their social pragmatics in a conversational setting. 

middle school teletherapy resources for social skills.

You can use Flipgrid to have your students respond with a facial expression, practice answering a question while staying on topic, or work on answering and asking questions with you as a distance learning activity. Watch the tutorial above to see how you can get started with this tool.

What Digital Materials Do You Use for Middle School Teletherapy Lessons?

websites and materials to use with middle school teletherapy speech sessions.

What digital tools do you use with your middle school students?

Do you have any favorite Chrome extensions that help you in your teletherapy sessions?

I would love to know of any digital programs, YouTube videos or games that you have found to be engaging for your students. Share in the comments!

In the Tall, Tall Grass Teletherapy Activity

In the Tall, Tall Grass Teletherapy Activity

The easiest way to run a virtual teletherapy session or class meet-up has been when using a Google Slide presentation. It is just like a PowerPoint. You can add in YouTube videos, images, and visual supports your students may need during the lesson.

You can screen share your Google Slide presentation while running the lesson. Click pink button below to grab your free In the Tall, Tall Grass teletherapy activity Google Slides and have everything ready to go!

As a group, we did our morning greetings, sang an insect brain break song, and then read the book, In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming (Amazon affiliate link.)

I read the book aloud and showed the students the pictures while the other teacher removed the things hidden in the tall, tall grass on the Google Slide.

Then, we played the game, “What’s in the tall, tall grass?” using the virtual grass backgrounds.

In the Tall, Tall Grass teletherapy activity to engage your students in speech therapy with tips for how to change out your virtual backgrounds.

Use Insect Toys To Work on Language

You could also use real toy bugs that you already own and have them land on your head. Just use the ‘STOP VIDEO’ feature to put a new insect on your head. Then, start the video again for the kids to name the insect or give them a CORE word such as “look” to use during the activity. 

How to Change your Virtual Background in Zoom

In the Tall, Tall Grass teletherapy activity with free Google Slides lesson plans

Doesn’t this look super engaging for your students? I would love to know how it goes, so please tag me on social media. Have other fun virtual backgrounds that you use? Let me know! I always need more tools for my speech therapy toolbox. With remote learning, I need all the digital ideas I can get my hands on. 

Click here to grab your Google Slides

Insect Sensory Bin Ideas

If you are wanting to do more insect themes for your therapy, click the images below to see how you can make these insect sensory bins! 

If you like to plan your therapy around themes and enjoy doing an insect/bug theme, then you will love the K-2 language activities in my Insect Push-In Language Lesson Plan Guides. You can use the parent newsletter and Google Slide presentations during remote learning and then have lessons ready for when in-person therapy happens again. 

For your older students, you can work on learning about insects with these non-fiction task cards. Students can make an insect book to work on tier II vocabulary, main idea, describing, and explaining details. 

Copyright 2019 The Dabbling Speechie | Disclosures | Terms of UseBrand Ambassador Program


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/customer/www/thedabblingspeechie.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/atarim-client-interface-plugin/inc/wpf_function.php on line 138