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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. 

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

Do you love using The Gingerbread Man story in your therapy sessions? It is great for teaching oral narration and language skills.

Over the years, I have even found ways to incorporate social pragmatic skills with a gingerbread man theme. 

Today, I wanted to share some gingerbread man speech therapy activities you can do with your students in December or January.

Gingerbread Man Speech Therapy Activities

You can work on oral narration and comprehension using the book The Gingerbread Man. Another way to build language is to compare and contrast different versions of The Gingerbread Man.

Here are some book versions that you can use in therapy (Amazon affiliate links included):

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett

The Gingerbread Man by Gail Yerill

The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

The Gingerbread Man is Loose in the School by Laura Murray

After reading the story, you can work on word opposites such as hungry/full, fast/slow, go/stop, wet/dry, shallow/deep.

As a group, you can target the tier II vocabulary of chase, stream, and gobble.

You can discuss kitchen utensils and things that people can bake. 

Review each picture in the story and work on grammar concepts while retelling the story. 

 

Use these gingerbread man speech therapy activities to target lots lots of language and social skills. #slpeeps #speechies #socialskills #speechtherapy #gingerbreadman #preschoolslp #preschool #languageintervention #slp2b #cfyslp

Gingerbread Man Activities for Mixed Groups

gingerbread man speech therapy activities that you can do to work on language and social skills. #slpeeps #schoolslp #speechtherapy #gingerbreadman #cfyslp #slp2b #languagetherapy #eslteacher #socialpragmatics

You can use gingerbread man cookies to work on so many functional language skills. Have your students decorate gingerbread man cookies to work on CORE vocabulary, requesting, commenting and sequencing. I found these different sized cookie cutters, so we also worked on big, bigger, and biggest. Students working on articulation carryover can practice their speech sounds while explaining how they decorated their gingerbread man cookie.

Need ideas for how to use cookies to work on perspective taking? Check out this blog post HERE.

When using a task card deck with your mixed groups, you can make the deck more engaging by planning the “Catch the gingerbread man” game. All you need are gingerbread men, some fox printables, paper clips and a magnetic wand. Attach gingerbread men to most of the task cards. Put a few foxes under the cards. Then, students pick a card with the magnetic wand. If it has a gingerbread man, they get to keep it. If it has a fox, then they lose a card. Grab these free printables HERE. 

Gingerbread Man Brain Break Activities

For your students that need movement to help them stay engaged, I highly recommend these YouTube videos as fun brain breaks.

This allows your students a quick time to get their wiggles out while still moving their bodies to something related to The Gingerbread Man theme.

The second YouTube video puts some verbs from the story in song form which may help some of your students with learning that vocabulary.

I love incorporating YouTube videos into my whole class push-in lessons to break up the session. 

 

Visual Supports for Story Retell

To work on story retell using The Gingerbread Man, use file folder activities to help scaffold oral narration.

Some of your students may need step by step visual supports with what happened in the story. Use the file folders in my TPT store to plan leveled activities for your students.

You may have some students with complex communication needs and need additional supports to help them demonstrate their comprehension of the story. You can have your students match characters or story elements if they can’t verbally sequence the story. 

For students working on increasing MLU, have them use the visual sentence frames to build sentences about “who” was chasing the gingerbread man.

Work on story retell using visual supports in a sensory bin. You can check out how I made a gingerbread man sensory bin HERE.

It includes free printables to make your own gingerbread man sensory bin.

Gingerbread Man Activities for Body in the Group

The gingerbread man loves to be chased. And, it seems to be quite hard to catch him. Planning a body in the group gingerbread man chase around campus can be a practical way for you to work on staying with a group and thinking about others.

Check out this blog post to see how you can plan a gingerbread man hunt and work on social pragmatics as a whole class. I used a free printable to make this activity come to life!

 

Gingerbread Man Push-In Lesson Plan Ideas

When I plan push-in lessons for my K-1 and 1-2 Special Day Classrooms, I like to read a story book at the carpet and do a Google Slide presentation as a group.

Then, the class breaks up into three smaller group work stations. I plan three activities that align with theme of the week and use the teacher and aides to help with running stations. To see how I setup my push-in lessons, head to this blog post. If you are interested in learning about different collaborative service models, head to this blog post.

At the stations, you can plan an easy craft, use the characters from the story to work on prepositions while playing “Simon says”, and a pretend play gingerbread man cookie baking station to work on language and social skills in a functional way.

 

If you are needing lesson plan guides that will help you implement small group and whole class lessons, check out my gingerbread man push-in guides. It has 3-5 small group activities, book suggestions, a letter to send home to parents, a Google Slide presentation and cheat sheet guides for the teacher aides. Grab this resource and finally feel confident with structuring your therapy sessions. 

These are the activities you can do with a gingerbread man theme. What do you plan for your students? Share in the comments!

What does play-based speech therapy look like?

What does play-based speech therapy look like?

If you work with younger-aged students, then planning play-based speech therapy sessions can help you save time with lesson plans and increase engagement with students!

You can adapt toys to cover multiple goals, so you can use the toy in many of your sessions. I love utilizing a toy or a pretend play theme for many of my mixed group sessions! Adapting materials sparks joy in this SLP.

Today, I wanted to share all about what play-based speech therapy is, how this benefits the child, the stages of play, and tips for how to be a rockstar SLP with play therapy! Ya ready for some practical therapy info? After this blog post, you will be confident with doing play therapy with your students!

What is play-based speech therapy?

 

Play-based speech therapy is when a speech pathologist (SLP) plans speech and/or language activities around a play toy or activity. The SLP will create opportunities for the child to practice the target skill while enjoying motivating toys and activities that are relevant to the child’s interests. 
Wondering how to get started with play-based speech therapy? Check out this blog post to see the benefits of play-based speech therapy and how play-based learning can help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions efficiently! #slpeeps #playtherapy #playbasedtherapy #speechtherapy #speechtherapist #cfyslp #slp #ashaigers #speechies #schoolslp #dabblingslp #preschoolslp #pediatricslp
  • Children are motivated to engage and communicate when playing with materials of interest.
  • Play-based therapy helps increase attention and build better positive interactions.
  • Children learn the social skills necessary for playing with toys and make progress on speech and/or language goals in a naturalistic setting.
  • The child will make better connections with real-life events and will improve memory.

Types of Play That Can Be Targeted in Play-Based Speech Therapy

  1. Functional play – investigating how common objects work and are used
  2. Construction play – building things with objects
  3. Game play with rules – board games that have a clear set of rules for playing
  4. Outdoor and movement play – activities that involve physical movement
  5. Symbolic, dramatic, and pretend play – common activities are done in everyday life as play
Wondering how to get started with play-based speech therapy? Check out this blog post to see the benefits of play-based speech therapy and how play-based learning can help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions efficiently! #slpeeps #playtherapy #playbasedtherapy #speechtherapy #speechtherapist #cfyslp #slp #ashaigers #speechies #schoolslp #dabblingslp #preschoolslp #pediatricslp

The Five Stages of Play Children Use

  • Stage I: Onlooker play – watching and observing (under 1 year of age)
  • Stage II: Solitary play – playing by themselves (between 1-2 years of age)
  • Stage III: Parallel play – playing near others but not engaging with others (between 2-3 years of age)
  • Stage IV: Associative play – playing with others but sometimes playing by themselves (between 3-4 years of age)
  • Stage V: Cooperative play – playing with others and will not continue to play without a partner (above 4 years of age)

Tips for Implementing Play-Based Speech Therapy

  • Let the child take the lead during the play activity as much as you can without moving away from the target goals. When doing play-based therapy, it is important for it to feel natural and not clinician-directed.
  • Avoid commands such as, “Say this” during the session. When we put too many demands on students, it takes away from the “play” aspect of therapy. Instead, give 5-10 second wait times after modeling a word or phrase to see if the child initiates a question or a comment.
  • Find toys and materials that are relevant and interesting to the child. Participation will increase with the right toy.
  • If the toy/material is motivating for the child, then use it more than one session. Lesson planning will take less time, and students will have more engagement with the skills.
  • Provide two toys or play options in a session. Allow the child to help make decisions about what he/she wants to play with. Re-introduce toys/materials that were not interesting to the child in the past. They may have a new interest in the toy.
  • Set a timer and have visual supports for students that need preparation before ending a play session. This will help decrease or eliminate unwanted behaviors during transition times.
  • Model speech and/or language skills that you want the child to learn. You can show the child how to get a toy that he/she wants, show how to play with a toy, or use a new phrase the child can use while playing. 

How to Use Toys in Speech Therapy

If you are needing ideas for toys to use in your speech sessions, I have a lot of blog posts that share how to adapt toys for many goals. Your play-based speech therapy sessions will be easier to plan when you have toys that can be adapted for many activities. Check out these posts:

Farmhouse Toy

Pet Vet Toy

Bubbles

Toys for Functional Communication

Do You Struggle with Remembering All the Targets While Playing with Students?

Between managing attention and behavior, as well as working on IEP goals during play, it can be cognitively overwhelming for you as a clinician. We want to maximize those play-based sessions, but it can feel like a workout coming up with relevant targets off the top of our heads. That’s why I created Toy Companion Cheat Sheet Guides for 18 popular toys. It comes with wh- questions to ask, verbs to target (over 36 for each toy), Tier II vocabulary, articulation words to use, carrier phrases, basic concepts, adjectives, and 10 therapy ideas to implement with each toy. Whew! That’s a lot of skills. You will be ready for your therapy in minutes and can even use these to train parents and teachers with how to use toys in a functional way! Need this in your life like yesterday? Head to my store and grab it HERE.

What Are Your Tips for Play-Based Speech Therapy?

 

Do you have any tips for implementing play-based speech therapy with your students? Have you found some success with using toys to help your students with complex speech and language needs? I would love to hear your tips! 

And, I would love to know your favorite toys or pretend play themes you enjoy using for therapy. Share in the comments or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com with your ideas. 

Wondering how to get started with play-based speech therapy? Check out this blog post to see the benefits of play-based speech therapy and how play-based learning can help you plan engaging speech therapy sessions efficiently! #slpeeps #playtherapy #playbasedtherapy #speechtherapy #speechtherapist #cfyslp #slp #ashaigers #speechies #schoolslp #dabblingslp #preschoolslp #pediatricslp

How to Use a Toy Farm in Speech Therapy

How to Use a Toy Farm in Speech Therapy

Having toys in your therapy stash that you can use to cover multiple goals is the way to go when you are a busy SLP. Lesson planning is important for effective therapy, so knowing how to quickly utilize a toy to elicit speech and language targets is nice on those days when  meetings and paperwork eat up all your planning time.

Today, I want to share about how to use your toy farm in speech therapy to cover a wide range of skills. My kids are very engaged when I pull out the toy farm in speech therapy. 

Where Can I Buy a Farmhouse for My Speech Room?

Using a toy farm in speech therapy can be a great material to help your students work on goals in a functional way. Check out how to use a toy farm in your next play-based speech therapy session!  #slpeeps #schoolslp #preschool #toysforspeech #preschoolslp #speechtherapy #speechies #slp #dabblingslp

There are several different types of farmhouse playsets available on Amazon. I am sure you can find a farmhouse toy at Target, too. Here are some of the playsets that are affordable (Amazon affiliate links included for your convenience):

 

Battat Big Red Barn

 

Melissa and Doug Wooden Fold N’ Go Barn

 

Fisher-Price Little People Caring for Animals Farm Playset

 

B Toys Baa Baa Baa Musical Farm Set  (This is the one I own.)

 

If you don’t have room for a bulky farm set, then you can buy these Farm Animals and Down on the Farm Toob sets to use in therapy. There is also a Farm Babies set!

Using a Toy Farm in Speech Therapy With Younger-Aged Children

A farmhouse set can be used to target so many skills! Listed below are some of my favorite ways to engage children in speech and language skills:

  1. Sort the animals by attributes (wings/no wings,  two legs/ four legs, lives on a farm, not on a farm).
  2. Discuss what each animal can do, what parts they have, where you can find them, how they feel, etc.
  3. Work on grammar concepts, such as plural tense (i.e. cows, horses), noun-verb agreement (She has the bucket), present progressive (i.e. is walking).
  4. Create a farm sensory bin to work on storytelling, social skills, pretend play, grammar, and vocabulary.
  5. Give the farm animals items and ask “who” questions (Who has the corn?).
  6. Work on “where” the animals and items are on the farm.
  7. Make a farm animal washing station to work on verbs, vocabulary, and sequencing. One container has dirt, and the other has soapy water.
  8. Work on following directions with basic concepts and 1-3 step directions.
  9. Create a fence with popsicle sticks or use a plastic play fence. Students work on around, over, under, etc.
  10. Have the farmer go around the farm doing all of his/her chores. Work on noun-functions, creating sentences, describing, and more.
toy farm in speech therapy
toy farm in speech therapy

Have a Toy Farm Cheat Sheet for Your Sessions

Play-based therapy is a naturalistic tool that SLPs can use to target verbs, language skills, social pragmatics, and articulation/phonology. It can be tough to remember all the targets to hit in a mixed group, as well. That’s why I created cheat sheets to help SLPs. You focus on the therapy with the students rather than worrying about the targets you are going to use in the session. Need toy companion cheat sheets? Grab my toy companion cheat sheets designed for Pre-K thru 2nd grade for 14 of your students’ favorite toys, including a toy farmhouse playset!

toy farm in speech therapy
Using a toy farm in speech therapy can be a great material to help your students work on goals in a functional way. Check out how to use a toy farm in your next play-based speech therapy session!  #slpeeps #schoolslp #preschool #toysforspeech #preschoolslp #speechtherapy #speechies #slp #dabblingslp

Farm-Themed Therapy Resources

 

 

When I plan my small group and whole class therapy lessons, I like to use themes to keep me organized. In this blog post , you can see all the books, videos, and activities I plan with a farm theme. 

How Do You Use a Toy Farm Playset in Speech Therapy?

 

 

Do you have a fun way to engage your students with a farmhouse playset in speech therapy? Share in the comments, tag me on Instagram @thedabblingspeechie, or email me at feliceclark@thedabblingspeechie.com.

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