I can’t believe it is fall already but I have accepted that it is here. Here are some quick tips for effectively running your speech therapy sessions.
30 minutes can be the fastest time interval if you have planned for it or the slowest if you didn’t have time to put a speech therapy session together effectively. In the first few weeks of school we have not established our routine and you can bet that the students haven’t either. Rely heavily on the library, book discovery and a keen, concise schedule to get all of your groups humming along and achieving classroom objectives as they go.
Book Discovery (circle time activities): Expressive
Place a large number of books on the topic around the table. Encourage students to freely pick any book, look through it, comment, trade, and show friends what they see. Tell them they have 2 minutes and at the end let them choose one book that you look through (non-fiction) or read (fiction). This centers them on the topic and gives you an idea as to how familiar they are with the topic.
Speech Therapy Session Activity Set-up: Receptive
Empower and challenge students by having them set up for the activity. Explain what they will be doing, show an example, and then ask for helpers to gather crayons, paper, glue, etc. Increase the level of difficulty in each speech therapy session by including numbers, an instruction, an order to the instruction, and descriptions of the materials.
Speech Therapy Session Activity: Expressive
Hone in on specific communication goals by working together and then targeting individual student’s goals while the others are finishing minor tasks. Rely heavily on successful students to demonstrate to friends how to say a sound, follow instructions, or complete a task.
Post-Activity Review (clean up, homework): Receptive
Ask the initial helpers to gather and return the materials they brought. Have each student stand, present his work, say something about it, and carry it to their backpack, folder, or cubbie. Reward a student for returning a signed parent letter to encourage communication and interaction with the family.
Content for this essay adapted from Literacy-Based Speech and Language Activities and Curriculum-based Speech Therapy Activities. Use them to learn how to effectively organize your therapy so that your therapy materials go a long way.