Friends, I have some news. I turn 30 this weekend! My birthday always marks the nearing of summer break and I am ready! I’ve been running outside this spring and I am itching for those summer days to begin!
My students are feeling the same. One of the Mom’s I’m working more closely with – because teletherapy has some perks – said that “the need to be outside in nice weather is biological.” I completely agree and I want to celebrate summer this week with some summer speech therapy activities.
On the other hand, deadlines have begun piling up as the end of the school year looms! Anxiety is normal and expected for me at this time of the year, so I’ve been taking some extra time to move my body (because endorphins are good) and writing.
How are you guys handling the end of the year? What is it different from past years? When is your anxiety showing up for you? Let me know in the comments!
If this post doesn’t meet your needs, I have tons of other posts that might spark interest for you or your students!
Check them out:
Summer Speech Therapy Books
If you’ve been with me since I started writing activities for other SLP’s, you know that I adore using books in therapy. There are so many things that you can do with books in therapy.
I have learned so much from listening to the SLP Now Podcast and secretly want to grow up to be Marisha. I have no affiliation with her or anything, but she’s a definite role-model for me! She has this work smarter, not harder philosophy that meshes with my lifestyle. Anyways, fangirling aside, you should check out her podcasts about contextualized therapy because she does a beautiful job summarizing Dr. Teresa Ukranitz’s book (also worth checking out). You’ll have a ton of ideas for how to use these books to target all of your goals.
And Then Comes Summer
Oh the ideas that this sweet little book inspire! Of course, I’ll continue to work on pronouns, past-tense, and other morphology goals! How do I do it? Well, typically I pick a target to recognize in my head and then I start with some auditory bombardment. Then, we take a book walk and practice saying sentences with the target together. Finally, at the end of the session, the student practices retelling the story using their target (with visual supports if they need them).
I also like the “When… Then…” pattern created by this book. It is an interesting syntactical structure that you could practice with your students after reading this book. I’ll probably create a T-Chart with When on one side and Then on the other.
Last Day Blues
Anyone else getting the Last Day Blues? This story is a treasure. There are gorgeous photos that will be ripe for inferencing and reading between the lines. In the story, Mrs. Hartman’s students have many group conversations about how sad she must be about the last day of school. They work together to come up with a gift they think she will like. I think that their empathy will make for a fantastic discussion for my emerging “we” thinkers.
Another syntactic note for this book: they explain what day it is in a complicated way: “On the morning of the Xday that was the Xday before the last day of school.” This will be fun to explain with a calendar visual. I might move a marker along the way as we read the story to keep track of the day with my students.
Summer Speech Therapy Videos
Disney World | Magic Kingdom
I don’t think I could write a summer speech therapy post without including a Virtual Disney Field Trip. I might encourage my students to work with me to pretend we went on a field trip to Disney and we can write a letter to Micky or Minnie about all of the fun we had on our trip! That way I can pull through any sentence formulation, articulation, or grammar goals.
The Unbelievable Benefits of Being Bored
Does anyone else get really bored without the structure of the school year? Thinking back to life as a middle schooler, I remember crying in the mid-summer months when I felt so incredibly bored. I had a hard time without the structure of school and I missed seeing my friends all the time. Because we’re all being physically distant, this summer is bound to be a little boring for our kids and students. I found this video to be really interesting and think it will be great to use it with my middle schoolers. We can chat about what they could do when they feel bored (potentially just sitting with that feeling and noticing it) and maybe make a list of boredom-fighting activities that don’t include screens.
Summer Speech Therapy Games
I love that this game is in the first person. You can play hide and seek with Daniel Tiger and his family. The game walks you through closing your eyes and counting while the family members hide. I think this would be close to video modeling for younger kids on the autism spectrum.
I’m going back to my roots these days. Let’s get those wiggle worms moving! Talk to your student and ask them to get permission to make an obstacle course. Then work with them to make a plan and some signs to hang around the house (sticky notes would be perfect, or you can create visuals in a shared google doc). Here are some ideas:
- say 5 words with my target sound while jumping
- Use prepositions to reinforce spatial concepts (stand ON the pillow, jump off the pillow, crawl under the blanket, etc.)
- sort household items – sort the kitchen tools, toys, and clothes into piles
- skip to five items and say a sentence about each one with your target sentence form (e.g., I like dogs because they are cute. I don’t like broccoli because it is bitter.)
If your student is having a hard time, think of 6 targets and 6 actions your student can do while practicing their word or target. Then roll the dice to figure out what the student will do next! the randomness is fun for everyone. The students will love it if you join in and do the silly actions too!
Summer is coming!
I don’t know about you, but this spring has been… complicated. My brain has had to stretch, bend, and go-with-the-flow. I’ve had to adjust my therapy to be completely online. My home life and my work life are combined in an awkward way and I have had to come up with new strategies to shut off my work-brain and turn on my mom-brain. I want to thank you for reading to the end and for the many readers who have shared their students’ success using my activities. I love to hear that these posts are helping others and hope that you have a fantastic weekend!