How to Survive the Downhill Slide
The Frenzied SLPs are linking up for the downhill slope! While downhill is usually the easiest and most fun part of the ride, at school it does bring some extra challenges. Many SLPs are drowning in paperwork. Most of us are juggling meetings and therapy. Then, there’s always the cleaning up, reorganizing, and sometimes packing up for the summer that needs to be done.
Although the end of the year drags, seeming like it will never come, I actually prefer doing therapy at this point! With the comfort of having progress demonstrated or goals achieved, and behavior management methods worked out, there is some leeway to generalize skills, play games and just have some fun! That was my goal when I was shopping the TpT sale last week: finding some new, fun therapy activities to get through the end of the year. I accomplished my goal! (I hope you found what you were looking for, as well!)
This time of year, I like to loosen things up a little and get away from the therapy table as well. So, I went looking online to find some activity ideas (by skill used) to adapt to meet the needs of my caseload. I think that ESL teachers may have the best job ever- teaching kids with normal neurological skills to talk! Many ESL sites share fun ways to get kids talking. Here are two ideas that I’m looking at now for descriptive language from the site Teach This.
I am thinking of adapting the ‘Swat’ game for my lower level groups by using pictures of words they have learned this year on my board. The first week, I will provide the descriptions and they can swat the words off the wall or catch it on the sticky hands I found at the Dollar Store. The next week, they will get to be the SLP, taking turns giving clues to each other to find the words. To keep them from purposely giving limited information, I challenge them to give better clues than I did. This makes their combined score of words figured out on the first clue higher than mine was the week before. Games like this let the students use their skills, have fun. Meanwhile, I can do some mindless paper filing/recycling while I am interacting with them, cueing as needed, and monitoring their carryover skills.
For my higher groups, the game I am going to try out from this website is called ‘Hot Seat.’ I will adapt this version of a vocabulary game by having the student who is giving the description write the word on a small whiteboard. (If you follow me at all, you will have seen pictures of my favorite dollar store deal before!) The student has to give descriptions of the word that was written on the mini-board until the student in the hot seat guesses the word. Then, they switch seats.
Since I don’t have teams, I like to change the rules a bit. This keeps students motivated to keep trying and to not become frustrated. To do this, I will limit my students to 5 clues to get the other to guess the word. If they go over, that round ends. If they get the other student to guess the word, they get a point for each word. The students will alternate chairs, the ‘hot seat’ being the guesser, each round. For some groups, I may start with a category or a subject area to make the job of the student in the ‘hot seat’ a little easier.
So, what are your pet peeves this time of year? What is your most difficult time of year? Mine is the fall. Soooo hard to get back to work. But now, we have a long, wonderful summer to look forward to!
For more ideas to help you make it to the summer, check out these links!