YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR SLP. You plan amazing lessons and your students love coming to speech. There’s just one hiccup – some of your students aren’t making the progress you know that they are capable of making. If that’s the case, it might be time to reflect on how many productions you are getting out of your students each session. Here are some simple ways to help increase the number of practice opportunities in therapy (without your students realizing they are actually doing more work!)
Start A “100” Club
I recently provided two weeks of bridge services at an elementary school. Knowing my time with the students was going to be limited, I created a “100” Club. I cut out brightly colored letters and taped them on a wall in the corner of the room. I explained to the students that their goal was to produce their target sounds/words 100 times, and if they did this, they got to put their name on the wall and “join” the club. Sure enough, we got everyone’s name on the wall by the end of the two weeks!
There are lots of tools out there to help your students achieve this, including free resources on TeachersPayTeachers.com (key words you can use to start your search: Race to 100, 100 Trials, 100 Challenge, etc.)
Keep It Engaging With Tools And Manipulatives
- Counters/Clickers: Never underestimate the power of a tally counter! I have found that most students will do just about anything I ask of them to be able to use these magical clickers. Electronic counters are also available for pretty cheap. As a bonus, these also help to keep active little hands busy!
- Abacus: There are some great tutorials on how to make a DIY Abacus with pipe cleaners and pony beads. Here’s the shortened version: String 10 beads onto a pipe cleaner and attach it to a sturdy surface. Provide the student with 10 words and pick a word for them to practice first. Each time the student produces the target word, they move a bead over from the left side of the abacus to the right. They keep practicing until they have moved all the beads over (10 productions). Push the beads back to the left side, and do it again until all the pre-selected words have been practiced. 10 words x 10 times = 100 productions!
- Hands: You can also have students trace and cut their hands out of construction paper. Glue the “palm” part of the hand onto another piece of paper, while keeping the fingers unattached. Then use the loose paper fingers to help your students count up to 10 productions for 10 different words. BOOM! 100 words!
I hope you are inspired to implement one of these easy ideas to help take your therapy to the next level. Remember to keep providing your students with feedback. Keep it simple, have fun, and enjoy watching your students grow!
Author: Kelly Leis, M.Ed., CCC-SLP