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Hey! I’m Alexis from Practically Speeching, just a regular starving graduate student trying to push my laminating machine to the limits! More importantly though, let me first thank Maureen from The Speech Bubble for letting me take part in “What’s Up Wednesdays” – I really am honored! I chose to focus on the topic of “Speech Warm Ups” because I truly think they’re an underused ally during your sessions.

Now, I can’t take credit for this “Speech Warm Up”, full credit comes from my brilliant SLP mother who created this during her 25+ years in an elementary school. (Go Mom!) I just happened to have taken it to new, techy height for her!

Imagine this (most likely familiar) situation…You have a group of 4-5 kids with a variety of goals and only 30 minutes to address them. You’ve wasted 5 minutes settling them down, another 5 checking homework and handing out stickers, and now you’re down to a solid 15-20 minutes of addressing a combined 10 goals (…at minimum). Is any of this sounding familiar? Do you want to rip your hair out yet? Run screaming? Yet we don’t because we’re all speech nerds and love to work with kids, right!?

So, instead of cramming in a variety of activities into one 15-minute lesson, integrate a “Speech Warm Up” into your session. It will only take about 5 minutes, maybe a little more for the first week you’re introducing it, and then you can breathe easy.

Here’s how to work it…

1. PICK a word of the day/week/month

By picking a word of the day/week/month depending on what your kids need you can branch out into different language goals.

1a. Have students tell you the definition of the word.

1b. Have students tell you that word in a sentence.

1c. Have students tell you synonyms and antonyms for that word.

1d. Have students compare/contrast (using a Venn diagram even!) the word you’ve provided with either a word from last week, or a similar word.

2. PICK an idiom of the day/week/month

2a. Have students tell you the literal and figurative meaning of this idiom.

2b. Have students tell you if/where they’ve heard this idiom and HOW they can use it.

Now, this may sound a little intense, but the secret here is powerpoint. Make a format for yourself (I happen to sell ones on TpT premade with Tier 2 vocabulary). Don’t have powerpoint or a projector in your classroom? Use a pocket chart! Set up different sections for your words, idioms, and goals and go to town!

Start this warm up after your stickers, settling down, and overall adjustment to the session. Introducing this activity can have you hit a multitude of goals, especially when you personalize it to your groups needs. Plus, it may seem tedious teaching these concepts in the beginning, but fast forward a few weeks in and you’ll be flying through this and hitting goal after goal!


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Meet Maureen

Hey there! I’m Maureen Wilson, a school-base SLP who is data driven and caffeine powered. My passion is supporting other pediatric SLPs by teaching them how to harness the power of literacy and data to help their students achieve their goals…without sacrificing time they don’t have.

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