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An awesome Speech Bubble fan submitted a question:

” I’ve wondered what other SLPs do when they’ve run out of ideas or their brain is just not working full tilt.”

We have all had those days. Your sick, your kids are sick, situations come up, and your sessions get derailed.  You have kids coming in 2 minutes and your plans have gone out the window.   What do you do?!  Here are my favorite go to activities to use when my day isn’t going as planned.

1. Visit the Library

When in doubt I grab a book. You can target nearly everything with book. Grab one with pictures and work one basic concepts and following directions.  How many times can your students find words with there speech sounds?  Can they answer questions about the story?

2. Grab Some Dice

I have a cup with 4 dice that I keep next to my table.  After students answer a question, say X number of sounds, etc they can roll the dice. We see who can get the most of the same number.

3.  Apps

I love using my iPad for speech. When those days come around that I am sick or the session I planned is not going to work out I bring up an app.  There are two that I typically go to, Language Adventures and Language Empires by Smarty Ears. Just about all my kids have at least one goal that these apps target. I can be there to support them with the questions and the app will take data for me so I don’t need to worry about it.

4. Paper and Crayons

I loved drawing and coloring when I was a kid and I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t like it, at least a little bit.  Old coloring books, blank pieces of paper, even white/dry erase boards are great.  After a student answers a questions, states word, or practices their sound, they may color in another portion of their picture or draw another part of their masterpiece.


5. Di-Cuts

Di-cuts are those cute shapes that you see all over bulletin boards. Your building may have a special area with lots of templates of different shapes. All you do is grab some  construction paper and your template and you are good to go. I like to pick seasonal shapes ( leaves for fall, pumpkins, for Halloween, turkeys for Thanksgiving, etc ) and have the students make holiday wreaths.  I usually give about 6-7 shapes per students. They have to write down words with their artic sounds, describe the season using the EET ( one piece of informatio per shape ), write a synonym, etc. Then they just glue it all together into a wreath. It is very little prep for me and fun for them.

Want to know what other speech bloggers do, scroll down and find out…

Natalie Snyders on Tpt: “For artic kids, I grab some blank white paper and have them make sound books – they not only have to think of words with their sounds, but then come up with a sentence for each page – and then, bam, instant take home activity to show parents what we are working on.”

The Dabbling Speechie : “I use a lot of open ended card games and board games and grab the fun decks and/or artic decks I need or grab my photocopies word lists filed away by sound and go to town.”

If I Only Had Super Powers: “I do anything and have the kids roll a die between turns. They think it’s a fun “game”. Bwhahaha!”

Speech Time Fun: ” Uno!! when they throw down a wild card….they gotta do a task.”

Teach Speech 365: ” Pop up pirate is a hit with any age”

Carries Speech Corner: “Last year I would have said Cariboo. I have a ton of cards I made to go in the slots (seasonal vocabulary, wh questions, artic) and the kids all love it! This year, they’re completely obsessed with the Dot Reinforcers I just finished for my TPT store! They want to add this to every session!”



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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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