School-Based SLP (speech-lang. pathologist) in training needs advice…

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I’m currently at a school for my SLP practicum. I love it! I had a hard time coming up with lesson plans at first (those language kiddos are tricky). However, once I got to know the kids, I was able to apply almost anything to the room to their specific needs. For example, on Thursday I was doing a pumpkin activity with some of my articulation kids. One of my language kids saw the pumpkins and wanted to do it. I modified the activity to fit his needs (direction following and sequencing) and it worked out wonderfully! I think the key is to get an activity first and then find ways to make any goal fit. If you try to work around the goal, it can sometimes get too specific. It is also a time saver to find an activity that you can do with multiple groups no matter the goals targeted. 

I stay after school and go through all my supervisor’s materials and find things that interest me, then I modify them to fit various goals. I also look at pinterest for inspiration and change the activities to fit my specific kids. I found that when I’m getting really lost on where to go with a kid, I will informally reassess to determine the goal to focus on. 

Hope that helped! Yay, SLPs! 

Post # 5
Member
525 posts
Busy bee

@manda21:  I’m currently in a grad program for SLP, and just finished my language/phonology rotation. I think what helped the most with lesson planning are themes! I pick a theme, and then plan activities around each objective that closely match the theme. It makes learning easier and lesson planning simpler!

Post # 7
Member
3341 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I am a school based SLP. There is a big push right now to correlate everything with the curriculum. Why not see what the students are doing in class and build off of that (like maybe use the same story/book, or something that goes along with the classroom unit theme). I also really like teacherspayteachers.com for lesson ideas. 

It’s also much easier to plan bigger “units” that can stretch across multiple sessions than individual lessons. For example, maybe for thanksgiving I will do a thanksgiving theme. We will read a story about thanksgiving, sequence events in the story and use complete sentences to talk about character, setting, actions. Use transition and spatial words from the story. Compare and contrast between thematic words using charts (i.e. Chicken vs turkey, halloween/thankgiving, mashed potatoes vs sweet potatoes), do a following directions activity with a craft like hand turkeys, descriptor words for thanksgiving vocabulary, etc etc. And again, if you have difficulty thinking of themes, use the same ones as the classroom teachers! It’s great carryover. 

Are there any specific goals you have difficulty planning for?

Post # 8
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@manda21:  SLP here. I worked in schools for a bit (1-2 yrs). I really like theme based units, dramatic play, and writing. Most of the things I did were centered around “whole language” ideas, rather than breaking up language into skills. We did toms of storytelling, writing and acting out with the younger kids (k-2nd). I tried to do academic things with my older language kids. Feel free to PM me if you need!

Post # 9
Member
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’ve found some awesome apps for ipads. The kids really enjoy them and there are many that work direcly with goals. I’ve used them mainly for articulation. Some of the best session involve minimal equiptment. We play games like Sorry, Checkers, and Go Fish while working on articulation. For reading there’s some worksheets online and using the kids homework can be very helpful for them. 

Post # 13
Member
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’ve been a school based SLP for my entire career(only 5 years, but still). Other bees have great suggestions about seeing what the kiddos are doing in class and running with ideas from there. Also, planning bigger units was a life saver for me since I could use it for multiple groups and just work at each group’s pace. 

Here are a couple of my favorite websites I relied heavily on as a new SLP.

http://www.speakingofspeech.com

http://freelanguagestuff.com

http://www.abcteach.com

 

i also paid for a 1 year membership to this site: http://www.edhelper.com they have literature units by reading level with al kinds of ready made activity sheets you can use and modify.

 

one tip I have for you, if you find some book or cards or other tool that you like, make COPIES. I shamelessly copied tons of stuff from my supervisors and materials I found at my various schools. Not exactly “legal” as far as copyrights go but as long as you’re not selling the stuff, it’s ok.  

It it does get easier as time goes on, I promise.  I made a ton of my own stuff the first couple of years that I still use today. 

best of luck to you!

Post # 15
Member
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@manda21:  I can also tell you that it helps tremendously when you are the one responsible for writing the goals. I’ve worked at 7 different schools in 5 years (I always have multiple sites) and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen goals that I can’t figure out what they are targeting, let alone how to implement a therapy plan. But once you’re the one doing the goals, it does get easier.

 

I am a little burnt out at 5 years but I also worked with some very special populations: severe autism, emotional disturbances, medically fragile.  Those kids are tough, especially the ED ones.  I did a ton of behavior management and just documented everything to show I attempted to try.  Working in a low income, low SES area also contributed to my burn out a bit but the stress of a child with a helicopter parent and a lawyer/advocate is no picnic either. I actually went back to the lower income area because I just didn’t like the crap that came with my high profile filled caseload.

i don’t mean to scare you off.  I really do love the job especially because of the flexibility and how many different settings you can work in. I’m thinking of moving into pediatric outpatient for a private hospital once we move. you will find your niche. Just don’t get frustrated if it takes a little while. 

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