How I Plan My Teletherapy Sessions on the Fly
I debated even writing this post. It's definitely not one of my most eloquent, detail oriented, type A personality posts. But planning for therapy isn't always a luxury. Some days you wake up late, the Starbucks line is around the building, or your kid can't find her shoes.... and you have a teletherapy session in 15 minutes. I figured I would share how I plan for my teletherapy sessions on the fly!
The majority of my caseload is preschool to early elementary, so this post is about planning for them. I have said it before, and I will say it again, themes are the best thing to have ever happened to my therapy sessions. Themes give me a plan, direction, and focus for finding materials. So on the days that I didn't get time to plan the details of my upcoming session, this is what I do.....
I'll sit down at my desk with my laptop, a cup of coffee and my clipboard to jot down my plans. The first place I will go is to Vooks or Storyline Online. (If there is a book I know I want to read, but can't find it on one of the mentioned sites, I will also search YouTube. There is a read aloud available for almost every book out there. But word of warning- always watch it before you show your students, just to be sure it's appropriate and actually the book it says it is.) I love using stories and holding literacy based therapy for all students. Once I find the book I want to use, the rest is easy. My next stop is Starfall. I will choose a target letter to work on that goes along with the book. For example, if we are reading, When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore, I will choose to use the letter Dd activity on Starfall. Pro tip: keep these tabs up and open as you find your activities. That way you don't have to search for them again during the live session.
Ok great! So now we have a story where we can address vocabulary, wh-questions, inferencing, predicting, story grammar, etc. And a phonemic awareness activity. I will then go to Boom Learning to look for a related (if possible) activity to address other goals. For example, today I read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. Following the story, I used a free boom card deck where we counted hearts. We expanded sentences while we counted ("I see 4 Purple Hearts.") If you search, you will probably find a boom deck that relates to the story or theme you're using. Or you could always create your own boom deck to fit exactly what you need (....but my session starts in 2 minutes so no time for that right now!)
Last but not least, I will go to YouTube to find a song. I will usually open or close (sometimes both!) with a song that also relates to the theme we are working on. If the child is acting shy when we first begin, I will start with a song- usually one that also has a dance or movement to go along with it. Last week we talked about space so I played a preschool song about the planets by PinkFong. Super Simple Songs, Story Bots, and MotherGoose Club also has some really great ones.
Thanks for reading, I would love to hear how you plan your sessions. Have a fun site or online resource you love to use? Please share!!