Towards the end of the school year, our district put out an e-mail call for help. The short version of the story is that our district was short SLPs this year (come be my co-worker!!), so we had to offer compensatory services. I applied for the position since it was a) right around the corner from my house, and b) a chance to hang out with preschoolers, which I don’t get to do too often.
The program we’re running runs 3 days a week for 3 weeks. I have a total of 20 3,4,and 5 year olds assigned to me, along with 3 assistants. (This was a huge adjustment for this chick who is used to running solo!) One group of 10 kiddos runs for 2 hours, and the second does the same. I worked the schedule into (roughly) what’s pictured here:
Each of my awesome assistants ran a small group rotation, and I was able to pull kids one-on-one for more direct skill practice. I gave them each a half-sheet of paper listing the targets for the activity so we all were on the same page about structured play.
I realize this may not be your situation, but these activities are each about 20 minutes long, so easy enough to spread out over a few weeks of theme therapy if you’re running solo.
Our whole-group activity this week was the same every day, but established a good routine, and gave everyone a chance to get to know each other. I was anxious because in my plan book it was “empty time” but it worked out famously! Each beginning we gathered on the carpet and did a “where are you” activity that involved the kiddos moving their name from the “home” section of the whiteboard to “school” and answering “Where are you today? with “I’m at school”.Targets: Name recognition, turn-taking, wh-question, syntax/MLU, pronouns (I)
Our small group centers:
-Memory (from my “All You Need PreSchool: Let’s Go to the Beach” TPT packet Targets: vocabulary, same/different, articulation, short-term memory, turn-taking
-Ocean Sensory Bags
This is the one activity I didn’t get get a picture of, but I completely copied the idea from Jenna at Speech Room News (her photo). Click here to read her post. This station was a huge hit and, no, it didn’t leak everywhere. 🙂 It didn’t completely fill a 20-minute center, so a few back-up activities were used here. Targets: verbs, spatial concepts, articulation, following directions
(from my “All You Need PreSchool: Let’s Go to the Beach” TPT packet
For my 4 and 5-year olds, this activity could have lasted all day, but was a little dull for my 3-year olds. I cut out all the shapes and put magnet tape from the craft store on the back, and stuck them to cookie sheets from the dollar store. Perfect! They spent about half the time following directions and the other half making their own scenes. Targets: spatial concepts, following directions, vocabulary, wh-questions, articulation
-Sand Castle Matching
I found this pin on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! A quick trip to the hardware store paired with the same cookie sheets and magnets from day 1 was all it took to bring this activity together. I cut out various shapes, placed a piece of magnet strip on the back of each piece. After I assembled it on the cookie tray, I snapped a picture and printed it out. Then, the kiddos could either create the castle from the picture model, or place the sheet on the cookie sheet and match shapes for extra support. Targets: vocabulary, rough/smooth, same/different, big/small, following directions, spatial concepts, articulation
-Beach Ball Craft
Again, this activity was inspired from this pin I found on Pinterest. It was a little more prep to tear the tissue paper than I planned, but it was a big hit! Targets: spatial concepts, following directions, MLU/requesting, articulation
I can’t leave out my trusty Cariboo! I love this TPT packet from Rock Chalk Speech Talk. I simply put some velcro on my trusty game and voila! Targets: vocabulary, following directions, articulation, spatial concepts
I can pretty much sum up this entire station by telling you these two words: bring towels. Even the youngest of our group requested to stay at this center! Targets: verbs, wet/dry, turn-taking, requesting, MLU
Another low-prep activity that was lots of fun! Also, cookie sheets make another appearance here to help contain mess. My name is Rachel and I love dollar cookie sheets. Targets: verbs, MLU, turn-taking, describing, articulation
Our third craft for the week involved a popsicle stick, some card stock cutout and foam sticker shapes. Easy! Targets: spatial concepts, following directions, MLU/requesting, articulation
We used the memory activity from day 1, including the Fisher Price “Go Fish” game pictured here for time fillers, along with a big pile of ocean creature beanie babies.
Our first week together was an (exhaustingly) good time. Stay tuned for next week when we do all things Zoo!