Focus During the Holidays and Into the New Year

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end of the year speech therapyDecember is an exciting month, but it can be too easy to get distracted. It is important to keep focus and avoid allowing the hustle and bustle of the holidays to take over. Take important steps to keep track of individuals speech and language goals for each child that you work with.

Keeping goals in mind

Take a moment to select one particular goal that needs extra attention during the month of December. If that happens to be articulation, bring in extra games for sessions. Think outside of the box and think of ways to use traditional games to work on end sounds, beginning blends, or other areas of difficulty for a child. Crafts are a fun way to work on vocabulary and language skills. Not only can crafts open up things to talk about during sessions, they provide a way to connect with families. When finished with an activity, send them home with ways to utilize them with multilingual learners. Take time to look on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, and other online resources for ideas from other Speech Language Pathologists. If a shared lesson plan does not work for you, it may be easy to tweak for the needs of your students.

The importance of family

Traditions from home are huge this time of year. Chat with families to get them to share traditions that they have. What do they do that is special within their homes for the holidays? Take this information to create a group celebration for December that will showcase each member of your group. Be sure to pay extra attention to the rich history that many of the multilingual families will have from their different places of origin and cultures. Make a collage of the different celebrations and incorporate them into a bulletin board. Then see if each child can locate their own and share information about it. This will encourage ownership and pride in their customs and help to boost self confidence when speaking.

Heading toward 2016

As the second half of the academic year is approaching, it is time to look ahead at 2016. IEP goals continue to be a focus, but it is also the perfect time to review plans. Some students may need revisions or amendments. Take time and pay special attention to each child. Make notes on anything that may need to be adjusted. Be sure to take time to talk over concerns and highlight areas of growth with each child to encourage them into the new year. Check in with families at home to see if they have any questions about how their child is doing. Open lines of communication are key as you move forward in the months ahead.

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