We are busy SLPs. We can't always plan before we leave on Friday. Sometimes we need to prep Monday morning. It can be stressful. I am here to help!
I am with you! With a caseload of 70, it can be tough to stay on top of all the prep and planning. When you have tough groups like mixed groups or older students that require TONS of attention to keep them motivated, you are constantly trying new things which can be exhausting. There is never enough coffee to help reduce stress on a Monday morning. Take a sip of your favorite beverage, if you are at home, you could have some wine. Whilst drinking wine can reduce stress, it can also be dangerous to drink if you have school the next day. This is why a lot of teachers try and find other ways to reduce their stress. I know a few teachers who seem to speak highly of cbd full spectrum oil. Apparently, that can ease stress, allowing them to plan for their classes easily. Perhaps that's something to look into if you're stressed. Of course, I have some other tips too. Keep reading to see some of my favorite ways to reduce the stress and prep quick on a Monday morning.
Can any of your groups utilize the same activity?
Even if you need to slightly modify it, the more groups that can use ONE activity or resource the better. Less prep. More time for you. What are some ONE activity types? Storybooks, You Tube videos, crafts, science experiments, games, photos, anything! How can you easily adapt? You can change the goal focus. You can change your questions. One group can have more visuals and assistance than another. Click HERE to see my storybook companions and HERE to see my science experiments. Click HERE to see how I use mini movies in speech to target a variety of goals!
Turn anything into a no print option!
You can easily use your iPad to make any worksheet fun and no print. Less prep, more fun, and hands on! I love using the free app Doodle Buddy to turn anything into like a white board. You can draw, write, stamp, and more! Click HERE to learn more about this app!
Turn worksheets fun and not fear the no prep options.
There are tons of no prep activities on TpT. No prep doesn't mean no fun. Trust me, I love a good task card or file folder game. But we don't always have time for prepping those! Grab smelly markers, gel pens, and other fun writing utensils and make any worksheet fun. You can even make worksheets fun with dice! Click HERE to read more fun ways to use worksheets.
Let your students help you prep!
They can help you prep the activity for their group or for another. Students love to help! They can cut, they can sort, they can organize. It helps them learn skills too! They can write target words on index cards. They can come up with sentences to go on sentence strips. Don't be afraid of using part of a session having your students help you set up. It teaches them responsibility and they will love it!
It doesn't have to look pretty!
Remember, my fellow SLP bloggers and I tend to take pretty pictures of our resources but that doesn't mean that is how it always looks in our therapy room. My task card games are not always perfectly laminated (I sometimes cut off words by accident). My interactive stories are sometimes just printed on paper and stapled together and not laminated. It doesn't have to be printed in color. Students aren't looking for perfection they are looking for assistance and fun. Don't be hard on yourself if it doesn't look perfect.
As you can see, you can quickly prep activities that will still be fun and functional. The trick is to not be hard on yourself, try to use on activity with multiple groups, and to just know where to look if you need an idea quick. You can always look on Instagram or Pinterest of inspiration. You can always search on TpT for quick ideas. If you receive my emails, you will get an idea sent to your inbox every Saturday. And remember, you are not alone. We are all winging it some days. We are all stressed and overwhelmed. We are all just trying to do what is best for our students and get their goals met. We never know if lessons will go smoothly but we can try our best. Be as prepared as we can, whether it is planning ahead of time or the morning before.