Celebrating Holidays and Avoiding Distractions
The month of December is often a blur because of everything going on at once. This means it is extremely important to stay focused and avoid distractions which will take away from therapy goals. Work on incorporating the holidays and all of the festivities into fun sessions that will keep everyone actively engaged and learning.
Families and Focus
December is the perfect time to step back and use families to inspire lesson plans and session topics. Most families have their own special traditions which they follow for holidays during this month. Check in with those at home to see what they would like to share with everyone. This will encourage children to accept difference, learn about other celebrations, and embrace their own cultural and multilingual identities. Ask families to send in photos, food, and items which are special for what they celebrate. Work as a group during sessions on a way to share this.
Students may want to have a giant sharing circle to talk about what they have brought in. Creative groups may opt to make a display or even a class book. All of these ideas will give students ownership of their customs and build their confidence in speaking and sharing.
Think Ahead to Next Year
December marks close to the halfway point of the academic school year. This means that all therapists and counselors will have different reports which will be due soon. IEP goals and objectives need to be addressed, so it’s a great time to start thinking about them now. Think ahead to the new year and what plans will be needed for each child to achieve new skills or more. Take notes while working with each child to look at while planning out future sessions. What needs to be accomplished in the short term, but what are the longer goals for the year. Brainstorm ideas on what will work best with each child to assist them in growth.
With a longer school break coming shortly, be sure to think of projects or practice for students to do at home. Folders with fun tie-ins are perfect for occupational, physical, speech, social skills, and more. Think outside of the box and send games with clear directions which work on whatever the child needs to keep working on to avoid regression. Make sure that multilingual families have translations included to make the process easier for them to do together.
Be sure to keep the line of communication open with those at home. Families need to be able to check in and ask any questions which they may have about their children. Many may want additional ways to incorporate what you are working on in sessions at home. Take additional time to be sure that multilingual families are clear about items and no confusion exists.