Focus for the New Academic Year in Speech and Language
The first few months of school are filled with a lot of transitions. Many students may be new to speech and language sessions, while others already know the routine. It is important to spend time each year to get to know everyone, go over expectations, and clear up any concerns or questions that the kids may have. The more you know the children you work with, the better you can adjust future activities to work on their individual needs and goals.
All About Me Poem
Acrostic poems are a great way to get to know everyone. Prepare one ahead of time to share with students. Include drawings around the poem that share items that are important in your life. Have each child write their name in a column down a piece of construction paper. Each letter will them be used to use a word that describes them. An example would be:
This activity helps students to use descriptive words about themselves, build self confidence when sharing with a small group, and allows for a quick ice breaker. Once the poems are written, students may draw items around their poems and then post them around your room for decorations.
Even the most talkative children may be shy when they go back to school. Conversation starters are a fun and simple way to ease anyone that may be nervous. Miss Thrifty SLP has shared some conversation starters that kids will enjoy. Topics like superheroes, vacation locations, television shows, video games, and others will give you the opportunity to learn more than many interest inventory sheets may tell you about your students. Pay attention to how creative, silly, or serious they may be. Ask follow up questions and allow everyone to do the same for others in the group.
Question and Answer Time
New academic years may mean lots of questions swirling around within a child’s head. Give everyone time to ask questions that they may have about the upcoming year. Do they have concerns? Is there something they are afraid about? As you ease fears switch it up and ask what they are excited about or hopeful for the new year. Go over goals together and explain how teamwork will make it possible to reach them.
Building confidence and a relationship is huge when working with children during speech and language sessions. Children who are bilingual learners need to know that you are on board with their needs, interests, and concerns. School-based professionals should start fresh, be open minded, and be compassionate for a wonderful new beginning.