Making lesson plans is one of those things that seems to be either you or you don’t. Being 100% honest, I don’t always have the time to make lesson plans and I sometimes wing it. Having done both, here’s what I know to be true: When I take the time to plan out my therapy sessions, I know that I am giving students better quality instruction because it’s much more thought out. It also significantly decreases my stress levels because I don’t have to worry about what’s next. It’s hard though, I have to be intentional with the process, and that doesn’t come naturally to this procrastinator. Also, I have to turn my lesson plans in at the end of the year…. soooo…. yeah …. #documentationislife
So the question becomes, how do you do it? The first thing I do is decide on an overall theme. I have used these theme calendars for quite a few years and it just works for me and my brain. These days I do a lot of my plans around the books I am using, but the books are usually related to a theme.
Once I know my theme, I see what materials/books/games that I have related to the theme. I have these pages (from my SLP Binder) that I keep in a binder that has everything I own related to each theme. It’s easy to forget what we have, so these sheets really help me keep on top of it! I definitely supplement with things that are not theme related, not everything I do is theme based.
My next task is to look at my student’s goals and see what we need to work on that week. I keep two lists of goals for each grade level, one for articulation and one for language, so I always know what I need to target (The above is just an example of what it looks like!). I use that, paired with my available materials, to see what we should do in each session.
I have my schedule structured so that I see (mostly) articulation students on Mondays/Wednesdays and (mostly) language students on Tuesdays/Fridays. To make things easier on myself, I will often choose one activity to use all day long on articulation days. I try to switch things up by doing different types of activities from week to week. Each month we cycle through using dice, daubers, coloring, game boards, and crafts. I don’t play boxed games very often, but maybe once a month. I like to do things that are able to keep their hands and minds busy while they are waiting for their turn when we are doing a lot of drilling.
For language, I will do a couple of books, depending on the grade level, and pair with other materials (book companions) as needed. When I start a new lesson plan for a book, I am usually able to loosely plan out several sessions. Books usually last me a couple of week because I can address so many goals using one! I might need to change things around depending on how my students are doing with the skills we are working on, they may need more or less time. I just follow their lead