The first quarter of the 2018-2019 school year has rolled to a close and I’m reflecting on a few things that have saved my therapy life this go round.

This school year has been a bit of a change and a challenge for me. After two years staying put at a 2nd-4th grade elementary school, I’m now transitioning between a high school and a one-grade (5th) elementary school. I’m also working only 20 hours a week after 5 years working full-time and have mentally committed to working only those 20 hours. It’s been an amazing shift for my health, on all levels. However, in those 20 hours I’m serving almost 50 children – a challenge for those limited hours, especially when combined with the meetings, evaluations, etc… that still accompany my work. It’s made my therapy much simpler and to-the-point.

1 – Crocodile Creek My First Memory Games

I posted about these on my Instagram last week. I have used them for almost everything and almost every group – at my high school, no less! We mix and match, creating sentences, making comparisons, describing, and, of course, playing memory. When i picked them up at Dirt Cheap, I had no idea I would use them as much as I have.

2 – Auditory Comprehension Stories

From my own store, I have used these so many times this year for reading and listening comprehension and connected speech. Depending on the task at hand, the stories have been short enough to use several at a time, but complex enough to work on only 1 or 2 at a deeper level. I’ve also determined ways to expand them and make them even more useful.

3 – Play Doh

At my 5th grade school, Play Doh has been my saving grace. Seriously – I can get these children to do almost anything, if only they have some Play Doh in their hands while they do it. And as long as I can keep them from throwing it at each other (boys…), it’s such a motivator.

4- Sequencing Cards

Sequencing cards have always been one of my most used materials. I’m convinced I can do almost anything with them. Students create their own stories. I create stories, then ask questions or have students retell. Students practice creating sentences.They describe different aspects of the pictures. They create conversations between characters to practice social skills. If I have a pack of sequencing cards handy – I’m about set.

Those are just 4 things that have made my limited planning and therapy time more successful so far this quarter. What is saving your life this quarter?