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Speech notebooks are great for tracking progress and can even be used for homework. They are completely unique to each client, so you customize each one! If you do in-home visits or have parents/students who are good about bringing material back, you can have your client practice what they’ve been learning with mom or dad at home. These notebooks can be filled with whatever materials you’re currently using (worksheets, crafts, etc.) or draw in it yourself. There are tons of ideas at the bottom of this post.
What you’ll need
- A notebook
- Worksheets, if you use them
- a pen, crayons, markers, etc.
- Write your client’s name on the front of the journal. If you feel creative, you can make a nice cover for them, or have your client design their own cover. For littles, you can just Sharpie their name on the front or write it on a sticker.
- The first page is typically used for your daily routine. This might include a “wake up your mouth” page with activities such as blowing bubbles, tongue exercises, etc. For artic kids, maybe you have a practice page with the sounds in isolation for a warm up. If you have a kid with behavioral goals, maybe you can have the classroom rules on the first page.
- Each session, glue your worksheet or craft to the next page. You may also want to draw on the pages if you don’t use worksheets. For example, for a kid working on storytelling, you may draw the story as she tells it and then have her recap what’s happening in the picture. Is something missing? For a kid with disfluency, you might draw your illustration of bumpy speech vs. smooth speech. The possibilities are endless.
- Go through each page (if time permits) in each session. This will remind them of what your goals are and can help them warm up for the day. This step does not have to be extensive. Quickly discuss the first page, then flip through and maybe practice the sounds or words you’ve been working on. If you have a monthly progress page (more details in the notes section below), you may want to show them how close they are or well they’ve been doing. Plus, walking them through the progress you’ve made together can help when your client feels discouraged.
- Keep adding to your notebook. When it’s full, send it home and your student can tell mom and dad all about the progress he made and what each activity was. This can also be used at home to review and practice.
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- Monthly progress pages are great incentives. Alex uses monthly progress pages as a long term token economy of sorts. Her client collects stickers and at the end of the month he gets to hunt for Pokemon.
- Make your client’s notebook unique to them. If she loves crafts, it will probably be full of worksheets she’s colored or glued. Or, if he loves trains, his notebook probably has train stickers and activities in it.
- For SLPs with a huge caseload, this may not be something you do for every client.