Streamline Your Speech Sessions with Literacy-Based Therapy
This week, we’re continuing our series about organization strategies for SLPs.
Let’s dive in!
When Marisha discovered the power of literacy-based therapy, her sessions were transformed. 🪄
Literacy-based therapy provided Marisha with a framework to follow, giving her sessions structure and flexibility. This approach not only transformed how she organized her sessions but also made it incredibly efficient to target multiple goals — even in mixed groups.
Books: A Speech Therapists’ Best Friends
When it comes to speech therapy, books are Marisha’s besties! But she understands that building a book library can be a daunting task, especially considering the potential costs involved. 😅
Fortunately, Marisha has spent years perfecting the art of creating a robust book library without breaking the bank, and she’s sharing her best tips in this episode of the podcast!
From making the most of your book selections to maintaining an organized collection that’s always at your fingertips, this episode promises to set you up for literacy-based therapy success in just 10 minutes. 💪
Three Tips to Help SLPs Build a Speech Therapy Book Library
Keep in mind that just like a buffet, you can select the tips that work best for you — and leave what doesn’t!
1️⃣ Be Strategic with Book Selection
Marisha recommends looking for books that are easy to read and let you target multiple goals with one unit. Remember: You want efficiency, which means getting the most for your speech targeting buck.
If you want a curated list of books to help you make that literacy-based magic happen, head over to Marisha’s booklist on Amazon. She’s put together a solid selection of books that might not cover every target, but they’ll definitely provide an excellent starting point for your collection.
2️⃣ Diversity and Context Matter
This is super important because we want to select texts that are relevant to our students. Many children’s books feature animals as characters, but Marisha suggests including books that your students can more easily relate to.
Choose books with characters resembling the students in your groups, and settings that mirror their experiences. This approach will make your therapy materials more engaging and relevant, with themes, vocabulary, and concepts that resonate with your students.
3️⃣ Keep Your Collection Organized
The very best libraries are organized, and your speech books are no exception! Staying organized will make a huge difference, which is why Marisha shares a few methods for keeping track of your book collection.
Organization doesn’t have to be complicated either. Keep is simple, SLP! Many SLPs maintain a list of books on the Notes app in their phones because it allows you to enter book names as you collect them, and you can add notes about the targets or themes each book covers. This helps you avoid buying duplicate books, and find the ones you need when planning your sessions.
For a more sophisticated solution, Marisha suggests exploring apps like “Book Buddy,” which enable you to scan your books, add tags, and efficiently manage your collection.
As for storage, bookshelves are a classic choice — but Marisha’s personal preference is craft organizers! They’re sorted by theme, making it easy to switch out books for different units. This strategy not only caters to your students’ interests but also keeps your therapy room clutter-free.
⭐ Here’s a bonus tip —If the idea of purchasing physical books feels overwhelming, remember there are digital options! You can find read-aloud versions of nearly any book on YouTube, providing quick and easy access. Many libraries also offer digital books, eliminating the need for physical copies.
And that’s a wrap on this week’s episode. See you next time, when we start another series chock-full of speech tips to make your life as an SLP easier… and more fun!
Resources + Links Mentioned:
Subscribe to the SLP Now podcast and stay tuned for our next series. We’re kicking off September by helping you get your data collection, paperwork, and therapy planning processes in tip-top shape! 💪
Hey there, it's Marisha, and today we are chatting about how to build your speech therapy library and how to build your book collection. So I have three tips for you, and again, like anything that I share, this is a buffet of options, so you can decide what feels relevant for you and your caseload. But the first tip is to be strategic with the books that you are choosing. So you want to find books that can easily be read and that include multiple targets that we can use to target our students' goals. And in the show notes I have an Amazon page with all of the books that I've created materials for, and they can be easily read, and they do include a number of targets. I can't guarantee that they're going to include all of the targets that your students need, but that can be a really great starting point and just having some recommended books. So that's my first tip is just finding books so that it can be easily read and include multiple targets.
And then, oh, to access the list, if you want some inspiration, you can go to SLPnow.com/162. Again, that's SLPnow.com/162. And that brings us to tip two. A lot of children's books include animals as characters, which is nice, but I like to include books that my students can relate to. And I think it's nice to select different contexts for our books. So including children that look like the children in our groups, and including settings that our students will encounter. Because depending on where we live, they might not be near a forest or an ocean or whatnot. They might have a much more urban setting. And having books that incorporate those elements can be really impactful for our students, and it'll just make the units that much more relevant, and they're likely to include more relevant themes and vocabulary and concepts. And so just considering those aspects when you're building out your library can be really impactful for the students on your caseload.
And then the third tip is keeping it all organized. Of course, I have an organization tip in this book library podcast episode. So some ideas to keep things organized. I know a number of SLPs who keep a list on their phone just in the [inaudible 00:03:21] Notes app. And you can just type in the names of the books as you acquire them. And you can jot down if you loved using the book for a specific theme or a specific target, you can add a note next to that too. And then if you're considering buying a book, or if you're trying to find a book that has a specific target, it's like, "Oh, I used this book last year to target categories, and it was beautiful for categories." If you typed it into the note and made that categories note, when you search your note, you can easily find the name of that book and that's really helpful.
I also really like this too, because it lets me avoid purchasing duplicate books. I really like buying books at Goodwill, and sometimes I forget which books I've just seen on Instagram a million times versus which books I actually own. And so having that list can be a really nice way to kind of see what we have. And my Notes app has a way to make checklists, and so you can also make a note of where you put the books. So that can be a helpful way to help you find the books. And I'll talk a little bit about why that might matter too.
And then if you want something a little bit fancier, you can use an app like BookBuddy. It lets you scan in the books and you can add tags and all sorts of things, but that is just a little bit fancier. And then in terms of storing the books, obviously you can put them on a bookshelf. That's a great way to do things. I love that. But I use these craft organizers, and I'll put a link in the show notes, maybe even add in a little picture. Oh, and the show notes will be at SLPnow.com/162. So again, that's SLPnow.com/162.
But I like to keep my books in these craft boxes, and I keep them sorted by theme because that's how I use the books. I will pick a theme to cover, and I have a shelf to highlight just a handful of books versus having a massive bookshelf. And I keep the boxes in a separate location. And then my therapy room has just the highlighted books. And I really like it because then I can see which books students are drawn to if they're like, "Ooh, can we read that one?" So I can cater the units for the month based on the books that they are most interested in.
But I change out the books on a monthly basis. And then I will pull them based on just the themes that are relevant. So I am a major book collector, so I have a lot of bins, but maybe you have one for each month of the school year and you want to rotate through the books that way. Or you just have fall, winter, spring, summer kind of box, or maybe you have a fairytale box or however you want to want to think about your books, you can organize them in whatever way.
But I really like the box system because then I can easily store the books, keep them nice and crisp and clean. And then it also makes it really easy for me to pull them and not forget about certain books because that's part of my routine. Every month I change out the books and pull out the relevant box for the next month. And then we go from there, or whatever theme I decide I want to target. And if you're using the Notes kind of system, you can type the names of your boxes as the header and then type in the books under each section.
So if you're searching for a specific book, like, oh, I really want to do a unit on Mooseltoe, for example, you'd probably know which box that is in, but you can search the note. And then if it wasn't in the December box, maybe it was actually in the forest animal box or whatever. If you couldn't remember where you put it, that would be an easy way to find it. So those are the three main tips. Select books that can be easily read and include multiple targets, so they're great for therapy. Make sure that you're using books that are relevant for your caseload. And then we just got to chat about some organization strategies to avoid purchasing five copies of the same book, because I have done that.
And then also just making it easy to find the books that are relevant. And then also, if you're feeling overwhelmed with purchasing a bunch of books, don't forget about your digital books. You can find Read Alouds for almost any book on YouTube, and that's a really great way to access books within seconds. And then your library, you can also get access to digital books through your library, and that can be a really nice way to get access to books where you can swipe through the pages without having to do either Read Aloud if that's not a great fit for your students. So those are three tips, and just the bonus one on accessing digital books. And yeah, that's a wrap. We'll see you in the next episode.
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