If you love literacy-based therapy as much as I do, then you’re probably also on the hunt for a hack to keep your book units organized. The more streamlined you can make managing your caseload, the more fun and productive therapy sessions are for YOU and YOUR students.
My a-ha moment was when I realized how much I could accomplish when I prepped book units up to six months at a time.
Are you thinking this must have taken over my summer? Nope!
Guys, it took just over an hour to organize six months of book units. And the benefit to my sanity? Priceless!
Now, all of my theme-based books are organized along with all the materials that go with the books to make therapy fun for my students. All I need to do is pull them out of their hanging file folder once it’s time for our session.
I developed this plan after my caseload doubled as a school-based SLP. I was drowning, and I knew there had to be a better way. I found the secret to my sanity was to use evidence-based strategies in my therapy sessions. And, I set out to create materials to help me do that.
I have hundreds of materials to support my literacy-based therapy (and those are available as part of the SLP Now membership).
The other key to keeping my head above water was to streamline my processes. THAT’s where my organization skills come in handy.
Categorizing book units by themes is a really great way to keep them organized. It’s important to pick themes that will be addressed in the classroom and that pair with the curriculum.
Finding the Materials
When I’m ready to create a book unit, I just search for a theme on the SLP Now materials page. The website then shows all the activities for that theme, and I can select the activities or support materials I’m interested in. Here’s a peek at what you might see:
The Theme at a Glance gives you a quick overview of the unit.
Every theme includes at least two books. For the snowman theme, we have Snowmen at Night and Sneezy the Snowman (two of my favorites!).
We have a guide for each book, which I like to refer to as the SLP’s cheat sheet. It breaks down the book for you, so it’s super easy to identify which books are best for your groups and so you have tons of targets right at your fingertips. Whether you’re targeting articulation, grammar, vocabulary, or language, we’ve got you covered!
We also have an activity pack for each book. This includes vocabulary cards, multiple choice WH question cards, and story grammar visuals.
We also round out each theme with supplementary activities, like crafts, reinforcers, and extension activities. The themed reading passages are great for older students.
Planning and Prepping
I favorite all of the materials that I want to use with my groups. (This makes it super easy when I’m actually creating my therapy plans. I can attach the resources to my plans!)
I don’t print a lot of materials, but there’s one big exception… I always print the book activities–the WH question cards, vocabulary cards, and story grammar visuals.
I put a plastic pocket at the end of each book to store the visuals, so I can grab a book and be ready to target and scaffold a variety of skills. I’m still using visuals that I prepped a few years ago! It’s the best feeling ever when I open up a book and find those resources ready to go!
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Check out this video for a closer look at how it all comes together:
What hacks have you used to organize your book units?