Jeannie and I had so. much. fun. chatting with you about literacy-based therapy at the SLP Summit this week! We loved your enthusiasm and were blown away by your dedication. (I mean… What other professional would work all day and come home for more professional development?!)

Wait? What is the SLP Summit? Sarah and Lisa from SLP Toolkit and I hosted a FREE online conference for SLPs, featuring practical tips and resources for SLPs to start the new year off right.

Sad you missed it? No worries! Catch the replay here through January 31st!

Now back to business… 🙂

Let’s take some time to answer the live viewers’ questions (part 2)!

Student Engagement/Goal Awareness

How do you suggest implementing the self awareness / reflection on progress with lower level students in self contained classrooms?

Jenna Rayburn has a fabulous resource!

Any tips to increase engagement with books for preschool students with limited interest in books?

The key is to make books reinforcing! To get students used to the concept of books, you can start with more interactive books. Here are some of my favorites:

Where’s Spot *
Dear Zoo *
Press Here *
Mix It Up *

* These are Amazon affiliate links.

It may take some time, but if you keep book time fun and short, students will eventually become more engaged. (They might even start asking for more!)

Session Logistics

How many sessions, on average, do you use to get through each of the steps?

I spend 4-6 thirty-minute sessions on one book.

What would a 30 minute session look like as far as how many steps you might accomplish?

It really depends! We might spend an entire session on pre-story knowledge activation, or we might only spend 5 minutes. I typically do spend several sessions targeting specific skills. It’s not uncommon for Step 5 (Parallel Story) to take more than one session too.

Any suggestions on “fitting” it all in?

Don’t feel rushed! Let the kids soak in all the language! As long as they’re communicating and practicing their skills, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on any given step.

If you feel like you’re wasting time in between activities, think about your therapy routine. Is there something you can do to make transitions easier?

If you’re doing it over a month, are you having to review/read the story again each session?

We don’t necessarily re-read the story every session, but we do refer to the book. For example, if the students are working on narrative retell, we might walk through the book to identify the story grammar elements. If we’re working on describing, we will open up the book and look at the pictures.

Do you do every step with every book or do you pick and choose according to the needs of your students?

That’s where your clinical judgment comes in! I typically include all of the steps, but it may vary depending on the needs of your groups.


How do you write goals and objectives using this framework?

The goals aren’t necessarily different! I collect data (e.g., teacher/parent report, student input, classroom observation, present levels assessments, therapy data review) to inform which goals I write. The best part is that you can use literacy-based therapy to target almost any goal.


How do you track data?

I typically do a quick probe at the beginning of the session (and rotate through a different goal each session). I then describe the level of prompts/cues that the student benefited from when targeting his/her goals in context.


How do you connect with the curriculum?

I ask teachers which themes/books they are using in the classroom. It’s usually pretty easy to find a book to relate to whatever they are reading/discussing in the classroom.

Do you ever do this in the framework general education classroom?

I have in the past! I may not go through the entire sequence with the entire class, but it is a really great way to collaborate with teachers and to connect with the curriculum.


Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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