I’m all about making my busy SLP life more manageable. Let’s talk about some easy tips to help you make the most of those interactive binders in your speech therapy sessions!
Interactive Binders vs. Interactive Notebooks
First things first. What’s the deal with all of these interactive materials? Are interactive binders and notebooks the same thing? Will they work for me in my speech room? Here’s the low-down on all things interactive:
- Both interactive binders and notebooks provide fun ways to keep kids engaged while learning about communication and practicing their speech.
- They both provide a great personalized resource for students to refer back to when they need additional reminders or to revisit concepts previously learned.
- Interactive binders are NOT the same as interactive notebooks BUT they’re similar.
- Binders can include single-page worksheets and coloring sheets, as well as cut/paste activities.
- All pages that you need for binders are provided.
- Worksheets and pages from other resources can be easily added to interactive binders. (I love sticking the dot marker pages in their binders as well)
- Notebooks consist of primarily cut/paste activities since all of materials are placed on the lined notebook pages.
- The background page for notebook activities will be the lined pages in the notebook.
Interactive binders are my go to! I use 3-prong folders as the “binders” for most of my kids. Here are a few of my top tips for using interactive binders in your speech room.
Tip #1 Do the work up front
-Gather materials and cut out everything before your therapy session. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself later. Unless you are sharing your session with OT and the students need to practice cutting, go ahead and do it. This will give you more time to focus on articulation productions or fluency practice.
Tip #2 Save coloring for down time
-Coloring is always “lagniappe” as we’d say here in Louisiana. Unless it’s part of the activity, It’s extra. Don’t let it suck up the precious minutes of your therapy session. If I’m working with a group of students, I let them color the pictures on the page while they are waiting their turn for me to work with them. OR I give them a minute or 2 at the end. I treat coloring or decorating as the reinforcement part of the session. Sometimes I even give them stickers or markers to keep it motivating. The content of the page should be the focus though. If we finish the content on the page and they aren’t finished coloring, we are moving on. They know they can finish later.
Tip #3 Utilize those binder (or folder) pockets
-Most binders and folders have pockets in the inside covers. Use them! Keep any unfinished work or pieces inside them. You can even prep several sessions in advance and keep the future materials in the pockets. I also do sticker charts with my students and put those inside the pockets as well.
Tip #4 Modify the activities for YOUR student
-If your child has certain difficulties, don’t be afraid to modify the activities to fit his needs. Have him repeat the words or phrases after you instead of reading them himself. Write down his sentences for him if he has fine motor problems or isn’t able to write yet. If your students need more practice, get creative! Have them add more to each page or they can explain each part of the page over again.
Tip #5 Send home pages to complete for homework
-The good thing about interactive binder materials is that they can double as homework worksheets. Send a few home for your kids to complete and bring back to add to their binders!
I hope a few of these tips help you make the most of your binders! Looking to find out more about interactive binders? Click HERE to see the ones I have in my store. 🙂
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