It’s the first day of speech and you’ve got your group. You know you need to establish rapport, go over the basics, talk about goals and rules, etc. But how do you do that and still make it fun?
Let’s chat about my favorite first day of speech activities that I know your students will love as much as mine do.
1. First day of speech worksheets
For something quick and easy, I always grab these print-and-go first day worksheets. You can get them for free in my resource library! These are great because it has everything you want to go over all in one place.
The first page has all of the basics like their schedule, goals, and rules. The second page is a fun get to know you sheet. I often have the students interview each other to help get them comfortable with one another.
2. Conversation sticks
Kids love anything that involves making choices or surprises. These conversation sticks are so fun to have kids reach in and choose the question that their friend or the SLP will ask them. I like these because it helps give me a better idea of the student’s communication skills.
Are they able to answer a question on topic? Can they take conversational turns appropriately? What’s their articulation/fluency/voice like during conversation? How have their abilities progressed or regressed since last school year? It may not seem like much, but it really does give you a lot of great info.
3. Goal setting with candy
An important part of their first day of speech session is making them aware of what their goals are in speech. I think it’s important for students to take ownership of what we’re working on so that they are internally motivated to make changes.
Make goal setting fun by color coding their goals with colorful candy! I personally use M&Ms because all the colors taste the same. I color code percentage brackets for their goals to give them a nice visual.
For example, 0-20% is blue, 20-40% is red, 40-60% is orange, 60-80% is yellow, and 80-100% is green. We talk about what color candy they are now and what color they need to get to. I also like talking about how all the colors are yummy, so it’s ok to be any color. You can find this tracking chart here.
4. Beach ball get to know you game
Ever played the beach ball question game? Write get-to-know-you questions on a beach ball with a dry erase marker. Toss the beach ball to each other and whichever question faces up, that’s the question the students have to answer. It’s a fun way to get the kids up and moving.
5. Speech room scavenger hunt
I like having systems in place when students come to speech. For example, when they come into the room they go get their folder and task cards. Then, they sit down and start working while I get my materials in order.
Scavenger hunts are a great way to teach students your systems. We have questions on cards that are hidden around the room and teach us the systems at the same time.
6. I Spy speech room game
If your room is small and your students don’t have much room to walk around, you can do the same thing by playing I Spy. For example, “I spy a white shelf where our folders will be kept.” This helps students get acclimated to where things are in the space and what is expected.
7. Speech folder art project
On that first day of speech we always ready their speech folders. Since I like them to take ownership of their goals and what we’re doing, it’s important to let them be a part of the tracking. In their folders, I keep their tracking charts, sticker charts or wallets (reinforcement), any worksheets or visuals, task cards, and word lists.
I let them make their speech folder their own by coloring and decorating the folder cover and cover sheet inside of it! Grab all the stickers, markers, crayons, and washi tape you can find and let them go to town. 😉
Hope you got some great ideas to make your first day of speech the best ever! If you need more help with back to school planning, be sure to grab my FREE SLP back to school planning guide filled with checklists, planning sheets, resource ideas, and more! Hit the button below to grab it.