I wish I could embrace Notebooks because goodness, they just look so good in photos. I’ve added them to my cart, taken them out, read the reviews, added them back in my cart, looked at more photos but just haven’t been able to commit.
Why? Because they look like too much work.
Not just too much work for me, but too much work for my kids. And yes, I get that it can be really fun to cut out thousands of individual pictures and fold things like origami… but being under the time crunch, MY time is precious and parents are paying me money to help their kid and so I just haven’t gone there yet.
And kids cut reaaaaalllly slow.
I could have gotten quadruple the repetitions in the time it took to cut out a circle for their page so I just don’t have the patience when time is ticking and I only have a 30 minute session to try to get those sounds to generalise!
So I’m taking the scrapbook route. The less amazing, but hey, still TONS more better than drilling with articulation cards approach. My idea of a scrapbook is a mish-mash of things in frames, cutesy fonts, layering pictures, colors and a certain theme to really jazz things up.
It’s a therapy journey and celebration of all the cool things you do in speech that you can be proud of and show off. It is motivating – but easy AND simple for parents to follow on from at home.
To make your own Scrapbooks, you’ll need:
- A book. I have a thing for those big ones with the blank off-white paper that let’s face it, have that recycled paper waft BUT fits one page print outs without the need to trim it down. However, a simple lined exercise book will do, you can make any size fit.
- Catalogues. Just start collecting and keep a selection of holiday and seasonal ones for those times of the year when you just need to bribe kids into your room. Grocery and toy cataloguess are great choices.
- Mini Articulation cards. I’m a fan of all things ‘mini’. Why? Because you can shove heaps of them on a page, make collages, cut into strips, fold and plain and simple: get more repetitions. I love to adapt this set from Speech Therapy Fun and also use Apraxia Mini Cards for adding to pages. Now you can most definitely use ‘big’ for cards, you probably already have these – I just like small for more practice per page, which is what I’m all about!
- Colored paper. Life is happier with colored paper and it means less coloring and more speech practice. You can ‘pretty’ things up by cutting pieces of paper into strips and shapes, or using as a background to make frames and just layer articulation cards. If you invest your student into making choices and taking pride in what they’re creating, they will be more likely to practice I say.
- Envelopes. Or a 5 second memorized YouTube tutorial on how to make envelopes out of paper. Call them pockets, card holders, whatever name brings the ‘mystique’ to your therapy session. These are great to throw larger articulation cards, special notes, brag tags and word lists in. I like placing them on the inside front or back cover so I always know where they are.
- Word lists. This is often overlooked, but if you have a word list, you have ideas at your fingertips. You can make something out of nothing. I often stick in pages from Webbers Jumbo Articulation Drill Book, because every SLP owns this, right? It is also really easy to do a search for ‘Words starting with ‘S’ and get a word list that way. If you own a few of my articulation resources, you know that I have been including them in there, so just refer to those.
- Craft. Glue, scissors, sticky tape, markers, pencils, stamps, stickers and crayons are your everyday scrapbooking essentials. But go that extra step with washi tape, special scissors that cut in cool shapes, hole punches and ribbon. And best yet work the crafting in as a reinforcer “let’s punch a hole in the paper for every ‘g’ word that we do” – and then stick it in your book as part of the collage.
- Reinforcers. I love having a page dedicated to celebrating success. I’ve been sticking these Speech Therapy Reward Charts on the inside cover of my scrapbooks as they’re totally customizable and the kids ‘create’ their own reward. The concept of Brag Tags can be great for this to hand out to to kids if you don’t want to stick in their books – Ashley Rossi has some nice SLP themed ones to check out. I’ve created some ‘achievement tags’ that allow you to write a comment and stick onto a page for that student’s sound (from my Articulation Scrapbooks resource). Do you know how much kids LOVE reading their individualized comments?
You know the brilliant part about these ideas… you can take and pick what you want, and what you have time for in your therapy room.
And if you’re reading this saying “well Rebecca, I DON’T have the time…”
I’ve been getting my craft on with these oh so cute Articulation Scrapbooks (I have Easter+Spring and Summer up in my store), the newest of which is Fall & Halloween themed that preeeeeetty much requires you to either (a) stick pages in a book – cutesy frames, word lists, mini artic cards and cute fonts included or (b) just give them as loose sheets, staple and voila! Instant (lazy) scrapbook. So go ahead and give them a go in between eating those lollies I know you have sitting in your top drawer (aren’t they supposed to be for your students???).