December 31, 2017

5 New Things to Try in the New Year

Another year has come and gone. It's time to recharge and start fresh. I always enjoy seeing the end of year recaps and how everyone celebrates the new year. From end of the year count downs, to top social media posts from the previous year...and all the goals and resolutions for the new year.


I've never been good at setting (or keeping) new year's goals or resolutions. I usually start out with good intentions, but somehow fall back into my same old routine sometime before January ends. 

This year, instead of making a new year's resolution, I wanted to share 5 things that I plan to try in my speech room. You may already do some (or all) of these things, or you may not. Either way, I hope you will read and share your thoughts with me. Maybe you have some expert tips for me as I try these new things, or maybe you want to try them, too. Let me know!

1. Sensory bins
I know many SLPs are already sensory bin experts. I, unfortunately, am not. I tried using a sensory bin one time before Christmas Break and it went okay, but did not end well. The bin of rice ended up spilling in the back of my car.  I may or may not still need to vacuum up the dry rice mess.  This year, I want to give using sensory bins my full effort. I want to try using bins of different materials with all my speech groups. I know The Dabbling Speechie and Ms Gardenia's Speech Room both have a ton of sensory bin activities to help me get started!

2. Monthly speech newsletter
When I was a teacher, I often sent home a monthly newsletter to parents. The newsletter included a recap of what we worked on the previous month and plans for the upcoming month. I also included tips and information to help parents work with their children at home. I want to improve the home-school connection by sending home a monthly speech newsletter. I think it will be a great way to keep the lines of communication open and offer tips and ideas for working on speech and skills at home. There are several editable newsletter resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, including some from Nicole Allison and Speechy Musings

3. Growth Mindset Teaching
I have seen posts and info about Growth Mindset all over the place, but I have never really looked into it with any amount of depth. This year, I want to learn more about developing a Growth Mindset and teaching my students about it, too. Badger State Speechy and Speech to the Core both have great Growth Mindset resources, and I am ordering the book (Amazon affiliate link for your convenience).


4. Literacy Based Therapy Plans
Confession time...I have had this as a goal for a while. I just have not given it my full commitment. I love the idea of literacy based therapy, and I have a ton of resources to help me get started...I just need to commit and dive in. I actually have a full membership to SLP Now that I don't even use. Why? The SLP Now site is full of great literacy and theme based resources to help make this type of therapy easy. In the new year I plan to really dig in to all the resources I have and give this a go!

5. Step Out of My Comfort Zone
This is really one of those things that we hear often. Why is it so hard? This year, I know there will be changes in my professional life. I plan to step out of my comfort zone and explore all options available to me. It's time to be confident and not hold back. This is necessary for me to really try items 1-4 in my list. Anything new is often uncomfortable and scary. I will not hold back. Go big or go home, right?


There you have it...5 things you must try in the new year. Are you already an expert in any of these areas? Share some tips or words encouragement with me in the comments. I'd love to hear from you!  Or, let me know if you plan to join me in trying something new in your professional life. Let's go for it together!

Happy New Year!

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