Speech Therapy Notebooks FAQs: Are you still on the fence about using notebooks in speech therapy? Or maybe you’ve got some questions before you make up your mind? If so, this post is for you! Interactive notebooks have the potential to transform the way you work with your students, and their family.
If you haven’t read the previous posts on using interactive notebooks, then start here to discover how these powerful speech therapy tools can help cut your prep times, gather data more efficiently, and work more effectively with mixed ability groups.
And now we’re ready to tackle some of the more common questions and concerns SLPs have about using Interactive Notebooks.
Speech Therapy Notebooks FAQs
Q: “My student has goals in more than one area (for example articulation, language, and fluency) – will an interactive notebook suit his/her needs?”
A: Yes! You can use spiral notebooks with sections already divided or use labeled tabs to create your own divisions in the notebook. You can then use a different section for each goal.
For non-readers, use colored tabs, or tabs with picture icons.
Many of our activities target multiple goals, as they are designed for mixed groups. This enables students to work on goals across multiple areas at a time.
Q: “I don’t have much space in my room. How can I store the notebooks?”
A: You may need to collaborate with the classroom teachers. Many classrooms have cubbies, desks, or other designated storage spaces for students. Ask teachers for permission to store interactive notebooks in the students’ space. Make sure to label “DO NOT SEND HOME” so that substitutes don’t accidentally send them home!
Q: I can’t afford to purchase all the blank notebooks needed
A: Getting started with Interactive Notebooks can seem a little expensive because you’ll need a new notebook for each student.
Here are some ideas to fund this:
Talk to parents. While you may not be able to afford the items for 50+ students, parents can typically purchase one for their child.
Talk to your administrator. Many administrators love “seeing” what we do in speech therapy. Show them an example of what it is and how it can be used, and they may find a separate budget to buy the notebooks from.
Write a grant. Some districts have organizations that fund classroom projects.
Shop back to school sales all summer. Office Depot and Staples both offer “base” products at very low prices before school starts. Even if you opt to ask parents to buy the notebooks, it can be useful to keep spares to hand for those children whose families can’t fund the purchase.
Q: “I love to incorporate movement into my therapy sessions – can I use interactive notebooks and still include movement?”
A: Yes! Include the directions and visuals that you use in therapy in the notebook. If you use YouTube or the internet, include the links. Some parents may not be able to use them; but, many will.
Q: “Can I use Interactive Notebooks to improve collaboration with teachers?”
As with all things “speech and language”, it’s great to collaborate with other SLPs as well as other professionals. Classroom teachers may not understand speech and language as well as you; however, many of them have been using interactive notebooks much longer than speech and language professionals. If you’re running into roadblocks or obstacles, don’t be too shy or proud to ask some questions. Reading interactive notebooks are great models for vocabulary, listening comprehension and written expression tasks as many of the skills targeted are similar, so please collaborate with your reading coaches or specialists even if you have the hang of the concept.
Q: Are Interactive Notebooks suitable for Special Needs situations?
Yes, but you may want to make some small logistical changes depending on the needs of your students.
Use ring binders rather than spiral bound notebooks, because:
They are easier to work with for students with fine motor skill difficulties.
They are more durable and so will cope better with rough-handling.
If pages get damaged or torn out, it is easier to replace them.
You can use page protectors to make the notebook contents more durable.
And instead of including a full week’s, month’s or term’s worth of resources, you may want to add new materials only as necessary for each session.
Now we are at the end of this section of our mini-series on using Interactive Notebooks to help busy school-based SLPs with therapy planning, practice, progress monitoring, and proof. If you missed any of the sections, click through on the links below to catch up.