The time it takes to walk to and from the speech therapy room can take away from our actual therapy time with students. While in the hallway, students are exposed to people, images, directions and more. As an SLP, I consider that time in the hallway additional therapy time. It’s a wonderful time for students to learn, communicate and interact.
Instead of working on student goals only while in the speech room, I work on their goals while walking to and from my room. Here are 5 ways that I use the hallways in speech therapy.
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Most schools have pretty amazing artwork on classroom doors, walls and bulletin boards. On the way to and from the speech room, I let my students choose two to three pieces of artwork to discuss. These pieces of art are a wonderful way to work on WH questions, vocabulary, expanding phrases and sentences, describing, comparing, contrasting, articulation, and conversational skills.
Another way to work on student goals in the hallway is a game I call, ‘Big Steps’. While we are walking to class, I ask the students to take 5 large steps. With each big step, they have to say their sound. After 5 steps, they walk for 10-15 more seconds and then take another 5 steps while saying their sounds. They continue to do this until we get to the speech room. I have also used this game to address categories and describing. I give them a category before each set of steps and with each step, they have to give one item from that category. For describing, I give them a word and they have to give one adjective with each step.
Hallways are a wonderful place to practice social skills. I figured why not use the space and time for interaction? As soon as I pick up a student from class, I give them a pragmatic goal. It can include, a greeting or a farewell, an introduction, eye contact, saying “excuse me”, etc. They need to try and complete the goal by the time we get to the speech room.
I Spy is a wonderful way to work on describing, rhyming, vocabulary and inferencing. On the way to the speech room, I have my students be the ‘guesser’. I give them adjectives if they are working on describing, a category or object to categorize if they are working on categories, a word that rhymes with an object if they are working on rhyming, etc. On the way back to their classroom, I am the guesser. It’s a great way to see if my students are able to give the clues!
Hallways are also a fun place to give directions. The hallway gives students space for movement, so I allow them to move! I give my students 1-2 step directions such as hop for 5 seconds, take two big steps and then 2 little steps, etc. It’s a wonderful way for my students to have fun, get out some energy and follow directions!
Those are the 5 ways I use the hallway in speech therapy. How do you use the hallway?