Since it is sounding like e-learning or tele therapy will be the norm this upcoming fall, I thought I would compile a list of ideas & resources that I found helpful when working with my junior high students virtually. Feel free to comment below if you have any other ideas or questions, I hope you find this post to be useful!
Here are some resources from my store that directly target a variety of pragmatic language goals and are completely digital & engaging for older students:
"Great resource to use for social skills lessons!"
"I always have trouble finding good video clips and with this everything is done for you! Awesome!"
I have used this resource for direct therapy and have also assigned it for independent work using google classroom. Click here to check it out!
- WH questions
- Problem Solving
- Story Details
- Figurative Language
- Conversational Topics
Again, this resource can be used for direct therapy or assigned for homework. It includes a PDF, google slides & BOOM card format. Here is what people thought of this product!
"I used these with 2 hearing impaired students who struggle with social nuances. I liked that these were set up as a text message and some of them were funny. It was great to stop and have the students give reason why they wouldn't choose the other answers and then an option to discuss if it has ever happened to them. I would recommend this activity."
"Texting theme is interesting to kids. Appreciate the detail of having visual choice options to help kids make inferences. Thanks! "
Click here to check out this resource!
WHO DOESN'T LOVE GAMES?! Utilizing games were highly motivating for my junior high students and kept the session moving. Games were also a nice addition during group tele therapy sessions because it encouraged more social communication. Some of the games used below were implemented as a motivator/reward while others were played throughout the session since goal targets were included in the game format. My district personally used google meets during e-learning and I found all of these to be compatible. I will outline some of the tech needed for each.
This can be played as a traditional blokus game or like Tetris. As your student removes a piece and drags it onto the game board, they will read their sentence once it has been revealed to them.
The following targets are included within this game:
Click here to check it out! I have included a video preview of this game in action.
3. Remote Learning Games from Diary of a 21st Century Teacher: These games were such a hit with my junior high students and perfect for last minute sessions! I also loved implementing these with larger groups. The following games are included and all in google slides. These were great conversation starters and helped elicit opinions amongst the group.
The great thing about all of these resources is that you can use them even when we go back in person! We are discouraged from using hands-on materials and who wants to continuously clean & disinfect their game boards? I know it is not ideal to sit on a device when you are face-to-face with someone, but this is probably our safest option for the time being!
I don't know about you, but it drives me nuts when a student refuses to turn their camera on or they are obviously playing video games or on their phone during a session. Since it is difficult to control these situations virtually, I try to be very explicit as to what I am working on and what goal we are targeting.
For instance, if you are monitoring how many times a student interjects or directs the topic back to themselves, tell them! "I will be keeping track of how many times you go off topic. Let's see if we can stay under 5 for today."
I like to give my students a visual reminder of their goal. Whether that be screen sharing my data sheet or keeping a tally in the google meets chat log. It is easy to become distracted during virtual sessions and visuals and clear expectations will keep our students on track.
With so many distractions, it is important to stray away from drilling a skill for the entire session. Remember to take breaks! Whether it be drilling or going through problem solving prompts for 10 minutes and taking a break to watch a youtube clip or just stopping to chat. Our students/clients need our support and genuine socialization more than anything right now. Sometimes we become so hyper focused on our data collection and the skill we are targeting that we forget to just enjoy our time together. Take breaks between goal targets with the following ideas:
Keep your students interested and wanting to come back every week! Whether that be showing off their pet, playing a game or sending home candy in the mail, find something to keep them engaged. Did you know the following candies only need 1 stamp?!