Do you struggle with how to easily organize literacy-based speech therapy materials that you use? I definitely did when I first started as an SLP. As SLPs, we start to use and collect so many different books and ideas for our clients and students, that it can become overwhelming for how to organize all of our literacy-based materials.
Having so many different items and things to use for many different speech concepts and books can definitely feel overwhelming. Also, let’s face it- as SLPs we don’t usually have a huge room with tons of storage space. I love organization. It helps me to have a clearer mind. Whenever I can make my life structured and more organized, I do it! As an SLP, I have gathered so many amazing books over the years that I like to use with students. (Don’t forget that picture books are for big kids, too!) I had to have a way to remember which book is used for what lesson and what materials I need for that book. I came up with an easy-to- organize-system for my literacy-based speech therapy materials to share with you today.
Here are my easy organization tips for your literacy-based speech therapy materials:
Tip #1: Use the inside book cover
Use the inside cover of the book to help you stay organized! Think of this space as your home base. Stick a plastic sleeve (affiliate link) to the inside cover to help you store manipulatives and lists. I like to write any vocabulary or AAC words that I would be using with that particular story. This makes for very easy planning when I grab my book for my speech session. I’m pretty sure I got this idea from Marisha over at SLP Now! I also have a preschool teacher who tucks her notes in the front! Watching their different styles has led me to this point!
Tip #2: Write on post-it notes!
Educators all love and have post-it notes on their desks, don’t we? Use this easy organization hack and on the post-it note write down any materials that you already HAVE and any materials that you will BORROW from others then stick it in the front cover of the book (beg, borrow and steal SLPS!) Do not reinvent the wheel all of the time. This will help you grab a book and remember what you used in previous years. You might jot down, “brick house craft”, “sensory bin retelling /borrowmMrs. P’s animals”, “Speech Room News TpT packet”. That way, next year, you know exactly what you used and where you got it.
Tip #3: Use a piece of paper to write down common targets
Finally, like I mentioned above, just write on a piece of paper and stick it in the plastic sleeve that will be in the front cover! Write down your common targets for that book- any tier 2 vocabulary and articulation words found in the story that you will use for your speech session. I cannot begin to tell you what a LIFE-SAVER this organization hack has been! When I pull out a book, I have reminders immediately of everything that I need for that speech lesson. This saves me a lot of unnecessary time. I can easily grab anything else that I might need from my closet where I keep my bigger hands-on objects like this Three Little Pigs Sensory bin that I love to use with the story.
Summer is a really great time to start organizing your materials for your speech sessions while you have the extra time. It will definitely make for a much smoother start to your year. My advice: pick 3-5 books to organize this summer. Then do the rest as you move through the year. Make sure you start with any books that you will use at back to school time in August and September with students.
I have a TON of literacy-based speech therapy materials and love to use books with students during speech sessions. Did you know that I love to share my favorite books to use in speech therapy on instagram? If you need ideas for books to use throughout the year, you can follow along @SpeechRoomLibrary for different ideas. I typically post a book summary, AAC words, theme ideas, speech sounds to work on and language activities to use with the book.
You can also check out these blog post lists for some holiday themed literacy ideas:
- Spring Big List for Speech Therapy Activities
- 15 Best Picture Books for Winter Themed Speech Therapy
- The Best Christmas Books for Speech Therapy
- Top 17 Thanksgiving Picture Books for Speech and Language Therapy
- Fall Picture Books about Leaves
- Speech Therapy: Big List for Fall
Tell me, how do you organize your literacy-based speech therapy materials?
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I’ve seen the suggestion before of keeping materials in a pocket in the front cover and I love that idea. I also like your suggestion of sticky notes in the cover to remind yourself what other activities/materials pair well with the books. Over the summer, I read “A Teacher’s Guide to Vocabulary Development Across the Day” by Tanya S. Wright and got a few more ideas. She suggests using highlighter tape to mark key (mostly Tier 2) words to define in context while reading, and sticky notes on the back cover of the book to read the definitions off of. I got some highlighter page flags and heavy duty post-it notes over the summer that I’m psyched to use this year to up my literacy-based therapy game. Thanks for the reminder to start small (3-5 books) and phase it in slowly to prevent overwhelm!