Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back to School: Welcome to Speech!

First off, I need to apologize again for the extremely long amount of time between posts.  My home life has been a little crazy (dad in and out of the hospital and then passed away, best friend getting married so I had a bunch of wedding stuff to do, and moving into a new place twice!! Long story.) So anyways, blogging sort of got put on the back burner.  I did however create a BUNCH of fun theme weeks to do with my kids last semester, so I will be trying to get them all posted between now when they actually come up this year.

Another thing I had to do was move into a smaller section of my classroom.  My school is exploding at the seams, so they had to do some room rearranging, and I am now sharing a room with the entire special ed team at my school.  Yes, that is right, I am sharing with two resource teachers, our special ed aid, another part time speech therapist, and I have interns every semester from UTD, so I had to get creative with my space.  I thought I would show you what I did in case you ever run into this problem at your school.

First off, I lost half of my whiteboard so I decided to make a whiteboard table.  To create this I found adhesive white board online and attached it to my table.  I purchased Gowrite Dry Erase Rolls from Amazon.  You can go here to see the different options.


I have been writing on my table for years but sometimes it has been difficult for my kids to see some of the colors I like to use.  By making my table a white board, it is easier to clean and I can use any dry erase color I want to.  The kids like it better too!

Next, I had to create some "faux walls" for my area of the room.  Some people could probably do speech in an open room with other special ed groups going on, but I can't.  I need as much of my own space as I can get.  My reasoning is "three fold" (for any of you Friends fans, think Joey in the box at Thanksgiving). 

1. Creating my own space helps keep my kids focused on the speech session instead of other lessons going on in the classroom.

2. It is sometimes difficult for me to hear high frequency sounds when others are talking, so I need to create sound barriers to block other people's conversations/lessons as much as I can.

3. Speech is all about talking, so I need to create sound barriers for the other people in my room to not be distracted by me. :)

One of the best things I have discovered for my classroom redo is the wonder of the magnetic hook.  These hooks are great because they hold a good amount of weight and will attach to the crossbars of your ceiling tiles.  I purchased mine at the teacher supply store in town.  Lakeshore Learning carries them as well.

You can also use your "faux wall" to add extra wall storage by using the backs and sides of bookcases/storage cabinets for bulletin boards and to house your kids' speech folders. 

Another thing to consider in a small space is storage.  I had to utilize the lockers in the hallway to store supplies for my theme weeks because I just didn't have any space in my room.  I also purchased a storage cart from Michels to house supplies I commonly use and put it next to my table for easy access. 

Creating a desk space is important even in the smallest of rooms. I added this Pinterest inspired supply holder for all of my odds and ends for easy access. Just get a spice rack (I bought mine at Walmart) and clean out the spices. Add some scrapbook paper with Mod Podge and you are ready to store things. I also attached contact paper to my filing cabinet to add a little pizazz.

I hope this helps for all of you storage deprived SLPs.  If you have any questions about the bulletin boards or anything else just let me know. 

P.S. I am opening a TPT store!!! I plan on posting anything I already have up on my blog as soon as possible, so be on the lookout for that. 

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