When I first started working as an SLP in the schools, I hated worksheets. I felt like they were all boring and dated. I wanted to use “REAL” materials that WOWed my students and coworkers. I was working myself to the bone trying to find all of these materials, adapt them, purchase lots of these items myself, plan the activities, and then lug all of these materials around to each school I was at. As you could imagine, that didn’t last TOO long. I started to shift my planing and that’s when I eventually saw the light…it was daylight, and it was actually still shining when I left work one day. I started using print and go materials and it changed the way I prepared and delivered therapy. Simplifying my activities actually gave me the chance to individualize the materials MORE for each student. I wasn’t trying to force materials to work, I was printing exactly what I needed for each of my students’ specific needs and interests. It saved me SO.MUCH.TIME!! My students loved the activities and I loved the fact that I was taking less and less work home, to the point where it was odd if I DID have to bring work home. This was a total game-changer!
I’m not going to lie, a good bit of my therapy now consists of print and go materials. After trying so many different resources, I’ve learned how to find the ones that work best for my students. A little word to the wise, not all print and go materials are created equally! Some work better than others for my students.
I want to share some things to look for as you’re selecting these types of activities so you can find the BEST resources that fit you and your students’ needs.
- Find something that is engaging or interactive. There are plenty of print and go activities that require students to DO something. These activities keep your students’ hands busy and minds engaged as they work. This is KEY!
- Print and go crafts are game-changers! A lot of students love crafts, but they can be a total pain. THE MESS…ohh the MESS! Print and go crafts are SO easy to prepare and use. You typically only need crayons, glue, and scissors. I love using print and go crafts in groups because it gives other group members something to do when it is not their “turn”. It’s also nice being able to send home a project that creates a talking point outside of the therapy room. My students love these activities.
- Find materials that target multiple goals or activities that you could use in a variety of ways. Some of my favorite print and go articulation worksheets are VERY simple. This allows me endless variability in how I can use it. I use these worksheets with dice, daubers, pitch counters, Play-Doh, BINGO chips, stickers, crayons, etc. It’s also great if you could effortlessly adapt a material to target multiple goals (e.g., sentence formation, segmenting, blending, rhyming, defining, etc.). Activities that include articulation and language versions are the BEST!
- Use seasonal print and go materials. Take the hassle out of at least one or two sessions for each season/holiday. I love using print and go holiday materials the week before we leave for a break. These weeks are always crazy with scheduling changes, class parties, assemblies, and the students are just off their rocker to begin with. Using print and go materials takes the stress out of planning and makes therapy a breeze during a hectic time. Seasonal or holiday print and go materials are also really easy to use with popular books!
- Side Note: Colored paper is THE BOMB; the brighter the better! If I want to really catch my students’ attention and make it hard for parents to ignore what I send home, I print it on bright paper. It costs about $.03 a sheet! It’s typically $15.99 for 500 sheets on Amazon. It’s actually on sale for $10.19 (4/21/18)! Excuse me while I hit, “add to cart”! I buy mine from Amazon.
***BONUS features to look for that really make a difference:
- Table of Contents
- Black and white/low ink
- Includes a wide variety of sounds and positions
- Ten or more targets per page
- Preview photos that clearly show the activity
I rarely use workbooks, mostly just because I’m a traveling therapist and the books are heavy. I get most of my print and go materials from www.teacherspayteachers.com!
Below I will share some of my favorite print and go activities that I’ve used over and over. Click each photo below to check out the activity!