My first two years working as a SLP, I had the privilege of working at an early intervention program with children ages 3-5 years old. During my time at the early intervention program, I was blessed to be supported by intelligent and caring coworkers. I didn’t realize just how crucial their support would be in helping to shape me as a SLP. My time with the amazing professionals at the early intervention program shaped me and my philosophy for serving our speech and language students:
“Play is the work of the child.” – Maria Montessori
To this day, even when working with my older students, I make our therapy sessions together the equivalent of their “play”. Meaning, our time together and what we work on needs to be intentional, functional, and meaningful to my students. I thank my coworkers and friends at the early intervention program (you all know who you are) for helping to solidify that theory!
With that, I am pleased to share with you a post by Jennifer LeGardeur. Jennifer works at the early intervention program where I started my SLP career. Jennifer started out as my CFY supervisor and mentor, but quickly became a dear friend. When I was at the early intervention program, Jennifer and I saw our preschool groups at the same time in neighboring rooms. We spent a lot of time collaborating, and I was nervous that when I left the early intervention program, I would not have that same collaborative experience, but Jennifer has kept it going. I get emails from her with ideas, new books, new apps, etc. to share with me. I asked her if she would want to write a post for my blog, and I’m so excited she agreed! Enjoy…
I have been trying to come up with some fun ideas to get my kids with social language goals interacting in new ways. Last week, I decided to do a pizza theme. First, we read the book “Hi, Pizza Man!” by Virginia Walter. The kids identified the person/animal that came to the door, stated where the pizza was (e.g. “It’s on the dog’s head!”), and said the animals sound and ‘hi’ to it (e.g. “Woof Woof, pizza dog”). Next, we sang “I am a Pizza,” which they loved and continue to request. After the song, I pulled out two phones, a wooden pizza and wooden toppings, and a pizza box that Round Table kindly donated. One student would volunteer to order the pizza and another would volunteer to be the Pizza Man. The child ordering would call and ask if they could order a pizza and said which topping(s) they wanted (choices were mushrooms, peppers, and pepperoni). They would ask how long it would take and then say ‘good-bye’ or ‘see you soon’ before hanging up. The Pizza Man would have to remember what was ordered and put the pizza together. They would then go and knock on the classroom door to deliver it. We practiced appropriate greetings and we ended up inviting the Pizza Man in to eat with us. The child who ordered the pizza was given the wooden pizza cutter and had to ask each student if they wanted a slice. On our last day of the pizza theme, we sequenced making pizzas with mini pita bread, tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and mini pepperoni. Each student was responsible for one item and other students had to request the items that they needed. They had so much fun!