I have had quite a few messages lately asking what exactly do I DO during teletherapy so I figured I'd write a post sharing my "bag of tricks". I have compiled my favorite websites, games, activities, and apps that I have used during teletherapy, and that have worked well. I currently have a caseload of pre-K-5th grade with several students on the Autism spectrum. These materials and tools definitely helped to make teletherapy more interactive and engaging. I hope this list gives you some new ideas or if you are new to teletherapy a place to start!
Before we get started I talk about "screen sharing" and using a document camera quite a bit. Both of these tools are how I am able to use many of these materials and keep it interactive. "Screen sharing" is just digitally sharing what's on your computer screen (or iPad screen) with your student over whatever platform you are using for teletherapy (Ex. WebEx, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.). Usually, this feature is built-in to your online platform software. I already had access to an iPad mini and Osmo base so I use the Osmo as a document camera a lot which really opens up a lot of activity choices. You don't have to have the Osmo though, any document camera will do. So, what do I DO during teletherapy? Spoiler alert: a lot of the same things I do during face-to-face therapy!
I read a lot of books in therapy, this was true before the switch to teletherapy too. I often like to start a session with a book. I have found many ways to read books over teletherapy. Sometimes I'll read and hold up a real book in front of the web camera, sometimes I'll screen share the book using a document camera, I have screen shared a book using Vooks or Epic! and I also have apps that have books or short reading passages that I can screen share too.
These boom cards are great to do after reading a book, they are thematic based.
This is the Vooks website which is free for teachers right now.
This is the Epic! website, which is free for teachers right now.
This is the Little Stories Pro app by Little Bee.
I made a lot of boom cards this spring and am still going strong! They are so easy to use during teletherapy and to send for home practice. Plus, they are super engaging. I have used them as flashcards, games, reading passages, and thematic adventures!
I bought this particular game from amazon, Family Scavenger Hunt and it's perfect for a quick scavenger hunt game. I will flash the item or screen share it using the Osmo as a document camera. The kids love running around their house trying to find the objects the fastest. I also have some scavenger hunt games in my Speech Party Games and Back to School Games boom cards! I also saw recently some SLPs with younger kiddos made sensory bins that they then shared using a document camera with items hidden in the rice, cut up straws or noodles. They screen shared a picture of the bin and had students try to "hunt" for the items.
Apps are great in face-to-face therapy and I found a way to screen share them over teletherapy too. (I do this very similar to how I use the Osmo as a document camera, just minus the Osmo app/base). Below is a picture of my favorite apps for speech therapy. I definitely use Articulation Station and the Little Bee Articulation Screening Test apps the most. One thing to know with screen sharing apps is that you have to navigate the app by touching the iPad, not the computer and I haven't found a way to give remote access for the kids to choose items remotely.
This app is Articulation Station Pro by Little Bee.
Click on this picture above to check out my blog post for my favorite apps!
I often share about games that we play during therapy and I have been trying to play many of the same games remotely too. Most of the games we play are card games, but not all. Also, check out my post about Screen Sharing Teletherapy Games.
By screen sharing/projecting my iPad screen or cards we can play lots of different iSpy games. I have iSpy Articulation Puzzles like you see on the iPad below and then a variety of card games. I've also recently found the Hidden Pictures app by Highlights (they have some free hidden picture puzzles on their website which you can also screen share). The app is pretty expensive in my opinion and requires a subscription.
Zoom has a great feature, the annotation tool. It allows you to write, draw or stamp on any PDF that you screen share. Using this tool I was able to screen share many parts of my No Print Speech Workbooks and use them during teletherapy. Below you'll see where we played the squares game with a group of three while working on articulation for /R/. Unfortunately, not all platforms have this tool. When I switched to Google Meet I found it didn't have annotation built-in and I couldn't find a very good third party extension to make it happen.
I still love my flashcards too. If you are able to use a document camera to screen share, flashcards are easy to use! Below you'll see how I projected some social skills cards. An easier way to use flashcards would be through boom cards. I have articulation flashcard "decks" for each speech sound that we can use in teletherapy and then assign for home practice.
Last, but definitely, not least is using mystery bags or a mystery box. I have many paper bag games where you could print targeted cards and put them in the bag. We play these games a lot during face-to-face therapy. Over teletherapy, I give clues or have the students guess to figure out what's in the bag. I also have the "What's in the Box?" game that I pair with my Mystery Box Mats too. I use any small object for the box (and make sure it's on the mat to help my kids figure it out). You could play without the mat too, but I find some kids have a hard time without a visual aid. I made the Mystery Box articulation mats to coordinate with my mini-objects from Lakeshore and from Dinky Doodads.
Those are my teletherapy tricks and activities for now! I hope that gives you some ideas if you're faced with teletherapy this fall and aren't sure what to actually do with your students!