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The SLP Now Podcast

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The SLP Now Podcast is your go-to resource for practical speech-language pathology tips. Through this podcast, you'll hear directly from Marisha Mets, a school-based SLP turned research nerd. She’ll be joined by expert guests to answer your biggest questions. Submit your questions at slpnow.com/ask.
190 Episodes
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We’ve reached the final episode in our series about therapy planning across your school-aged caseload here on the SLP Now podcast!So far, we’ve used Dr. Ukrainetz’s literacy-based therapy framework to work through a month of therapy planning for five units: a play-based early language unit (slpnow.com/183), a picture book (slpnow.com/184), a fiction article (slpnow.com/185), a non-fiction article (slpnow.com/186), and a science experiment (slpnow.com/187).Today, we’re going to talk about therapy planning for a vocational unit!This unit is ideal for students who are working on functional communication skills, and using language in “real world” situations versus a classroom environment.For these episode, we’re going to use a unit from the SLP Now membership that’s about ordering fast food. We chose this unit because it’s something students are very motivated by, and it’s a lot of fun to work with.This unit includes a video and script to use, or you can write your own. There are so many ways to get creative and target language skills in a super practical way!In the episode, Marisha talks about therapy plans that target:Functional communication skillsSequencing and perspective takingComparing and contrastingGrammar and syntaxVocabulary…and more!All of the activities in this unit are language rich, and they provide the perfect context to target almost any goal in your speech therapy sessions—even if you’re working on multiple goals with mixed groups.SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/188
We’re nearing the end of our six-week series about therapy planning across your school-aged caseload here on the SLP Now podcast!So far, we’ve created a month of therapy plan for four units: a play-based early language unit (slpnow.com/183), a picture book (slpnow.com/184), a fiction article (slpnow.com/185), and a non-fiction article (slpnow.com/186).Today, we’re going to talk about therapy planning journey for a science experiment!This unit is ideal for or students who need a high quality contextualized activity, but may be resistant to using a text. It’s also great for students who are working on social language or problem solving skills because the activities mimic a classroom environment.The five steps we’re going to follow for a science experiment unit are a little different than literacy-based therapy because we aren’t using a text. Our new checklist looks like this:Plan and PrepareWatch and DoReflect and TroubleshootDiscussion, andFocused Skill ActivitiesLike the literacy-based units we’ve talked about in the past, these activities are incredibly language rich. They can be used to target goals for vocabulary, grammar, syntax, following directions, asking questions, collaborating with peers, and more—even if you’re working with mixed groups.SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/187
We’ve reached the next episode in our six-week series about therapy planning across your school-aged caseload here on the SLP Now podcast!For the last three weeks, we’ve used Dr. Ukrainetz’s five step literacy-based therapy framework to work through a month of therapy planning for three units: a play-based early language unit (slpnow.com/183), a picture book (slpnow.com/184), and a fiction article (slpnow.com/185).Today, we’re going to take the next step on our therapy planning journey and dig into a non-fiction article, “Wild Calls in the Springtime Sky.”This unit is ideal for students in third grade and up, or if they have a good mastery of narrative language. It’s a great way to target more expository language!In the episode, Marisha talks about using literacy-based therapy to target:Grammar and syntaxVocabulary goalsAsking and answering questionsProducing compound and complex sentences…and more!Remember: all of the activities in this unit are language rich, and they provide the perfect context to target almost any goal in your speech therapy sessions—even if you’re working on multiple goals with mixed groups.SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/186
Welcome to another episode of the SLP Now podcast!In the last couple episodes, we've been exploring literacy-based therapy plans that will help you target your students’ goals across multiple ages, group sizes, and skill levels.We covered therapy planning for an early language unit in episode 183, plans for a picture book unit in episode 184, and today we’re going to dig into the third part of this six week series with a fiction article: Miss Johnson’s Plant Experiment.This unit is specifically designed for older students who still benefit from narrative support, but are capable of reading longer and more complex texts. There is a lot of research showing us that targeting narratives through high school has a positive impact on learning, and so many activities we can use to embed those skills.In the episode, we discuss Dr. Ukrainetz’s five step literacy-based therapy framework, using it to target goals like:ArticulationGrammar and syntaxAnswering questionsVocabulary targetsDescribing activities…and more!All of the activities in this unit are language rich, and they provide the perfect context to target almost any goal in your speech therapy sessions—even if you’re targeting multiple goals with mixed groups.Let’s get this therapy planning party started!SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/185
We’re back at it with another episode of the SLP Now podcast!Over the next several weeks, we're going to explore various units that are designed to engage and support your students across multiple age groups and skill levels.This week, we’re diving into the second of a six-week series about literacy-based therapy plans that you can use across your entire school-aged caseload. Whether you're an experienced speech-language pathologist or new to the field, we hope that these episodes will provide valuable insights and practical strategies you can put to use right away.Last week we talked about early language unit, which is perfect for preschool and kindergarten students. Today we're diving into a picture book unit, which is great for that K through grade 2 range.In the episode, we discuss Dr. Ukrainetz’s five step literacy-based therapy framework, using it to target goals like:ArticulationBasic conceptsGrammar and syntaxPhonological awarenessAnswering questionsComprehension…and more!All of the activities in this unit are language rich, and they provide the perfect context to target almost any goal in your speech therapy sessions—even if you’re targeting multiple goals with mixed groups.Now let’s dive in!SHOW NOTESFull show notes and links to resources mentioned at slpnow.com/184
We’re back at it with another episode of the SLP Now podcast! This week, we’re kicking off the first of a six-week series about literacy-based units that you can use across your whole school-age caseload. This week, we’re getting started with therapy plans for an early language book: Lola Plants a Garden.Early language books include simpler stories that students love. This unit type is ideal for students who might not be ready to sit through a longer story, are working on more foundational language skills, and who benefit from more of a play-based approach.In the episode, we discuss Dr. Ukrainetz’s five step literacy-based therapy framework, targeting goals like:Basic vocabularyBasic conceptsGrammar goalsAnswering questionsFollowing directions…and more!Lola Plants a Garden offers a great context to target so many goals, and there are a ton of language rich activities to help you make that happen—even if you’re targeting multiple goals with mixed groups.Listen to this episode as Marisha walks listeners through age-appropriate activities like book walks, virtual field trips, and ideas for play-based therapy to help students engage with the material and sessions.SHOW NOTESFull show notes and links to resources mentioned at slpnow.com/183
After covering paperwork, data collection, and progress reports, it’s time to wrap up our March podcast series and dive into one of Marisha’s very favorite topics… How to Use Probe Data!In this episode, Marisha talks about:What a probe is and why it’s so valuableThe best time to collect probe dataHow probe data influences your session planUsing probe data in mixed groupsRemember: If we’re not in that zone of proximal development (a.k.a. the space between what a student is capable of doing unsupported, and what they cannot do even with support) we risk hindering their progress because we aren’t giving them the opportunity to practice the skill independently and demonstrate that mastery.Collecting probe data gives us valuable data that helps us find the sweet spot of where the student needs support. This minimizes the student’s frustration if there isn’t enough support — or boredom if there is too much — and sets everyone up for success. 💪SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/182
Prepare to revolutionize your approach to data collection in therapy sessions! Marisha is here to share her top five tips to streamline this essential process.In the episode, we cover:Developing a Data Collection Routine: Marisha illustrates how she has structured her sessions for efficient data collection, highlighting the practice of using check-ins and goal cards.Utilizing Collected Data: Discover the power of data-driven sessions to determine whether to initiate a teaching phase or allow students to practice.Gathering the Right Probes: Marisha advocates for a systematic review of student goals and ensuring there is an efficient means to assess progress towards each goal.Organizing Your Probes: Marisha's favorite strategies to keep her probes organized.Practicing and Perfecting the Routine: How to start with establishing routines like and then layering on probes as therapists and students become more accustomed.SHOW NOTESCheck out the full show notes and transcript at slpnow.com/181
Let’s talk about something that scares many SLPs… progress reports. ****Progress reports may make some SLPs sweat, but hopefully there are others (like Marisha!) who think of it as a fun opportunity to celebrate student progress. After all, the point of working smarter is to have more time for the fun stuff, right?!Marisha actually thinks it’s kind of cool to look back at the data and realize how far her students have come. Getting to write up all the progress goodness and share it with the students’ parents is just the sprinkles on the progress cake.At the same time, Marisha knows that the process can be a little bit overwhelming. That's why she wanted to share her three step process for writing progress reports and notes on this week’s episode of the podcast.From collecting session data to setting up your progress note template and reviewing goal progress — at the end of this episode, you’ll be just a few clicks away from a stress-free progress reporting experience!SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/180
For all my SLP organization aficionados out there, join me today as I dive deep into tips and resources that will streamline your paperwork processes, especially for educators and therapists. If you've ever felt overwhelmed by deadlines and data, this episode is tailor-made for you. Let’s get started!In the episode, we cover:Mapping Out Due Dates: Learn how to organize your due dates, from IEPs to evaluations.Organizer & Checklists: Employing a laminated checklist system helps track and manage the progress of individual IEPs. Combined with a hanging file organizer, your paperwork is always organized and at your fingertips.TextExpander: A software that allows you to generate frequently-used texts with shortcuts. Imagine typing in a shortcut and having a full breakdown of an assessment tool appear in your document!Find & Replace Tool: Ensure personalized content like student names and pronouns are correctly inserted, ensuring every document feels tailored.SHOW NOTESCheck out the full show notes and transcript at slpnow.com/179
Welcome to the final instalment of our Literacy Based Therapy Bootcamp series! Today we’re talking about parallel stories — which just might be Marisha’s favorite part of the whole literacy-based therapy framework.Parallel stories are an incredible way to integrate all of the skills that we've targeted throughout our literacy-based units. The goal of this activity is to pull the vocabulary, sentence structures, and plot elements from the story you’ve been using, and then use them to create something new.This is a lot like story generation, but we have a jumping off point to draw inspiration from thanks to the previous story. We can use those building blocks to integrate the skills that we’ve targeted in a fresh — and fun — way.In this episode, Marisha talks about:Getting student buy-in, and why they love this step so muchUsing visuals like a graphic organizer to piece together story grammar elementsCreating a parallel story for “Snowman at Night”, replacing the snowmen with cactiExtending the activity by creating something students can take home and shareRemember: The most meaningful practice our students can get happens outside of the speech room, and in the context of their real lives. Our job is to help them develop their language skills — so they can tell (and retell!) a story they’re proud of.SHOW NOTES + RESOURCESFind the full show notes and links to resources mentioned at slpnow.com/178
It’s time to get into focused skill activities!So far, this Literacy-Based Therapy Bootcamp podcast series has covered choosing a book, pre-story knowledge/reading, and post-story comprehension.Today we’re getting into the fourth step of the framework, and start getting that focused practice in.In the episode, Marisha talks about:Increasing goal awareness, connecting with students, and getting their buy-inUsing visuals to break the skills down and make them easier to learnTargeting multiple goals at once and using fewer materialsHow language-rich activities can help you target almost any goalThere are so many ways you can get creative and combine focused skill activities. You’ll get more done with less prep and less stress — so you can make the most of the time you have with your students.SHOW NOTESFinf the full show notes and links to resources mentioned at slpnow.com/177
In today’s episode of the podcast, Marisha shares three different strategies she uses to embed comprehension activities into her literacy-based units.She talks about her approach to assessments — plus examples of scaffolding support based on the data collected — so that you know exactly how to put this information to work in your practice. 💪In the episode, we cover:Starting the session with a probe.This helps Marisha collect data that informs the course of treatment and the type of support to offer.Using your clinical judgment as an SLP.Combining internal and external evidence with clinical experiences helps you make an informed choice.Examples of scaffolding support.Marisha shares a few ideas of how she would scale support during the session depending on probe data.Check it out to get all the details — and work smarter with the therapy plans Marisha talks about (”Just a Duck”) when you sign up for a free trial membership of SLP Now! >>https://app.slpnow.com/account/register
We’re in the middle of Literacy-Based Therapy Bootcamp here on the SLP Now podcast. 💪Last week we discussed choosing a text (go back if you haven’t listened yet!) and in this episode, Marisha dives into steps one and two of Dr. Ukrainetz’ literacy-based therapy framework — pre-story knowledge activation and reading the text.In the episode, Marisha covers:The value of doing a book walkUsing a KWL chart for pre-story activationThe skepticism about the efficacy of these activitiesThe importance of background knowledgeHow these steps set the stage for drill-based activitiesUsing a story grammar organizerKeeping students engaged in the activityThis episode is short, sweet, and jam-packed with practical insights and strategies that set the foundation for literacy-based therapy, fostering engagement, and language development.Happy listening! 🎙️✨SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/175
As an SLP, our job is to focus on the language underpinnings: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. That's what we do best, and it’s how we help our students build the skills and strategies that they need to be successful beyond the classroom.Literacy-based therapy offers a great framework to support the development of language underpinnings, and at SLP Now, we like to talk about one that was developed by Dr. Ukrainetz.Her framework for literacy-based therapy includes five steps: pre-story knowledge activation, reading the book, post-story comprehension, focused skill activities, and creating a parallel story.Using this framework, you can target almost any goal — but it’s really important to be strategic when you’re selecting a text, especially if you want to create a whole month of therapy plans using just one book! That’s why today’s episode is about how to choose the right book for literacy-based therapy.In the episode, Marisha talks about:Criteria to select texts that can be used in a functional and therapeutic wayThe best length of book to useWhat happened when she didn’t follow these criteriaTargeting multiple goals with one bookWhen to use an expository text versus narrative structureWhat to do if the text you’ve selected doesn’t have appropriate targetsAligning texts with the curriculumSHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/174
It’s time to talk about February therapy plans! 💕In this episode, Marisha walks you through the exact process she uses to plan an entire month of therapy. She takes you through plans that span preschool through sixth grade, tying in the strategies and tips she shared in recent episodes.From segmenting your caseload to using quick probes and grab-and-go visuals, this episode will help you prepare a month of therapy that targets all your students’ goals using books like "Little Blue Truck" and "The Day It Rained Hearts" — plus a lava lamp science experiment that you can do with older students!This episode offers practical, time-efficient, and simple strategies for monthly therapy planning no matter the size or diversity of your caseload.Marisha’s systematic approach will help you facilitate smooth sessions, provide consistency and structure for your students, and make the most of your cognitive capacity so that you can focus on what matters most.SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/173
Ready to supercharge your speech therapy sessions with 3 simple planning strategies? Then this is the episode for you!When problems feel really big, it’s easy to think we need big strategies to solve them. But often, the simplest thing does the trick!In this episode, Marisha shares 3 practices that have taken her SLP game to the next level:Segmenting your caseload for stress-free planningHarnessing the power of pre-made therapy plansGathering your must-have materials in advancePut these strategies to work right away — even if you have minimal prep time — and take your therapy planning from “uh-oh” to "I got this."SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/163
Having a routine to rely on in therapy sessions can be an invaluable support for SLPs at every stage of their career and caseloads. But some folks can be a tad hesitant when it comes to the idea of more structure.Marisha wants to assure you that using a framework isn't about creating a checklist and following it mindlessly; it's about having a framework for your therapy sessions so that your work (and life!) feels easier. And of course, there is tons of research to support the benefits of incorporating routines into therapy.Implementing a routine frees up cognitive resources that would be spent trying to figure out what's next in the session — and this applies to students and SLPs.Just think about what you could do with that freed up brain power!In the episode, Marisha shares the five step framework she uses to structure her therapy sessions:Check inAssessTeachPracticeWrap upMarisha gives details about why each step matters, offers examples of the framework in practice, and illustrates ways that clinical experience + judgment inform the application.
Returning to the speech room after a break (of the start of a new year!) can be equal parts exciting and anxiety-inducing as an SLP. 🥵It’s great to have a little reprieve from routine and a few days that don’t require an alarm clock, but that return to normalcy can also be a little daunting after that PJ life.That’s why our first podcast episode of this new year is super simple and actionable: Three Tips for SLPs Starting a New Semester.In this episode, Marisha shares some of the practices she relies on to get herself (and her students!) back into the swing of things at the beginning of a new term, or when she returns to work after a much-needed break. 💪This episode is full of tips to help you start the semester off right! We cover:The value of doing a check-in with your studentsThe importance of reviewing students’ goalsThe power of collecting data…and more!🔗 Check out the full show notes and get links to the resources mentioned at slpnow.com/170
In this episode of the SLP Now podcast, Marisha dives into the power of working with mixed groups — and her top five tips to foster a supportive group learning environment.From the top, she stresses the importance of adjusting your mindset and embracing the positive aspects of mixed groups in speech therapy. She acknowledges the real challenges associated with mixed groups but also underscores the substantial benefits.While one-on-one therapy is sometimes the best option, there are situations where grouping students becomes a necessity. In Marisha's experience, working in schools with extensive caseloads required her to provide services to multiple students simultaneously. In such settings, there's simply not enough time in the day to accommodate one-on-one therapy for all students.For Marisha, this experience highlighted the value of focusing on the positive aspects of mixed groups, and she found herself incorporating them into her sessions more and more.Marisha highlights that mixed groups can serve as a platform for students to act as valuable role models, enhancing the generalization of skills. Students can scaffold and support each other, creating a dynamic and positive learning environment that's just not possible in one-on-one sessions.In the episode, Marisha covers:How to embrace and lean into the positive aspects of mixed groupsSetting up a strong data collection systemThe importance of preparing your visualsCreating a routine for your sessionsWhy planning ahead will prevent you from scramblingIf a lack of confidence is getting in the way of you making speech therapy magic happen with mixed groups, then this podcast episode is exactly what you need!We hope these tips will help you see the benefits of mixed groups and how they can foster a positive learning experience for your students — so that you can show up and do your best SLP work by working smarter, not harder.Make sure to check out the episode and full show notes — because that’s where you’ll find links to all the resources and tools mentioned. 👇SHOW NOTESFull show notes at slpnow.com/169
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Comments (3)

Michelle Gennaro

This was so insightful and helped put some of the fears related to the unknown world of telepractice to rest! Looking forward to getting started in this type of role!

Mar 19th
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Amy Van Zile

Marisha, where can I find the resources? I thought you said Slpnow/4

Jun 7th
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