The way things are looking, speech teletherapy is here to stay. My current full time job is 100% virtual therapy for preschoolers through 12th grade. This is my second full year providing virtual therapy for schools (outside of the COVID shutdown) and my 4th year of teletherapy experience overall.
Through this time, I've gathered my tried and true list of quick, no-prep websites/activites and I'm sharing all of them with you.
1) BOOM CARDS
This website wow.boomlearning.com held a lot of teachers and therapists DOWN in 2020, but the real ones know how helpful it has continued to be both in person and virtually. It's certainly my number one for a reason.
There are plenty of FREE deck options that I find by going into the store, searching for my target for that session (short stories for wh questions, context clues, basic concepts, phoneme targets, etc.), and selecting 'search low to high'. I love that students can often interact with the decks, there's a HUGE range of options to choose from, always more on the way, and of course the low/no cost.
2) Ultimate SLP
Although this is a subscription based service, it is ESSENTIAL for many of my mixed groups. I am lucky enough to have this subsctiption paid for by my employer - which you should inquire about! However, the monthly subscription is under $15 and annual subscription is around $140. As much as I use it, I'd say it's worth it for a full time teletherapist in schools, especially for mixed groups.
www.ultimateslp.com is packed with a variety of games and interactive activites for students. You select a game, then select your target(s) for your game decks. Kids of all ages have enjoyed the Ultimate SLP games, which is extremely helpful when providing therapy for 3 elementary schoolers, through a screen, right after recess.
A few cons for transparency: the user interface could definitely use a reboot, some of the images they use are a little weird, and the decks get repetitive. I often will have my own list of targets/prompts/questions that I'll use instead.
I think of this website as new age Jeopardy. Think Kahoot, but more streamlined. Whenever my kids see this on the screen, they are ready to win, which means they are engaged! I use the FREE version and I am completely satisfied, but honestly I'm considering a subscription at this point. The upgrade is only $4.99/month or under $60 for a year!
The pre-made decks (which are editable with an upgrade) on www.baamboozle.com are created by thousands of teachers. Much like Boom Decks, I simply search for what I want to target in that session (from social problem solving to literacy), select a game, and I'm ready to go. I love that one game can last an entire 30 minute session - meaning less planning time for me. Best used with mixed language groups of all ages.
4 ) Diffit
I was recently introduced to web.diffit.me, and it quickly became a staple for my middle and high schoolers. The way I use this site creates buy-in for my older students and nearly always leads to a productive session.
This is an amazing resource because you can search ANY TOPIC that you can think of (hey, special interests!), and Diffit will create your therapy activity for you, suited to the grade level you choose. One of my middle schoolers has a special interest in sea animals, so we began the session with choosing one to learn about. In SECONDS, Diffit generated a leveled informational text, summary, vocabulary words, multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and open-ended prompts. We love to see it.
5 ) YouTube
I love using YouTube to incorporate quality screen time - that's screen time that is interactive and still robust in language. If I'm pulling up YouTube it's for one of three things:
1. Movement breaks
2. Read alouds
3. Animated shorts
On YouTube, the pause button is my best friend. It's a quick and easy way to make a dull activity of just watching/listening to something turn interactive. I'll pause to ask WH questions, check for understanding, elicit requests (more, press play, etc.), comment, work on naming/identification, predictions, inferencing, and more.
6) Pink Cat Games
This is another subscription based service where I've only used the free version, which has been great on its own. You choose your set of questions/targets, then pick a game to use them with. My go-to has been the spinner point based game with all ages. Once a question is answered, the student spins the wheel to see how many points their answer was worth.
This game is so simple but can last an entire session, which we love.
There are several other free game options that work great with articulation and lower elementary students. You can purchase a subscription to www.pinkcatgames.com for $49.99 for a year, which opens availability to all of the games.
7 ) ABCya!
A FREE website full of interactive learning games, Abcya.com provides perfect opportunities for play-based therapy, even virtually! You can choose games based on grade level AND Common Core standards. There are literally countless games to choose from, so it's easy to find one your kids will be interested in. Best for all elementary.
8) PBS Kids
Can't go wrong with a class, right? PBS has a variety of videos and games, featuring characters your students are likely familiar with already - perfect for the kids who need a little extra buy-in. Choose from categories like storytelling games, create games, rhyming games, and more. I love using www.pbskids.org with my younger students. But for my older students (and a bonus resource to this post!), there's also pbslearningmedia.org that has countless videos and articles related to news, recent events, and every school subject. Shout out to PBS for being such a great learning resource for DECADES!
There are numerous ways to do teletherapy, just like there is in person. No one way is the right way, but these resources listed above have made the most sense for me. I have very limited prep time and need nothing more than my laptop for an entire day of sessions. I'm always on the hunt for more virtual resources and would love to know what's on your list, too!