Many of my students struggle in the classroom or regular conversation. It’s just too fast paced. My room can be a welcome respite. A place where I’ll wait (and wait and wait some more) while you reason it out, search for the word or organize your articulators into position.
Except for when I don’t.
If my students are to have any hope of competing “out there” I need to occasionally bring some pressure into the treatment room. I find this to be especially true of my speech students. Slow, odd prosody with perfect articulation (a weird, but not uncommon therapy side effect) is easier to negate if I force a faster rate. My fluency students will often become much more fluent with me despite reports of continued struggles with classmates which leave me searing for ways to manufacture breakdowns (Mean, I know.) The easiest and most fun way is with a game.
I’m listing a few of my favorite “pressure games” here, but I’d love to hear your favorites so please be sure to leave a comment! (I’ve provided Amazon affiliate links if you’re interested in more info.)
- Spot It! This is so cool to me. Each card has a variety of objects and every two cards will have just one of those objects in common. Players race to see who can spot the pair first. This is a great game especially for addressing word retrieval and fluency. I also like that there isn’t a huge language component which makes the kids feel like they’re playing on my level. (Note: Spotting the match isn’t always easy and sometimes I’ll have a student that can beat me handily!)
- Zingo! There are a few version of this now, but I’m partial to the original. Each player has a Bingo board and on each turn one person slides the “machine” to reveal two pictures. Yell out the on(s) you need first to cover you squares. The slider is so cool to kids.
- Scattergories The Card Game: Flip over a category and initial letter card on each turn and race to be the first to come up with a word that satisfies both.
- Don’t Wake Daddy: This game doesn’t technically fit, except that Daddy does sort of panic everyone who plays (in a fun way). On most turns, you’ll find yourself pushing the alarm clock until POP, Daddy explodes up from the bed. The excitement/nervousness this brings out gives you a “pressure situation.”
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