This year has been beyond unpredictable to say the least! Our in-person school year ended abruptly and now our summer is ending and we must prepare for schools to reopen.
What does that look like for you? in NJ, parents have been given the option to select a remote learning program or students can participate in an in-person hybrid model. I still don’t know what any of this means for me as I return to providing school-based services. It has left me with a great deal of uncertainty as a parent as well as a professional.
I have come to terms with the fact that some of my therapy activities will have to be temporarily abandoned and/ or revised to ensure the safety of my students. As much as I love to use sensory bins in school, I know that is one activity that will have to be modified. If you are looking for fun alternatives to sensory bins, visit Fun in Speech for some great (and low cost) suggestions.
Whether we are learning in-person or remotely, I certainly will continue to use diverse picture books and literature in therapy with my students and clients. Sharing books is my favorite way to target speech and language goals, but I also love them for all of the real life messages that they impart as well.
So to get ready I have curated a list of books that I am preparing to share with my kiddos at the beginning of the school year. These books are some of my personal favorites that encourage, empower, build self-esteem, and spread the message that everyone is welcome. (*Parents, these are great books to read to your own children too. You may even want to suggest/ gift some to your child's new teacher. )
Not only do these books feature characters from diverse backgrounds, but they also tell stories of children who have diverse experiences. No matter what is going on in the world, I will begin the year by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment because everyone should be seen and heard.
You can view my back to school book list here.
However your school year begins, I wish you all a great year.
Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer!