Inspirations for therapists & parents 

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TpT Shining Stars Linky Party!

TeacherspayTeachers is having a 1-day BTS Boost Sale on August 20th where you can get up to 28% off of materials!  I am so glad that they decided to have this sale because NOW that I have familiarized myself with my caseload, I am ready to purchase some more materials.  Just use the code:  BOOST when you check out with all your goodies. Jen at SLP Runner is hosting a TPT Shining Stars Linky Partyand I thought I would join in on the fun!  As TPT sellers, we never know what products we create and share are going to our best sellers.  Sometimes the products that do really aren’t our FAVORITES, so today I am going to share my 3 products that I think are my SHINING STARS!grammar and vocabulary bundles picFirst up is my Seasonal Grammar & Vocabulary Bundle (just added a new Fall pack) because this really helped me last year with my K-2nd graders working on vocabulary and grammar goals.  I often had mixed language and artic groups, so I could always grab the materials in this pack to cover all their goals!Slide1I really love my What Planet Are You On Social Skills Pack because I loved using the example of humans and aliens for social skills.  We worked on keeping our “brains on earth”, used my conversation blast off game to target topic maintenance, and helping figure out why an alien may struggle with social skills.  This pack was really fun to use with some of my pragmatic language kids.

Slide1My Flying Broomsticks: An Enchanted Witch Game has always been a winner with my elementary kiddos.  It is an open ended game that can be used to work with any speech or language goal.  I loved the creative process in coming up with the game cards and can’t help but love the graphics!

Now, for a few on my TPT wishlist…..if you haven’t heard, the majority of my caseload is in middle school this year.  I haven’t done middle school in a few years, so I am a bit overwhelmed with putting together a schedule.

Language Progress Monitoring Tool (Upper Level) for Speech

I have this Language Progress Monitoring Tool to help with keeping up with goals.  This year I have a lot of language kids, so I hope this will help me out!  I am still shopping and hope to share my additional purchases on Facebook!

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5 Top Secret Blogger Tips & Tricks!

Most of my friends and SLP “peeps” usually ask me “how do you get it all done?” “When do you find the time with work and taking care of kids?” or “Do you ever sleep?”  Blogging is a time consuming endeavor and at times is a LOT of hard work, but once you get all set up, it can be a manageable hobby/job!

blogger secretsI thought I would share some of my secrets for how I get it all done and still make time for things like sleeping and enjoying life!

Slide1Schedule your posts ahead of time-  I am able to write many posts at one time if I would like and then spread them out over the whole month.  So, I have the option to write spontaneously or spend parts of my summer prepping posts that will be scheduled later during the year!  When you have a businness/blog facebook page, you can share posts/pictures/links and schedule them for the time and date that you would like.  So, when I am busy getting ready for work or preparing dinner, I have posts scheduled that I don’t have to remember to post.  Cool, huh!?

Slide2Network with other bloggers-  Since jumping on board as a blogger, I have met some great “online” friends along the way!  If I need help trouble shooting an idea, need other blog posts to reference or people to review my products, I ask for help from fellow bloggers through email and facebook.  Getting help cuts down the research/prep time it takes for writing a post.  It’s always good to see what other people are doing on their blogs, so that I don’t duplicate products and posts.

Slide3Take time to plan- I have an Erin Condren planner that helps me to organize my posts, daily living events and keep a to-do list all in one spot.  You can grab a Erin Condren Planner through my referral link.  Personally, I have an ongoing list of ideas that I write down every time something cool pops into my head.  Not all of my ideas are implemented, but it helps me to think of things to write about when I have time.

Slide4Take lots of pictures- Many bloggers write their posts in the evenings after work, on the weekends, during the kids nap times, in the wee early morning hours or over the holiday breaks during the year.  You never know when a blogger will get inspiration, so most of us take LOTS of pictures, so we have content to work with when we are feeling motivated to write!

Slide5Use templates-  I have templates of graphics that I created for previous posts and usually save them for when I need to make new graphics.  That way I don’t have to change much with the graphic and I can whip out cute blog post covers quickly.  I also store all my graphics in one main file and then have them labeled by the clip artist, so I have quick access.

bonus secret

My personal secret as a working mom is that sometimes I use my own kids to try out my ideas.  I involve them in the process, so if I have an app review, guess who gets to help me out by trying the app, my kids!  My son helped me make the DIY summer magnets, so I was able to spend quality time with him while we completed my project.  He also did a few of the Sequencing Activities I made, so that I could try them out and see what it was like using them with a real child.  Blogging has also become a hobby that allows me to be creative, write and decompress from the stresses of life.  I either write in large chunks which means the house may be messier or I do a little bit at a time.  My husband also helps me with graphics and some products.  My last secret is this….I am a better SLP because of blogging.   I think more about my therapy, I ask more questions, and I am more motivated to find/create activities for my students because I want to share something new and fresh with all my followers.

Graphics:  Pretty Grafik Designs, Lovin’ Lit, & Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Designs (375)

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TPT Thursday: Sequencing Activities For The Whole Year & GIVEAWAY!

As SLP’s we are always working on more than just ONE language skill or goal.  We may have a grammar goal written in Johnny’s IEP, but during the session we cover so many other areas.  I always love working on sequencing with students because it teaches skills related to organizing language (an executive functioning skill), works on prepositions (first, next, last), targets making predictions and practices the steps on  how to do something (MAJOR LIFE SKILL).  This has been a work in progress for several months now and with some help from my hubby, I finally completed this project just in time for the beginning of the school year.

Sequencing Activities for the Year

Sequencing Activities For The Whole Year

cut and glue short storiesI love that the words are here already written for students.  Just in this activity alone we can work on following directions (steps for the activity), concepts first, next, last, before/after, asking and answering simple questions from the story, and targeting thematic vocabulary.

draw what happens nextThis activity targets lots of skills.  I can imagine that some of your kids will need this to be a guided lesson to understand the concept and then they will quickly get the hang of it!  We are teaching cause/effect with this lesson along with making predictions and inferences about what might happen next.

silly sentence worksheetsI created some silly sentences to work on word absurdities, noun function and sequencing words in order.  This hits 3 language targets, plus it is hands on with the cut and glue feature!

sequencing picture scenesThere are 8 worksheets to target 3 picture scene sequencing and 3 worksheets that include 5 picture scenes to work on putting short stories in order from first to last.  You can target artic carryover goals, story elements, past, present and future tense and vocabulary just with this one activity!

I have included LOTS more worksheets including a draw and write template for the picture scenes as well as a sequence and draw for how to do something.  These are perfect because they are no prep and can be modified for lots of goals.  Enter my giveaway below because 3 lucky people are going to win a copy for their therapy rooms!

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10 Songs SLP’s should blast in the car on the first day back to work!

songs to blastAfter a long, relaxing summer break, it is hard for this SLP to get back into the routine of waking up early, doing assessments, paperwork and therapy.  Although I LOVE my job, there is a part of me that would love to sit on a beach, sipping mojitos for a few more weeks.  I have found that music speaks to me the loudest when I need motivation or a pep talk with my soul.  I collected some fav songs that you SHOULD BLAST in your car the first day back to work.  (Amazon affiliate links are provided for your convenience).

1. Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys is a great song to pump loudly when you need to have “pep talk” with your SLP self.

2. Paramore’s Ain’t It Fun has been an upbeat way for me to accept the fact that “yes, it’s time to go back to the real world.  No more summer fun!”

3.  Back Home by Andy Grammar is a great song to blast when you need the reminder that you will get to go back home after a long day!

4.  My buddy Maureen over at the The Speech Bubble SLP likes to blast David Guetta’s Titanium song when she needs to feel “bullet proof”!

5. The ladies from Speak Listen Play love to listen to Rudimental’s Not Giving In when they have to stand their ground.  Perfect song to blast when administration is trying to move your speech room!

6.  Danielle from Sublime Speech blasts Christina Perri’s Burning Gold to remind herself that there is hope in change and new adventures!  This song is great to listen to if you changed schools, got a new job, or are wanting to change how things are run in your work environment.

7. Brave by Sara Bareilles has been my new mantra as I am starting a new job with new sites, staff, and students.   Time to be BRAVE and take risks!  The only way to success is to not be afraid of failure, struggle or obstacles…easy to write, harder to put into practice.

8.  Carrie’s Speech Corner likes to jam to I’ve Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas instead she sings “I’ve gotta feeling that this year is gonna be a good year”.  Perfect to get the positive energy flowing.  (PS. this video is PG-13 by way of clothing choices).

9. Rachel from Queen’s Speech loves to rock out to The Age Of Worry by John Mayer because it is a reminder NOT to stress about the small stuff.  We WILL get everything completed!

10.  Pharrell’s Happy Song makes any SLP get groovin’ and feeling good….check out our video from the Better Speech and Hearing Blog Hop in May!

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Articulation Test Center By Little Bee Speech App Review

Today I have the pleasure of sharing my personal experience with using the Articulation Test Center by Little Bee Speech.  An app code was provided to me, so that I could try this app out with my speech students.  No additional compensation was given.  The words I am about to write are my own opinions and insights!  BTW, I had to administer this test to my two year old because school is not in session.  So my insights are reflected of working with the toddler age population.  Take a peak at Little Bee Speech’s youtube video tutorial to get some more insights about this app.

iPad Screenshot 1

Instantly, my daughter was very excited to see the vivid, real pictures.  She loved having me record her voice and giggled when she heard herself on the voice recorder.

photo 1If my daughter didn’t know the word, I could push on the picture and it would be modeled.  I could also record her response which is great when you aren’t sure of the production.  Hanna loved hearing her voice and wanted to record every time after she saw me use that feature.

photo 2If there is an error, you slide the white tile up to the sound tile and it will replace the correct sound with the error.  You can also document phonological processes and write notes in the event the student exhibited a distortion or an approximation.

photo 5Check out these cool picture scenes!  These are for the speech sample that you can RECORD and transcribe.  If you swipe your finger, you can access more of the picture scene.  This is my favorite part of the app.  I could also see you using this to grab a story sample or an informal language sample to analyze MLU, grammar and vocabulary usage.

photo 4If you have a little guy or gal that is quiet, you can have them click on the different characters in the picture scene and it will become enlarged on the screen.  There will be a prompt question underneath the character that the student can answer.

What I love about this app:

  • Love the ability to record a sample of a student’s speech in conversation.  This is a very cool built in feature.  They have picture scenes and questions to help prompt elicitation of sounds.
  • The pictures are real photos and by purchasing this app, you will always have really good pictures that will never go out of date.
  • Don’t have to remember to bring an artic test between sites!  This is a great resource for a traveling SLP.
  • You can email and/or print the results from the test.  It also shows age of mastery for sounds, which is helpful for explaining speech development to parents.  I love that I can copy and paste into a report in the event that I have given other measures in different areas such as language.
  • Great for progress monitoring and probing for new sounds especially with the picture scenes.  You can see if the sounds are carrying over into spontaneous speech.
  • There is a rating after you give the speech sample for speech intelligibility.  Although, it is an informal judgment, it helps provide a snap shot of the student’s overall speech.
  • The speech sample is an awesome feature!  I love that I can record on my IPAD and it is with the student’s profile, so I don’t have to search around for the file.  I am also able to transcribe the sample and it will be included in the report that is generated.
  • I like that the screener portion of the app is broken down by age.  There are not a lot of cards in the screener portion except for ages 6 and above.  This makes it a very quick tool to give to see if further testing is needed.  A perfect solution if this student has RTI or on an SST plan.
Things I would like for the future in this app:
  • In the school setting, most SLP’s have to obtained standardized measures to determine eligibility.  There are limitations with this assessment as it is not standardized.  If you need a progress monitoring tool, this is definitely something that you would use often.
  • This app is priced reasonable for school districts and private practices, but some SLP’s may find the price for the app ($49.99) to be out of their price range to purchase with personal funds.  I would definitely be more willing to spend money on this app if it was standardized.
  • There are 59 pictures in this test.  My 2 year old had to take a break from the activity due to attention.  For younger kids, this could be a problem and they may want to exit the app to play other apps.
  • There is no error code to mark a frontal or lateral lisp, but the app provides a notes page on each picture, where you can put a note about the students error.
  • It is very cool that there is a Screener and I wished that the screener for the 6 and up ages, would be shorter.  There are 48 stimulus cards in the screener and 59 cards in the full test.

Overall, this app is pretty handy for an SLP and would be great for SLP’s working with those younger kids.  I can even see this app being adapted to collect language samples, which is a plus!  Grab this effective and easy to use articulation assessment tool on ITUNES and if you shop the back to school sale, you would be getting a great deal! (256)

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Speech Therapy Materials Tracking Sheet FREEBIE!

Are you a super helpful, giving SLP? Do you like to share your materials with families, speech peeps and teachers?  Do you rack your brain at the end of the year trying to remember where all YOUR STUFF is chillin’?   Well, then, this freebie is for you!

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I love sharing my resources with others, but have needed a system for remembering who HAS MY STUFF!  Sometimes other SLP’s don’t have a material for a specific student, so being the AWESOME group we are, most of us willingly share books, games, fun decks, etc. to help our SLP peeps out when they are struggling to find materials for their students or waiting for their order to come in the mail.

tracking sheet blog
This is my simple solution. Write. It. Down! Simply keep this form with your organizational forms and keep track of who has what. Then, at the end of the year, you can collect your stuff without forgetting who has it or where it is located.  How do you keep track of your materials?  Do you have a loaning library for families to borrow therapy items?  Grab this FREEBIE to help you stay organized! (560)

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Wise Wallet Wednesday: Using CHALK in therapy!

Presentation1Today for Wise Wallet Wednesday, I am going to share about an affordable therapy material that will get your kids OUT of the therapy room enjoying some sunshine!  As a kid, I loved spending hours outside on my driveway using chalk to draw, play games and practice writing messages.  Chalk is such an affordable therapy material that incorporates so many learning styles and goals!  Crayola sells a giant box of chalk (which you can get on amazon, affiliate link provided), which will last you for a LONG time.

My SLP girl Katie Lambert M.S.-CCC came up with this great therapy idea of adapting the game of hopscotch to work on describing with Expanding Expression Tool (EET).  As the kids hop through, they have to describe an item by different attributes.

hopscotch EET

Working on reading and/or listening comprehension?  Take it outside and write the answer choices on the ground in chalk!  That’s what Katie did with one of her students.

raeding comprehension

Next up is a chalk version of one of my favorite games, BOGGLE!  Work on phonological awareness, building word family words or use as an incentive game after practice a speech and/or language target.  Work in teams to help kids with social skill impairments practice flexibility, turn taking and working as a team.

boggle chalk picNext up, is my hopping categories activity.  Either use a die or just call out random numbers.  The student hops on the different letters and stops when he/she has reached the number you called out.  You call out a specific category such as “food”.  The student then has to think of a word in the “food” category that starts with the letter he/she is standing on.

hopping categoriesYou could also make this a hopping articulation game as well!  How do you use chalk in therapy?  It’s always nice to have an excuse to get out of the small, tiny place we call a speech room and enjoy the sunshine.

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What’s In Your Cart? Linky Party!!

Jenna from Speech Room News is hosting a “What’s in your cart?” linky party for the HUGE Back to school sale on TPT.  You can get 28% off of TPT products on August 4th and 5th.   My store will be on sale along with tons of other sellers, so it’s time to clear out your wishlists!!

BacktoSchoolSaleFlyerFREEBIEMy store will be 20% off ALL of my products!  Upon checkout, make sure you DON’T forget to enter the promo code BTS14 to get the full 28% off.  I forgot last year and was a bit annoyed with myself.

WhatsInYourCartLInkyPartyHere is what is in my cart!  Half of my caseload this year will be at a middle school, so I am trying to think ahead for materials I may need for those students!

original-1341190-1I love planning functional communication lessons and this curriculum from Nicole Allison is just what I am needing!

original-974197-1I always need more perspective taking activities, so this will be great!

original-956769-1Here are some of my products that will help you start the year out on the right foot!

original-782522-1Perfect for a summer/beach themed speech room!

original-1136405-1My Print N’ Go, No Prep themed sets are perfect for on the go SLP’s that need fun therapy worksheets and activities that don’t take a lot of time to prepare.  Just FYI, I am in the processing making my Autumn themed pack, so you would by buying my bundle, you get any NEW packs for FREE!!  That’s a steal!

original-487371-1

I love my themed grammar and vocabulary sets for my little ones working on basic word structures and language!  I will be using my school time pack for the start of the year!!

back to school get to know

Get to know this dabbling speechie!  Click on the photo above and ask a question you would like to have answered by ME! (725)

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Social Skill Breaks ADD ON plus a FREEBIE!

Social Skill Breaks coverI have been loving my Social Skill Breaks product and am getting excited to use it with my middle school students.  Yes!  This year I am moving to middle school and I am ready to go back and hang with those crazy kiddos…..I did middle school for three years and I felt like it took a whole year to figure them out!  I started looking over my materials and decided to add some extra activities to the pack, SO if you already own my pack, go back and download it for the extra activities.

think vs. sayWith my team SDC teacher this past year, we did a few lessons at the end of the year working on the difference between our thinking thought bubble and our talking bubble.  I plan on using Jill Kuzma’s awesome teaching visuals for explaining our thought bubbles and talking bubbles along side my Social Skill Breaks.

think vs. say stimulusThere are 22 stimulus strips for targeting think vs. say.  I also included a new activity to work on “keeping the conversation going”, in which the students can practice asking/answering questions, making comments, and expressing opinions.  There are 22 stimulus conversation strips!  I hope to add more stimulus items as the school year continues.

Grab my Social Skills Breaks Activities for your Speech Room!

social skill breaks photosClick on the preview button on my product to get the think vs. say worksheet and 11 situation strips for free to try out this product!  Are you wishing that summer break was a little bit longer?  I go back  in August!!

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Road Trip: Toys that promote speech and language development in the car!

I just got back from an 8 day road trip adventure with my mom’s family!  We had a blast chillin’ by the beach up on the Oregon coast.  My mom, aunt, uncle, sister and our 4 kids (all under 6) decided to caravan to our beach destination which was close to a 10-11 hour drive.  Your thought bubble is probably starting to form with something similar to “Are you crazy!?  Driving in a car with a babies, toddlers and growing 4-5 year olds for longer than 2 hours is nuts!!”  We got our game faces on, sang a team cheer and were determined to have a great road trip.

road trip activitiesHere are some pictures of my vacation!  I got to enjoy a picturesque horse back riding adventure on the beach and completed a scenic hike with my YOUNG cousins, which meant we went at a very speedy pace.

road trip toys

The speech therapist inside me wanted to find some toys and activities that were car friendly, didn’t take up lots of space and would promote speech and language skills!  I provided amazon affiliate links for your convenience.

bear hunt gameMelissa & Doug Travel Bear Hunt is a variation of the fun game Guess Who?  It is made out of wood and can be stored in a back pack.  Your kids can practice asking/answering wh-questions along with identifying bears by attributes!

twistable crayonsCrayola 24ct Mini Twistable Special Effects Crayons are wonderful crayons for road trips!  They are easy to store and don’t break!!  I am very pleased with this purchase because my son and daughter struggle with keeping crayons from breaking!

road trip magnet lettersI used cookie trays from the dollar store and had my kids draw pictures using these crayons!  I also used Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet set to have my children practice identifying letters and my 5 year old creating sight words with the magnets.

Puzzles are a great way for children to practice problem solving, focus and flexibility!  After they have finished the puzzle you can ask them wh-questions about the picture scene, have them create a story with the puzzle or describe items in the puzzle by attributes.  The Mellissa and Doug wooden puzzles in a box are easy to store and less likely for you to lose pieces.

puzzles on cookie traysI also went to the $1 store and bought a few 48 and 100 piece puzzles that my son could do on the cookie dough tray.

Mad libs are a really fun way to create silly short stories and poems.  They are a great review for using correct grammar with nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and adverbs.  I always brought a book of mad libs along when I was a kid!  Your kids can practice reading them out loud as well as practice their grammar skills.

road trip reusable stickersMelissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad Bundle (Pack of 2) comes with many different picture scenes that are made out of thin cardboard which are pretty durable.  The bundle pack also includes a sheet stickers for each picture scene that are reusable, so the child can change the placement of the stickers.  This is definitely a toy for kids 5 years and up and can be used with younger children as long as an adult is assisting.  The stickers are durable, but could be ripped easily by tiny hands that are still fine tuning their motor skills.  These scenes are perfect for ALL sort of language skills!  Storage is a little tricky because the scenes are bigger than a back pack.

frozen figurinesFigurines and small character toys are great for creating stories, sequencing events from movies and books as well as pretend play.  The movie Frozen is a BIG favorite in my house, so my Aunt and Uncle gave my 2 year old the Disney Frozen Figurine Play Set for her birthday.  We brought it along on the trip because they are easy to store and my son and daughter both got to work on their imagination play and story telling while on the road!  There you have it!  Those are my suggestions for language rich toys to bring on any road trip.  What do you bring when you are going on long trips? (275)

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