Thursday, October 31, 2013

My 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA: LAST DAY!

We have reached the final day of my 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!  I am super excited about this final giveaway.  If you are like all of the other teachers/SLPs out there, I'm sure you use TpT activities in your classrooms/speech rooms.  Well, many of my fellow SLP bloggers and friends have donated products for this final giveaway.  Check out the list below of the donated products....

Donated Products:
Fall Irregular Past Tense Verbs and Plurals Activity by Natalie Snyders
Glasses Building Vocabulary FUN by Miss Speechie
Take A Ticket Listening Comprehension by Teach Speech 365
Let's Get Organized 2 by Simply Speech
Apple Picking Parts of Speech by The Dabbling Speechie
Out of This World Vocabulary by Carrie's Speech Corner
Thanksgiving Following Directions by Kristin Minden
Pronoun Power by Let's Talk Speech Therapy
Cinquains by Speech2u
Let's Go To School Pronouns and Verbs by Kathy Grover
APD Checklist for School Aged Children by Smart Speech Therapy
Thanksgiving Reinforcer Mats by Speech Universe

The Gingerbread Man: A Speech and Language Companion by The Speech Bubble
Itty Bitty Books for Articulation BUNDLE by Schoolhouse Talk
Fixing Absurdities by Tech 'n Talk SLPs
Playful Puppies by Tracy Morlan
Dino Concepts by Speechasaurus

If you want a chance to win ALL of the above AWESOME TpT products, enter below!!

I hope you all have enjoyed my 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!!!! I know I have!!!  I can't wait for all the many, many more birthdays ahead!!!!

Enjoy!!

PS.  There will be a very special announcement coming up within the next few weeks...be sure to come back here and follow on Facebook so you don't miss out!!!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA: DAY 4

Are you ready for Day 4 of my blog birthday extravaganza?!  I know I am!!  The next AWESOME giveaway is actual for TWO different products!  You have the opportunity to win a custom hand sanitizer by Tina at Scrapaddict30 on Etsy AND a badge holder by Abbie from UnderTheChunkyBeadTree.  You can view all the details of the hand sanitizer HERE.  

Be sure to check out Tina's Etsy Shop and Facebook Page:


Also, be sure to head over to Abbie's Facebook Page:


If you would like the chance to win BOTH of the above products, enter below!
Enjoy everyone!  Be sure to come back tomorrow for the final day of my blog birthday extravaganza!!!



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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA: DAY 3

Ok this next giveaway item is by far my favorite!  I personally own two of them and I know tons of fellow SLPs have grabbed them as well.  The awesome quote, "I help people communicate, What's your Super Power?" came from CC and the cups were designed by Dana at 2MBowtique on Etsy.  You can check them out here!


Be sure to check out Dana's Etsy Shop and Facebook Page

You can enter to win one of these awesome tumbler cups below....

Ok everyone, because Dana at 2MBowtique is so AWESOME she is giving all of my readers 20% off these cups through Oct 31st by using the promo code LIVELOVESPEECH at checkout!

Don't miss out!!!!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/162477135/personalized-tumbler-cups-i-help-people?ref=shop_home_active

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Monday, October 28, 2013

My 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA: DAY 2

Ok here we go...the next giveaway for my 1st blog birthday extravaganza is a Lanyard or ID badge from ewinbiglerdesign on Etsy! 
Erin has also been super generous and is giving 15% off of her products using coupon code SLP15.



I personally own a black and white chevron lanyard which I LOVE!  So...if you would like a chance to win one of these awesome lanyards or ID badge reel, be sure to enter below!!!



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Sunday, October 27, 2013

My 1st Blog Birthday EXTRAVAGANZA: A week of GIVEAWAYS!

Hey everyone!! I hope you are all enjoying the guest posts on my blog while I am on a little "maternity leave".  I am really enjoying spending time with my little man.  Although I am still on "leave", I had to make time to celebrate my 1st Blog Birthday!!!  I can't believe it's been an entire year that I've been blogging.  It has been a wonderful experience and I am so blessed to have so many amazing followers!

With that said, there are going to be several giveaways happening this week (Sunday through Thursday) in honor of my blog birthday.  All the details are below...

Sunday
To kick off the week, the people over at Smarty Ears have given me not ONE but TWO codes for their amazing app, Language Empires.  I own this app and it is a MUST HAVE!  My students absolutely love it!!  If you would like a chance to win this app, enter on the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!

For the rest of the week...
Monday: Lanyard from ewinbiglerdesign on Etsy
Tuesday: Tumbler cup from Dana at 2MBowtique on Etsy
Wednesday:  Custom Hand Sanitizer from Tina Dyke at Scrapaddict30 on Etsy
Thursday: A variety of TpT products from many of your favorite SLPs!

Donated Products:
Fall Irregular Past Tense Verbs and Plurals Activity by Natalie Snyders
Glasses Building Vocabulary FUN by Miss Speechie
Take A Ticket Listening Comprehension by Teach Speech 365
Let's Get Organized 2 by Simply Speech
Apple Picking Parts of Speech by The Dabbling Speechie
Out of This World Vocabulary by Carrie's Speech Corner
Thanksgiving Following Directions by Kristin Minden
Pronoun Power by Let's Talk Speech Therapy
Cinquains by Speech2u
Let's Go To School Pronouns and Verbs by Kathy Grover
APD Checklist for School Aged Children by Smart Speech Therapy
Thanksgiving Reinforcer Mats by Speech Universe
The Gingerbread Man: A Speech and Language Companion by The Speech Bubble
Itty Bitty Books for Articulation BUNDLE by Schoolhouse Talk
Fixing Absurdities by Tech 'n Talk SLPs
Playful Puppies by Tracy Morlan

Enter below for a chance to win one of two copies of Language Empires App by Smarty Ears!!!!
Hope you all enjoy this week for my 1st Blog Birthday!!

Kristine 
Live Love Speech

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Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY Dry Erase Boards!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions. 

The next guest post is written by Jenn at Crazy Speech World! Enjoy!

I'm so happy to be able to post here for Kristine while she is getting ready for mommy hood!  And I have a great trick for a cheap therapy material...DIY dry erase boards!

Did you know that shower board works as dry erase board?  Yeah, I didn't know that until one of my teacher friends told me.  In fact, I never even knew what shower board was.  Or that it existed.    All she did was go to Home Depot and they cut some for her...for free!  And apparently super cheap!  Anywho, she gave me some that she had leftover....I was stoked.  But it is just a square piece of not-so-pretty board...
 Makeover!  I took all 5 boards and grabbed a roll of my fave...Duck Tape!  Chevron, of course!  All I did was tape each of the edges...super easy!
And voila!  Pretty and cheap dry erase boards!  I have one enough for each of my kids to have one in my room (I don't have any groups larger than 5).  I love them!

Have you ever used stuff from the hardware store for your classroom?  I'd love to hear other ideas!

Jenn is a school SLP in Florida, working with children PK to 8th grade, and the author of the blog Crazy Speech World.  You can also follow her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, and TPT.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Language Development and Poetry


As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
 
The next guest post is written by Maureen at The Speech Bubble! Enjoy!

We remember the nursery rhymes and songs, we all had our favorites that we would sing or hum over and over. I was 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" fan. We didn't know it then but those rhymes and songs were helping our language development. Rhyming is an early phonological awareness skill children use to distinguish units of speech. Recognizing rhymes is crucial to reading development ( Sigal ) and poetry can help readers develop a broad range of fluency skills ( Robertson ) as well. Exposing our students to these literary elements is an important part of their language development and can be areas in which they struggle.



So what can we do?

1) Rhyming: Depending on the students age write words on note cards or print out pictures. Have the student choose a word or picture and ask them to state another word that rhymes. Remind them that a rhyming word will have the same vowel sound and ending sound as the word they chose. Reading stories from the Dr. Sues series or the ' There was an Old Lady who swallowed a ..." is a fun way to introduce rhyming to your students. Allowing students to put their rhyming words into programs like Wordle or Tagxedo is a fun way to let them see their words.

2) Poetry: Read some examples of poetry with your students. Classic nursery rhymes are a great place to start. Also a quick Google search for 'children's poetry' will turn up some great resources as well. Poetry4kids.com is a website with lots of fun, kid friendly poems. Have your students find the rhyming words in the poems by highlighting them. After your students have gotten some rhyming experience in poetry, have them start to create their own poems using their rhyming words. Let them use your poetry examples as models. A fun activity would be let your students create their own poetry books!  

Resources Used: Build Your Childs Skills Kindergarten to Second Grade by DeAnne Owre and Martha Brennan Encouraging Rhymning Skills ( ASHAsphere blog post by Stephanie Sigal) Connecting Reading Fluency and Oral Language for Student Success by Shari Robertson


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Providing Push-in Services for the Preschool Classroom!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.

The next guest post is written by Use Your Words! Enjoy!
 
There’s a big push in many school districts to do more push-in speech therapy than our traditional pull-out speech therapy. The issue is that push-in can mean different things to different people, and not a lot of people understand what to do when they push in to a classroom. There are pros and cons to every aspect of therapy, but push-in therapy does offer some great benefits. Some pros to push-in speech therapy include easier generalization/carryover to the “real world”, teaching teachers and paraprofessionals (or other administration) how to work on speech therapy goals when the SLP is not present, modeling proper speech and language skills in a student’s natural environment, and more collaboration between professionals (advanceweb.com). While all of these pros sound great, one part that many SLPs struggle with is how to push in to a classroom.

Push-in is done differently in each grade, and I happen to be most familiar with the preschool/Kindergarten age. I typically push-in two days a week. On one day I will do a class lesson for about 20-30 minutes using some of the activities I will describe below. On the other day I will push-in and follow the child’s lead, play with the toys the child wants to play with, and try to expand his/her language or target some specific goals. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it gets easier after some practice.

Here are some activities that I do in the classroom with my little students.

1. I use the book that the classroom is reading that month and create/use activities from the book to expand their language. Many of my preschool classrooms read the same book every day for one month, and I am able to take that book, expand it, and have them do some great language activities to accompany the book. Some activities include following directions, acting out the story (with or without props), and having the students name objects according to a specific concept: colors, shapes, etc.

Example: This month my preschoolers are reading Goodnight Moon. I will use this book during my class lesson to target language goals. I typically re-read the book even if they had already read it that day (repetition is good). I may ask some WH-questions during the reading of the book. I may also ask the students one at a time to name everything on that page that is green (or red, or a circle, or an animal, etc.). This is a good time to target some informal articulation since you can ask the specific student to name something that starts with whatever sound they are working on. I may also get little props and have some of the students act out the story. Then I may instruct them to follow specific directions (I usually work prepositions in here, too).
 

2. I love to use the game Zingo during free choice time. I will have two or three students work with me at one time and play the game with me. This is great for teaching turn taking, expanding sentences, naming objects/animals, and answering WH-questions.



3. Velcro ball and mittens (I got this idea from Pinterest, but I cannot find the original pin now). I buy a bunch of little kid ($1) mittens during the winter months. I put some Velcro pieces on a whiffle. I have everyone sit in a circle with three pictures turned over in front of them. I gently toss or roll (depending on each child’s physical abilities) the ball and they have to “catch” the ball with their mittens (the Velcro sticks to the gloves). When they catch the ball, they turn a picture over, name the picture, and either describe it or answer questions about it. Once their turn is over, I have them toss/roll the ball back to me (or to a friend).


4. Pronoun Dolls – A beginner’s version of this activity: I have pictures of a boy and girl paper doll with a magnetic backing. I place these pictures on the white board in the room. The student, when his/her name is called, picks an object out of a tissue box/bag/hat and names it. Then the student has to decide if the object goes with the boy or girl. The student then sticks the object next to/under the boy or girl and has to say the correct sentence “He/She has a _____”. A more advanced version of this is to have the (dressed) paper dolls on the board and have magnets of clothing that each paper doll is wearing. Then the student has to say “He/She is wearing a _______”. You could also do this with pictures of the paper dolls holding items forcing the student to use the correct he/she verb instead of choosing which verb to say.


5. Old Lady Books – The SLP before me used to do this when she pushed-in to the preschool classrooms, so I have decided to do it this year as well. Read one of the Old Lady Who Swallowed A ________ books with the class and create an Old Lady page for each student (a picture of the old lady with a big circle for her belly – see picture below). At the top of the page it says, “There was an old lady who swallowed a ____________.” At the bottom of the page it says, “I don’t know why she swallowed that ______________.” I have little squares of each item that the old lady has swallowed and I allow each student to select a square from a paper bag/hat/tissue box. Once the student has selected a square, the student then has to match that picture to find another of the same (I usually just carry a bunch around and have them try to find the match). Then the student has to glue the two squares on the blank lines and draw/color a picture of that item in the circle (the old lady’s belly). I have each student say their page (with help) and then I bind the pages together and create a book. I leave the books in the classroom for the students to practice on their own!




6. EET – Using the Expanding Expressions Tool is wonderful in the classroom. There are so many things you can do with it, and the book that accompanies the EET is full of worksheets and ideas! I love using this with my students.


7. Emotions Ping Pong – I draw emotions on ping pong balls, instruct the student to identify the emotion on the ping pong ball, and then shoot it to make a “basket” (I use a large tissue box with the hole cut wider or even a cardboard box/bucket). No, I am not having them try to get the Ping-Pong balls into red Solo cups! This isn’t practice for the future. J You could even put pictures on the ping pong balls or write words if your students can read. This is a lot of fun, but just know that you will have Ping-Pong balls flying all over the place!

 
8. Finally, my last favorite activity is to bring in pictures (or if you can do real-time objects that’s even better) for categorization. I like to team up with the PT on this activity. I will have the student pick an object/picture out of a hat and then hop/crawl/crab walk/etc. to the correct category area and place the object/picture in the right spot. For example, I would place a group of animals to the left, clothes to the right, and food in the middle. I would have the student select an object out of a hat (say it’s an animal), and then that student has to do the activity the PT says to do and place the animal in the animal category. It’s a lot of fun and gets in some good language practice!

I hope these ideas are helpful to you as you push-in to the classroom. I want to hear from others! What do you do when you push-in to classrooms? Do you have any advice for those just starting out doing push-in services?
 
Breanna is an author from the blog Use Your Words. UYW is a collaborative blog written by two elementary school SLPs. The blog covers a variety of speech and language topics including monthly homework ideas, tips for working with preschool and elementary-aged students, and various speech and language activities available for free and for sale. Find out more by visiting their Facebook, Twitter, and blog page!



Monday, October 21, 2013

How to Be A Highly Mobile SLP and Stay Organized


As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
 
The next guest post is written by Natalie Snyders! Enjoy!

For my first three years as an SLP, I was assigned to work for a special education co-op an hour away from my home.  My assignment was to provide services to all parochial school students in two counties, so I ended up travelling to 10 schools in a week, with my office in another building.  Needless to say, this required some serious organization skills!  I wanted to share with you some of the tips and ideas that helped me through those years.
One thing that helped me considerably was to leave a small box of materials at each school.  For some schools, this was a school supply box, while at others (where I had more students) I used larger plastic tubs.  I worked primarily with elementary students, although I had a few preschoolers and middle-schoolers as well.  Some of my must-haves included:
Small Box
Hand sanitizer
Kleenex (travel pack)
Pencils
Highlighter
Box of crayons
Index cards
Glue stick
Finger puppets
Dice
Play-doh (mini tub)
Mini-stapler
Small reward chart with all the student’s names on it (I kept track of homework, attendance, etc. and gave small prizes after ten stars.  This often was as simple as a blank index card where I drew the stars on with a pen.)


Large Box Additions
Small stuffed animal(s)
Markers
Small clip-on basketball hoop and ball
Notepads/paper
Extra office supplies (pens, rubber bands, tape, binder clips, etc.)
Deck of playing cards 
Bouncy ball

For the things I carried around with me every day, I used a large tote bag.  (I tried a rolling cart when I began, but the problem was most of my schools were older and had steps instead of ramps to get into the building, and at several schools I had to work on the second floor.  If you don’t have this problem, I would definitely suggest a rolling cart!)  These essentials included my clipboard, binder with all of my caseload information, homework binder, small travel games (Connect-4, Uno, and Hi-Ho Cherry-O being three of my favorites), stopwatch/counter, and a small bag of prizes.  I also carried around my own little stimulus books for different target areas that eventually inspired Super Duper’s Take Along series.  (Trust me, their version is a lot prettier than mine!  And they expanded my idea so there are even more areas than I created originally – mine was primarily articulation and basic language skills.)  I got an iPad in my second or third year, and this was a huge lifesaver!  I didn’t have to carry around as many materials or games, and made life much easier.
I was fortunate enough to have a “home base” that had a desk, computer, and small amount of storage.  I was able to arrange my schedule that I could be there every day around lunch time, along with one afternoon per week.   This was where I kept track of data, wrote reports, made phone calls, and planned for upcoming therapy sessions.  I also kept many of my books here, so I was able to switch out materials from my homework binder as needed (usually about once a month).

One major thing I had to get used to as a highly mobile SLP was I had to learn to be very flexible.  I used whatever space was available at the time I was at the school – this covered a wide range of spaces including an art room, library, and storage closet – not to mention the hallway when I got desperate!  Since I only visited each school once per week, sometimes the teachers would forget that I was there, and schedule tests and other important class events for the times I was scheduled to take their students.  I learned to rearrange my schedule on the fly as needed.  Sometimes as I drove across town I would run into trains that blocked the road for twenty minutes at a time, which meant I didn’t have time to prep anything when I got to a school, and I had to be ready to go the minute I stepped into the school building.
Since I spent so much time in my car every day, keeping it organized was a must!  I bought several storage crates to keep in the backseat and trunk to store materials that I would use occasionally, so I could just grab them and go.  Because this got messy after a while, I tried to reorganize my car about every month or so to make sure things went back in the right bin, and to switch materials out that I wasn’t using as much.  I kept several empty reusable shopping bags within easy reach in case I wanted to grab a couple of materials for the next school, but didn’t have room in my tote bag for.

            A few other random pieces of advice for travelling SLPs:  Don’t store crayons in your car.  They will melt.  When they melt, they will make a huge mess!  Also, invest in serious weather gear.  When you tromp across huge parking lots and in between buildings most of the day, you will want a good raincoat, umbrella, heavy winter coat, and snow boots.
Being a travelling SLP does have some disadvantages, but it is definitely doable!  The experiences I had in my three years of being highly mobile have definitely made me a better SLP for the years to come.

By Natalie Snyders, MS, CCC-SLP
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natalie-Snyders-on-Teachers-Pay-Teachers/103784796477051

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything Activities!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
The next guest post is written by Felice at TheDabblingSpeechie! Enjoy!

little old lady 2
 Thanks Kristine for having me today! I use books in therapy a lot because it helps give me a starting point with therapy, especially with my language kids. Once I choose a book that I really enjoy, I spend some time dabbling on Pinterest and TPT looking for great materials & ideas for therapy! Today, I am going to share LOTS of ideas, and resources you can use in therapy with the book The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything By Linda Williams.
little old lady
guest post
Here is what I found online (BTW, most are FREE)!!
  • Chapel Hill Snippets found a great You Tube video on how you can read the book to your students. She also made some boardmaker visuals, which I am going to use with my non-verbal and limited language kiddos!
  • Toddler Approved did a Book of the week blog post on how to use to have fun with this book.
  • Playing With Words 365 has an awesome post about how she reads the book to her students. She also shares some cute extension activities and fun preschool aged songs you can sing after reading the story!
  • I found a Mini Unit on TPT from Relax With a Great Book that is FREE and has some great comprehension and writing activities.
TheLittleOldLadyWhoWasNotAfraidofAnythingSpeechLanguageCompanion_Page_01
  • Speech Language Pirates created a fun pack that I bought during the big Back To School TPT sale! It has great graphics and extension activities that tie in nicely with this fun story.
  • The Speech Path has a free Mini Book Tutorial on how to make your own mini story book. You can also access this FREE Minibook template that you could have your students make as a visual story book to help them with retelling the elements from the book. Have your students practice using adjectives to describe what the boots, shirts, pants, hat look like!
  • Grab your flashlight from home, and bring in real life story elements (i.e. jack o lantern, boots, shirt, etc). Turn out the lights in your room and read the book by flashlight. As you come across each story element, let one of your students try to find where the boots or shirt are located in the room. Only do this activity if your students are up for the adventure and won't be scared of the dark!
  • The Home Teacher has a lot of great ideas for scarecrow crafts to incorporate with the book!
What are some of the ways YOU use this book in your therapy room? I hope this post has inspired you and helped lighten your lesson planning load during the busy Fall season!! Thanks again Kristine for having me. I hope you are enjoying motherhood. Visit my blog, facebook, TPT, instagram and Pinterest for more ideas and resources.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Story Elements for SLPs!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.

The next guest post is written by Laura at All Y'all Need! Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Laura from All Y'all Need, and I'm so excited for Kristine! My first-born is a son, so I have a special place in my heart for baby boys!



There are three of us in All Y'all Need - me, an SLP, my librarian sister, and Kg teacher cousin. I have loved working with my sister and cousin, and they have had a huge influence on how I've extended literacy into speech/language therapy.

Why literacy? For me, it's ASHA and TEKS. I'm from Texas, and Texas didn't play in the Common Core sandbox. TEKS has made me aware that I really need to be using a LOT more literacy with my oral language students to help them out communication wise. And guess what? I found a few things I'm going to talk about in Common Core, too!

One strategy I have learned is story elements. Story elements are exactly what you think they are - the parts of the book (title, author, etc) and the story structure (beginning, middle, and end). I love to use books, so breaking them down into details is a natural step.

My sister introduced me to story element cards. Here's a picture of some examples:

I love story element cards in artic/language groups, and they can even be used for fluency. When I'm introducing a book, I pass around the cards according to goals. Language is pretty easy. If a student is working on "where" questions, he gets the Setting card. And so on.

For articulation, I look at sounds. For example, if a student is working on /k/, he would get the Character card and work on saying things like, "The old lady is the main character."

I have a few fluency students in my artic/language groups. I give the fluency students cards with sibilants to practice prolonging the sound. For example, the fluency student might get the Author card to practice saying, "The aaauuthor is Lucille Colandro".

Another benefit of story element cards is that students have written words to refer to. Instead of just telling them what they will need to know from the story, I'm able to give them a written reminder, and they still have to use good listening.

I can address artic/language goals through TEKS. TEKS requires parts of stories and discussions of those for K-5, the grades I serve. How great is that? Well, not so much if you're using Common Core. In looking at ELA-Literacy areas, K-5 all have standards related to reading stories, including:
* K-1 - retell familiar stories, including key details and identify character, setting and main events.
* 2 - ask and answer who, what, where, when, why and how questions
* 3-5 - describe characters and summarize text. For 5th, compare and contrast characters.

To address different needs and grades, I'm offering Story Elements in Color & B&W. The story elements come in color and B&W, and there are also color pages with supporting graphics. Story Elements is in our store on TpT, All Y'all Need. It is usually $1.50, but it will be free for this week, so grab it up and leave feedback!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Favorite Toys for Eliciting Communication


As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
 
The next guest post is written by Jenna at Speech Room News! Enjoy!

Preschool is my favorite area of speech-language pathology. I love to see the impact from early intervention! Today I wanted to share with a few of my 'go-to' therapy items for children who are very young or lower functioning. These items make great motivators and there are pieces so the child has plenty of opportunities to request. Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience. 

My absolute 'go-to' for therapy are the Peek-A-Blocks. I love them and have rounded up quite a group of them. I grab them at Goodwill every chance I get. They make a set of alphabet, food and vehicle blocks. The items inside are all early vocabulary items (plane, duck, banana, etc.)


This little friend and I were working on expressing single words paired with signs (for animals and colors). Of course we built towers and crashed them down! Perfect for 1, 2, 3, go! If you hold the bag of items, you can have the students requesting for each block. The kids just don't get tired of building towers! 

One of my other favorite's is the Busy Gears set. Students add the gears to the base of the unit.


Once they add each gear, they press the red button and watch the toy light up and spin. This is highly motivating for my little guys, especially anyone with sensory issues. 




What are you using to work with the littlest ones on your caseload?

Jenna Rayburn, MA, CCC-SLP is a school based Speech Language Pathologist from Columbus, Ohio. Jenna writes at her Speech Room News. You can follow her on facebook, twitter, instragram and pinterest ((she loves social media)). 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tips for keeping therapy simple!

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions. 

The next guest post is written by Carly at Happily SLP! Enjoy!



When I graduated in May of 2012, I had been searching for a job for almost six months with no luck. Fortunately, I was offered a job two hours away from the city I lived in, and two hours away from my new husband. When I started in August we had only been married for two months. However, this is not a post about long distance relationships, but rather how a less than ideal job can be quite wonderful.
I was nervous taking a job that required me to move so far away. Also, much of the job was going to be really new to me. I had never worked with the birth to three population before, nor had I worked with middle school and high school students. It was intimidating! On top of it all, it was a traveling job working for an educational service unit and not directly for a school. While I was excited to even be offered a job I was apprehensive about the less than ideal situation I had dreamed my first job would be. After a lot of thought and many questions to my potential employers, I took the job.
My first two days were nearly impossible because I was so overwhelmed and homesick (which is say a lot since I lived by myself in Europe for the majority of my college career). My job also required me to do a lot of driving. I averaged about 1000 miles every week and I was covering two school districts and six sites. It was overwhelming and it was hard. I was not use to the long hours (despite the intensity of grad school), nor was I happy about living by myself in a town where I knew no one. I enjoy challenges but this was almost too much. Many days I was going through the motions and hoping that I was doing things correctly. My CFY supervisors, coworkers and online SLP community were a saving grace.
But guess what?!?! Things got better. I found that the drive could be quite beautiful;  it was a wonderful time to think, decompress and or catch up with friends and family over the phone. My students also kept me going. No matter where you go kids are kids. No matter their background, socio-economic status or verification they may or may not have, the students look up to and rely on you. Their smiles and accomplishments helped me through the tough times. They are one of the main reasons I had gone into the SLP field to begin with. In addition, I was extremely fortunate to have the most wonderful colleagues who went out of their way to make me feel at home and a super supportive husband who believed in me.
My job, though less than ideal initially, was just perfect. I was able to grow and learn so much and the challenges were a blessing. Although I have changed jobs I think of my first job very fondly. I would like to think that through it all, it made me a better Speech-Language Pathologist.

Here are some of my tips for limiting materials and keeping therapy simple:

-Plan lessons ahead of time with a variety of target goals. For example, many language games and materials can also be used in articulation and fluency treatment; these are great for carry-over
 
-Pick one set of materials to bring in, limit the number of things you have with you. Since I have so many tpt materials it was important to limit myself to a few things at a time. Picking a theme for that week or for the two weeks helped limit what I brought in
 
-Get a nice rolling bag. I was lucky enough to get a huge scrapbook bag from my mom with a lot of pockets and places to hold things.
 
-Utilize materials that are available to you. You can do a lot with one ball, or one puzzle. Do you have a dry erase board? It can be used to draw and write on and work on any goal.
 
-BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS! I love books. They can be used for every single goal you can imagine to target. Students also love having a book read to them.
 
-Have go to binders with quick worksheets and activities. I have binders with coloring sheets for artic students each separated by sounds and binders with drill sheets of vocab words, homonyms, antonyms, categories, figurative language and much more.
 
-Encourage the student to bring in curriculum materials. Is that student missing social studies everyday? Have them bring in their book and read or work on comprehension questions. No materials needed!
 
-Ipad! Have a variety of apps and games for students. It is amazing how much language you can get while playing a game.
 
-Try to have a designated spot for data and or paperwork so you don't loose it or forget it. I carried around a three inch binder with everything. It was heavy and cumbersome but it was necessary to make sure I was on top of paperwork
 
-Find a spot where ever you work to call your own. Ask about keeping materials there when you don't use them everyday
 
-Utilize travel time in a positive manner. I often used my travel time to plan, call parents for reminders of at home visits or for my own reflection time. Podcasts were also wonderful to keep my brain engaged because I was learning something new everyday.
 
-Be strict on schedule times. If you have to travel to a lot of schools be sure to tell them exactly what days and when you are going to be there. I found that many teachers were much more flexible when I explained the traveling situation and that I could not be going back and forth between schools.
 
-Do not try to be everywhere at once. If you have a meeting that was scheduled on a day you are not typically at that school try to rearrange your schedule to see students and if it doesn't work allow yourself to take a break for students and use that time for paperwork.
Thanks to Kristine from LiveLoveSpeech for having me do a guest post on her blog. My name is Carly Fowler and I am a second year SLP living in Omaha, NE and (still) traveling to a job an hour away although I am only at one site this year. You can follow me on Facebook and visit my tpt store.