Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Want To Start A Social Skills Group?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

There are several resources on Michelle Garcia Winner's website, so click here to be taken there. I am following bits and pieces of her programs, along with tailoring the group to the needs of these particular students. 

This year, I decided to hold a lunchtime social skills group (sometimes called a "lunch bunch") for a couple of my 5th graders who need some social skill training. While I haven't done this before (for various reasons), I thought I would get my feet wet this year and see how it goes. Benefits are two-fold: the students get to work on social skills and they don't miss academic time because it's during lunch.

First, I touched base with the parents to let them know a little bit about the group and what it would entail. 

Second, I went to let the students know what day they would be joining be for lunch. They were excited, which was great.

Third, I decided to start with Michelle Garcia Winner's You Are A Social Detective. These particular students have pretty good language skills, but sometimes struggle with the social aspect of the classroom. I printed a simple outline of a brain and we wrote down what kinds of "smarts" we have. I didn't spend too much on this concept, as they seemed to catch on quickly.  

We then talked about the "think vs. say" concept. They could provide examples of times when we should think things vs. times when we can say things. We spent a whole session on this concept. I provided the topic, like "birthday party" and we made a list of things you should think and things you should say. 

It depends on your group, but we then moved onto the Superflex book because they picked up on concepts quickly. They LOVE the superhero aspect of Superflex. I'm picking and choosing some lessons from this book based on what I feel they need to work on. The big themes for this group are: think vs. say, understanding body language, and discussing a non-preferred topic. 

These tools are great way to start up a social skills group! Try it out!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Peek At My Week 9/28

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience. 

Week #5! It's almost October. I have a few fun things planned for the month of October. Check the blog on October 1st to see something new I'm trying!

My goal to plan by the month is still going pretty well. I have to really sit down and plan for the rest of October, but this coming week is set. At the end of the month, I always need to go back and make sure I've hit or attempted to hit IEP goal times and such. Lately, I've also had a lot of testing and reports to complete (got three done on Friday night). It's a lot for the brain to wrap itself around!

Preschool: All districts vary, but we see preschool students for artic only. While I try to work in language concepts as I can, it is not the focus of therapy sessions. Sometimes finding engaging activities that will still get lots of trials can be a challenge! Lately, my preschoolers have loved Cariboo and this pirate ship I picked up on clearance at Target. Note - I put batteries in it, because there are sound effects. I might be taking them out though because it can be distracting. There are little cannons that can shoot out. I will drill and then give them the cannons to shoot. Hasn't lost its charm yet!

I also frequently use Super Duper's Giant Book of Phonology cards!

Autism: I'm doing the same things from last week, as I like to do the same thing for at least a couple weeks so they have time to grasp the vocabulary/concepts. They liked the fall vocabulary. I programmed the vocabulary onto one student's iPad, so we could work on matching the label with the picture and do various other things with that. We did a matching game, which was great for expanding utterance length using carrier phrases.

K-5: I'm using the Apples section of S.A.L.L. for ALL: Fall (click picture) for tons of my kids. 

Younger ones are doing the associations, sentences, and following directions. Older ones are using the apple types and apples in the bucket activities. All are using the stories since there are 2 levels of the stories. I'll work in the included craft as I can. I'll probably use pieces of this for next week too!

Other things I'm using this week:

Articulations Menus from Speechy Musings

Fire Safety "What Ifs" (free) from Elementary Matters:

Since I'm doing a lot of testing lately, I'm also using my Informal Language Assessment (click the picture)! It's been really easy to collect some language data on my kids who are a little harder to test!

That's a wrap for this week! See you next week!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wipe Out Artic & Has/Have: Therapy Ideas

Popping in to share a couple therapy gems that worked well for me this week!

First, I hope you have one of these:

And by "these" - I really just mean the magnetic barrier for the barrier games from Super Duper. I bought it way back when Super Duper was still holding their 50% off weekly sales (really wish they'd bring that back) and it continues to be one of my best purchases to date. I use it for tons of things, not just barrier games. 

Idea #1: Earlier this week, I shared this picture on my Facebook page. It's how I worked on has/have with one student. I had little magnets from something else and it was fun to stick them on and then tell who had what. Obviously, I am a very good artist...just kidding!

Idea #2: Wipe Out Artic: This "game" would be appropriate for kids who have nearly mastered the word level of any sound. It worked with a first grader, I just read the words and had her repeat them as quickly as she could.

I wrote a bunch of words on one side of the board. I had a timer and an eraser on hand. I told the student we were going to see how fast she could get "wipe out" all the words. I set the timer and off we went. In order for me to erase a word, she had to articulate it correctly. If she didn't, I moved on to the next word without erasing it. We went through the list until all the words were gone. I wrote another set of words on the board and we did it again and she tried to beat her time.

That's it for now! Hope you're enjoying your Saturday so far!

Friday, September 26, 2014

{Review + Giveaway}: Let's Learn Emotions App

Disclaimer: A copy of this app was provided; however, the opinions expressed are solely my own.

It's time for another app review! This time, I'm reviewing Let's Learn Emotions from Everyday Speech. Plus, you have a chance to win a copy, so read through. 

Below is the screen you see when you open the app. There are 4 different activities: Matching, Discussion, Flashcards, and Manage Emotions. There are 15 emotions included; however, you can easily add your own. 

In the matching, discussion and flashcard activity, you first are taken to a screen where you can choose which emotions to work on. I love this feature!

This is what the matching game looks like: 

Below are some of the cards from the discussion game. You are presented with two cards. The one of the left gives a discussion question, while the card on the right gives the emotion. The group that I tried this with had a good time acting out the emotions. 

If you click the emotion card, it provides a picture of the emotion. 

Below is a picture of what the flashcard practice looks like. You are presented with flashcards and the student needs to name the emotion. What's great about this is that you can add your own and practice those as well within this activity. 

The last activity is "manage emotions." This is where you can add your own. I had my students draw pictures of particular emotions and then we talked about what our eyes, mouth, and body would do if we were feeling a particular emotion. Then I snapped a picture and it added it to the app! 

What I Liked:
-ability to add your own emotions
-discussion game really made it helpful for kids with more language abilities to act things out
-this would work well for kids at varying levels
-ability to choose which emotions to target

What I Would Love To See:
-more advanced emotions added

Overall, this app seems different from some of the other emotions apps I've tried. I like that it can work from a very basic level up to a more advanced level. I especially love the ability to add your own emotions! 

Enter below to for a chance to win a copy of these app! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Speech Room Staples Linky Party

Shannon at Speechy Musings is hosting her first linky party! The topic is TpT Products You NEED in Your Speech Room.

These are some of my most used materials from other sellers:

1. Natalie Snyders's Grammar Progress Monitoring Tool: All her progress monitoring tools are awesome!

2. CVC Words Ice Cream Scoops from Expressly Speaking: I have a bunch of preschoolers on my caseload working on FCD, so these are a fun way to do that. They love ice cream!

3. Reader's Theater from Denise Polley: The kids LOVED performing the plays and have asked me to do so again. 

4. Cariboo Cards for Early Sounds from Kathy Grover: It's for Cariboo, people!! Kids and SLPs alike love this game! Again, I have lots of preschoolers working on early developing sounds!

From my store, you might be interested in my WH Questions with Visual Choices. These are perfect for those kids who are need visual choices to answer WH questions.

If you're like me and love the My PlayHome app, then you'll love my app companion pack! It has tons of ideas to target language skills right at your fingertips, so you don't have to come up with them off the top of your head! There's also a My PlayHome Stores companion as well. 

Thanks to Shannon for hosting this fun linky party!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gratitude Challenge - SLP Style!

Have you seen Gratitude Challenges popping up on your Facebook newsfeed (next to the ice bucket challenge videos)? I have! I've seen different versions, but I believe this is the original website --> http://www.gratitudechallenge.com.

This challenge proposes that you describe something you're grateful for for 21 days. I'm altering it a little to make it fit the lives of busy SLPs. Below I'm naming 21 things that I'm grateful for:

1. My family: they are my anchor :)
2. My friends: they keep me sane :)
3. Having a job that I enjoy: maybe not every single aspect, but I love doing therapy!
4. This blog: since I started this adventure almost 2 years ago, it's been a creative outlet.
5. TpT: I make a lot of materials for my caseload anyway, so I love that I can help other SLPs out by sharing. Plus it has helped me begin to make a tiny dent in student loans.
6. Baking/cooking: this is something I love to do when I have time.
7. Reading: I loved to read as a kid and I still love to read!
8. Exercise: I like to run. I'm grateful that I'm able to be active.
9. Reality TV: sometimes, it's necessary to just have something to laugh at
10. Online SLP community: I've "met" such great sources of inspiration online! 
11. Being happy: not all day, every day, but 95% of the time I really think I am!
12. Reeses Pieces: because sometimes a girl's gotta eat chocolate + peanut butter
13. Gummy bears: because sometimes a girl wants something gummy
14. Grandparents: I'm lucky to have had great ones in my life
15. Phone: I don't live near my family, so I need a phone to stay in touch
16. Looking at the ocean: I don't get to do this nearly as often as I'd like, but I love it when I do!
17. Confidence: Since leaving college, I think I've become a bit more confident in my abilities 
18. Motivation to keep learning: while I may not be motivated 100% of the time, I like to learn new things!
19. Music: helps me unwind, keep running, etc.
20. My health: aside from a few aches and pains, I'm in good health
21. YOU!!! People like you who read my posts!

So now I must ask: fellow SLPs, what are YOU grateful for?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peek At My Week 9/21

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience!

Week #4! I'm sure I'll stop numbering the weeks at some point, but right now it's a small success to make it through another week.

Plans for this week:

K-2 crowd: We're reading The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston. It's a cute story about a scarecrow who makes friends the with animals that are scared of him at first. I found a cute free black and white clipart scarecrow from Mrs. Heather on TpT, so I printed a page size version for the kids to color. We will read the story, answer WH questions, find words with our sounds, retell the story, etc.


3rd-5th crowd: I plan to use parts of Super Power Speech's Fall Into Language Level 3. I think I'll be using this for this week and next because it's full of so many different activities. Lots of my kids are working on expanding their sentences, story retell/comprehension, etc. I am also waiting for the color ink that I ordered to come so I can print off my S.A.L.L. for ALL: FALL packet and get it laminated!

Preschool crowd: I picked up a Diggity Dog game the last time I was at the thrift store, so I plan to use this game as a reinforcer while we work on our target sounds.

Autism: I'm focusing on fall vocabulary this month and next month. I generally use the same materials for at least a couple weeks with these students. Some of the things I'm using include:

This freebie from Amanda Butt to work on bigger/smaller concepts plus vocabulary (click the pictures to be taken to the activity):

This freebie from creative classroom lessons for fall vocabulary: 

This freebie from thedabblingspeechie to work on prepositions in a functional manner:

Plus, I'll be using parts of my S.A.L.L packet (as soon as that ink comes)!

Hope this helps you out a little!