Monday, September 30, 2013

"Junk Mail" Speech Therapy

We all know it's a frequent occurrence - you open your mailbox and pull out catalogs and ads. Most speech bloggers I know do not (I repeat DO NOT) throw these things out. In fact, we hardly throw anything out because "YOU CAN USE IT IN THERAPY!" If you need proof, check out my Trader Joe's post. 

Recently, I was graced with this one from Party City. Halloween is just around the corner. Small confession - I have never really liked Halloween. Though I tend to crave bite size chocolate treats around this time...

Back to my point! I usually thumb through these catalogs quickly to see what can be used. 

The pages open up to reveal cute little children dressed up in various costumes. BINGO! Therapy jackpot. 

Goals you can address:
-comparing and contrasting
-expressive language: which costume would you like and why?
-story telling (pick a character and tell a story)
-WH questions (who is wearing a princess costume? what parts are involved in that costume?)
-many, many more :)

*When I do this activity, I plan to use only the kids' costume pages*

Do you like Halloween? Are your students allowed to dress up?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Memory & Speech/Language

I recently came across this article in the Pediastaff newsletter. It suggests that childrens' memories may still be undergoing development even after the age of 7. One of the memorable points for me was the suggestion that we have to consider this when deciding how much and what children are expected to learn. It seems that more and more educational demands are being placed on children - but the question of whether they are capable of meeting these demands remains to be answered. Many states have adopted the Common Core Standards. A 7 year old child would likely be in 2nd grade (give or take). According to the Common Core State Standards, some skills that are memory related include:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1b Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g.,feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1d Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.2d Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g.,cage → badge; boy → boil).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.4d Use knowledge of the meaning of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words (e.g., birdhouse, lighthouse, housefly; bookshelf, notebook, bookmark).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.5a Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g.,describe foods that are spicy or juicy).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
This makes me consider the methods we use to teach our students difficult concepts. The article states that context is important to how much children can remember. There are so many rules in the English language that my students with language disorders struggle with, sometimes because they don't follow a specific "rule" - like irregular plurals and irregular past tense. 

It also reiterates that a lot of language skills require working memory skills, so it's important to focus on these skills too if we expect to see improvement in language skills. 

More research is definitely needed in this area! This article renewed my resolve to help my students make memorable connections between concepts, vocabulary, etc. as this seems to be the best way to help improve their memory skills. 

Some memory strategies that I like to use in my sessions include:
*create a sentence (for words, numbers, etc)

Some activities that might be helpful with memory skills include the following:
Auditory Farm - Speech Universe
Auditory Memory Magic - Miss Speechie
iPod Auditory Memory - The Speech Bubble
Football Pursuit - Carissa TenHoeve

What are your thoughts regarding how memory affects speech/language skills?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Peek At My Week 9/27

Now that it's almost the end of September, I felt like some fall activities would be just the ticket this week!

Craft: Handprint Trees and Falling Leaves 

Disclaimer: affiliate links are included for your convenience

I've seen Pinterest pins using all sorts of handprints for different crafts, but most included paint. With such short sessions, I didn't want to have to worry about washing hands! My school has an elision cutter, so I cut some assorted tiny leaves out of red, green, yellow, and orange paper. I had my students trace there hands for the tree part and glue on some leaves. The picture below was my sample for them to see a finished product. 

We talked about synonyms (fall/autumn, etc), multiple meaning words (fall, trunk), answered WH questions about the fall season, talked about the process of leaves turning pretty colors and falling off the trees and generally had a good time. For some of my younger kids, we read We're Going On a Leaf Hunt, which is a great book!

I see preschool-6th grade students with a wide range of goals, so I used the craft with almost all the students, but tailored drill-like activities around it. If they were articulation kids, I wrote some words on their leaves to take home and practice. If they were language kids, they got to glue a couple leaves after answering a question or two. It was a great way to target a variety of goals while still making speech fun AND effective. 

What did you do this week?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A-HA Moment: UNO

It happened again! Just browsing through some of my games, I noticed an Uno game that I rarely pull out. I was just in some kindergarten classrooms where they are learning to sort by color, shape, etc. It hit me then...I can help foster these skills and practice speech skills at the same time!! 


Pull out a green, red, yellow, and blue piece of construction paper and lay on the floor (I took the picture before I did this). Separate out just the number cards and shuffle. Have your students take turns picking a card, matching the color and then sneak in some speech/language! Say the number of words on the card, answer a WH question, follow a direction (or two) before matching the card to the paper color. Score!! Recycled game fun! I'm surprised it hadn't come to me before!!

I love hearing about your A-HA moments! Had any good ones lately?!

Monday, September 23, 2013

S...Peachy Feedback Linky Party September 2013

It's that time again!! S...peachy Feedback for September!! After perusing comments left by some of my fabulous followers, I have chosen a winner: 

If you are Heather Porter, please email me at with your choice of product (excludes bundles). If you're interested in checking out the product she reviewed, click HERE

Once again, don't forget you can earn TpT credits for purchasing items and leaving feedback! It's a win-win for you! Thank you for continuing to follow my little blog! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: Baselines

I have all new students this year, so I knew that I wanted something that would be quick and easy to get some baselines. I find it easy to obtain baselines for articulation students, but it's somewhat more difficult to get them for language students. I decided to make my life a little easier and make something that some of you might get some use out of as well! Click the picture to grab your copy!

Note: I see students in preschool-6th grade. I realize not all of these areas are appropriate for all grades, but I just chose sections that were appropriate for each student to get a general idea of where everyone was functioning. 

How do you go about getting baselines for your students?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Love It and List It Linky: Vocabulary Activities

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.

This month, Jenna Rayburn's Love It and List It Linky features vocabulary activities. Check out her post here.

Here's what I use on a pretty regular basis:

1. Books: This is a no-brainer. I like to use books to discuss new vocabulary! It's quick and can quickly generate conversations in small groups, as the students discuss what they know and hear what others have to say.

2. Super Duper Sentence Building Fun Deck: These pictures are actually designed for sentence building, but I found that the pictures are pretty "busy" which leaves a great opportunity for discussing different vocabulary words (nouns, adjectives, etc). Some of my students really need visual pictures, so this is great.

3. Learning Games For Kids website: This website has a multitude of vocabulary games, including synonyms, antonyms, and homophones.

4. Teachers Pay Teachers activities: My fellow SLPs are enormously talented and creative, so why not use some of theirs and some of mine? Below are my favorites:

Out of This World Context Clues from Carrie's Speech Corner
Bug Out: A Multiple Meaning Word Activity from Let's Talk Speech Therapy
Secret Word from Sublime Speech
Don't Say It Describing Dash and Mirror-SYNANT are some of my most used products from my store 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reader Response: Lateral Lisp

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. I am an Amazon affiliate. 

Recently, I asked my Facebook fans what their tips were for the dreaded lateral lisp. As always, people came up with a bunch of different tips!! See below:

Most people swore by the following techniques:

1. Straight Up Speech by Jane Folk: You can search this on; however, it's currently unavailable. From what other SLPs have said, this program involves shaping a rapid /t/ into a correct production of /s/.

2. Straw technique: This is similar to the technique described above. You place a straw in the front teeth and when the student can hear the air through the straw, it's correct. If s/he cannot hear it, it is still lateralized. 

3. Magic Slide visual: This is created by a fellow SLP named Mia and her product can be found here.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Reader Response! Let me know via email at if there's a question you'd like me to pose! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Peek At My Week: First Full Week

Decided to start a new blog feature called Peek At My Week. No promises that it will happen EVERY week, as life can sometimes get in the way. I will do my very best though!

This was the first full week of students. I was going strong until this morning when all energy seemed to just disappear. I mean, like nowhere to be found. I did manage to make it through the day, but by the time I left at 4PM, I was beat. I'm sure many of you can relate to this feeling!

My week went like this:

Monday: Students are let out around 1pm, so I didn't have as many students/groups to see. That was a nice ease-in to the week. Everything seemed to go smoothly, which sort of freaked me out.

Tuesday: I did several schedule changes as I went to pick up kids, realized different times weren't working, etc. Had fun meeting more students and putting faces to names to goals. I tend to start associating kids with goals early on, so that I'm not constantly checking my excel sheet with names/goals. Sharing a space also means figuring out what I need to bring and where I can take students when I'm not in that space!

Wednesday: More schedule changes. I realized that some kids that I had originally put together may not work well together, which resulted in more schedule changes. 

Thursday: M.S.C. It has now become an acronym in my head. I write on post-its, scribble on my clipboard, etc. in a desperate effort to keep it all straight! I met some more of my students and kept linking faces to names. Participated in a couple meetings, which helped to see how things are run at my school. 

Friday: Hit the wall. As in, brick wall to the face. Done. I did see some students today, though not as many and made M.S.C. It's all good. It's Friday, people!!

Good things: I loved meeting all the kids. When asked what they did in speech last year, I got a variety of answers...some of which made me laugh. One thing is for sure: I love working with kids and figuring out new and different ways to address all their goals. It's sure going to be a rollercoaster of a year!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reader Response: Push In Speech Services

Time for something new! I love posting a question on my Facebook page and getting responses from SLPs across the country. I decided to start a new blog feature called Reader Response. If a question becomes a longer discussion, I will then do a blog post with all the fabulous responses. This way, you'll be able to reference it later on. 

 A couple days ago, the question focused on push-in service delivery:

Here were all the wonderful responses:

Excited about the next discussion!! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 2013 SLP Link Up

Laura has a new September SLP Link Up started here! Join the link up fun!

This year, September meant a new school for me!

School-ing: new students! I have a brand new (to me) caseload, so I'll soon be having fun learning new names and goals. I can't wait to find out what makes my students tick.

Excited: I love all things pumpkin when fall rolls around. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread. I love to bake, so these tend to show up quite a lot!

Prepping: I don't have a real therapy room, so I'm needing to rethink my therapy strategy. I want grab and go things, so that I can stay on schedule. 

Trying: more push in. My school this year likes inclusion, so I'll be pushing into the classroom a lot more than I have in the past. I'm excited about the possibility of co-teaching and getting creative with how I work in speech/language goals!

How is your September shaping up?! :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

School Is Back In Session (and a new APP COMPANION PACKET)!

And breatheeeeee a big sigh of relief that the first day of school is OVER! I thought I was so prepared: my (8th) schedule was set, I'd ventured outside of my "room" without the school map a few times, I remembered some teachers' names, and I was ready to go. Right?! 

Well, maybe not so much...

The day went quickly and it was fun to see all the kids excited about coming back to school. But I didn't really accomplish anything other than going into some of the classrooms to at least put faces to names. I have to complete kindergarten screenings this week, so I will do the dry run of my schedule next week. Good thing this week is only 4 days!!!

It will get better. I did want to share something exciting that I finally finished up last week. If you remember my speech/language companion packet for the My PlayHome app, then you'll love the latest addition to my TpT store: My PlayHome STORES Companion Packet! I received permission from the author to create this one too! This one has all the same pages as the original one, plus a few different ones. Take a peek at some of the pages below:

It includes:
pg. 3-6: vocabulary for each store
pg. 7-10: 1 step directions separated by store
pg. 11-13: 2 step directions
pg. 14: 3 step directions
pg. 15-18: concepts that can be targeted by store
pg. 20: receptive clue activity
pg. 21: expressive activity
pg. 21-24: life skills questions targeted by store
pg. 25-28: price lists – Give your students play money and have them purchase items.
pg. 29: additional activity ideas

I hope you'll try this one out! I'm giving one away for free, so enter below: