Sunday, March 31, 2013

Busy Weekend! Psst...freebie

Happy Easter, Passover, Spring Break to you all!

Decided to throw a freebie your way in the form of April Fool's Articulation (which is very similar to my 100th Day Articulation that people seemed to like). Click the picture below to be taken to the April Fool's activity and see an example below:

Some other new products in my store are: Multisyllabic Flowers and Mirror  - Summer Shades. Click on the title pages to be taken to the product! For Multisyllabic Flowers, I included some cards with pictures and some without, in an effort to get everyone what they needed:

Mirror - Summer Shades focusing on auditory memory and organization. Each pair of "shades" has 4 words that have to be rearranged to formulate a grammatically correct sentence. 

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: Assessments

Next up: Assessments!

Since graduating, I've definitely become much more comfortable with assessments. After a few times of giving a test, I think you become more comfortable with it. There are still moments of panic, such as "wait...I can't remember the ceiling!!!" 

Outside of articulation tests, most testing situations can be long and may get rather boring for a student. Read on for my tips for keeping a student's attention during testing situations:

1. Magic Wand: I picked up some drink stirrers from Target on clearance one time (red and green). They are simple plastic "wand" type things with a plastic figure on top (I think one is a flower and one is a circle type thing). When subtests require students to point to pictures and they're getting antsy, I usually say "do you want to use the magic wand?" For whatever reason, it holds their attention for awhile!

2. Time's Up: This is sort of a no-brainer. If students respond well to timers, you can set one for a certain amount of time and then take a break when it goes off. 

3. Magnetic Wand and Chips: Gotta love these things! Lay a bunch out on the table and let the student pick up a chip with the wand after answering a few questions. 

4. Coin In The Cup: I have some plastic coins that are great for students who like to "earn" something for doing a good job. Simply drop a coin in the cup after a few questions!

5. Pay Up: Use some play money and give students a dollar for answering a certain amount of questions. 

6. Treasure Chest Trip: Sometimes just promising a trip to my treasure chest is enough to make students keep working!

What are YOUR tips for keeping students' attention during testing?

Friday, March 22, 2013

SLP Link Up

I decided to participate in this SLP Link Up started by Laura of Oh, How Pintearesting! Click on the link to get instructions if you'd like to join!

Font is by Cara Carroll of the First Grade Parade.

State of Mind: Excited! Spring is here and I'm making some life changes in the next few months that I'm really excited about!! More about that later. I just love spring, because it means summer is just around the corner!

Loving: Blogging. I started in November of 2012 and have truly enjoyed this new venture. The SLP community is so supportive that it makes me proud to be a part of it!

Prepping: Apraxia Packet for Early Sounds from Lauren LaCour of Busy Bee Speech and Word Finding Fun At the Circus from Miss Speechie of Speech Time Fun! 

Look for some fun, new spring related materials from me!! 

Clinical Skills Confidence: Talking To Parents

I have decided to start a new section of my blog called Clinical Skills Confidence. I have been out in the "working SLP world" for almost 3 years. I have learned SO much in the past few years and it's been a rollercoaster of feelings. There are some areas that I feel a bit more confident in, as well as some areas that I know I need more experience with. 

I have not forgotten that feeling of "I don't know what to do with this."

Each time I post under this section, I'll be discussing a topic that I'm sure someone out there can relate to. It might be an area that I feel more confidence in or it might be one that I'd like to learn more about. As SLPs, our field covers such a broad range of topics. I'm pretty sure you'd have to be super-human to be an expert in EVERYTHING. Join me on this journey!

First up: talking to parents! Fresh out of grad school, I walked into the schools and was suddenly faced with IEP meetings, which meant talking to parents. There was no class in grad school that taught how to do this. Sometimes at meetings, I was reporting scores and telling parents that their child needed speech therapy. It's definitely a little scary the first few times. These are the tips that I learned in my CF:

1. Write up an outline: It helped me to have all my information written down together. If it was an initial meeting where we were reporting results and discussing the need for therapy, I printed out a copy of my report and highlighted important areas that I wanted to talk about (scores, what they meant, etc). 

2. Let them ask questions: I usually always ended by asking if the parents had any questions. I would generally always provide my email or phone number, so they could contact me later on when and if they thought of questions.

3. Keep the jargon to a minimum: "Johnny demonstrates fronting errors, which means he produces alveolar sounds instead of velar sounds. This negatively impacts his intelligibility." Excuse me, what?! While I would use the "technical terms," I would then also describe things in terms that were easier to understand. "Instead of producing the 'k' sound, Johnny produces the 't' sound, so 'cat' sounds like 'tat.'" 

4. Provide handouts: Super Duper has tons of great handouts that can be given to parents to provide additional information. 

5. Slow down: I tend to talk quickly, especially if I'm nervous. So I have to constantly remind myself to SLOW DOWN. Sometimes I would even draw a little squiggly line on my paper, which reminded me to slow down. 

Hope this was informative! What are your tips for talking to parents?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

HUGE Spring Speechie Giveaway!

There are some exciting things going on in the speech world this month! One of them happens to be a HUGE giveaway that I am participating in along with some other really awesome SLP bloggers. 

Head over HERE to Kids Games for Speech Therapy and check out all the amazing items that are part of the giveaway!

I decided to giveaway the most popular item from my store which is the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN Questions With Visuals. I also decided to add the WHAT Questions Add On Pack.  That's a WHOLE lot of WH questions!! 

There are opportunities for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize and the giveaway runs from now until March 21st, 2013. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 15, 2013

App Companion Packet?

By now, you've probably heard of all the great book companion packets that SLPs have created to go along with popular books. Here's something that I think is a new concept: app companion packets!

I have received permission from the author of the My PlayHome app to create this packet specifically designed for SLPs. This is by far one of my favorite apps to use in therapy sessions! I wanted to create something that could be a go-to resource for a variety of skills that SLPs target on a regular basis. 

Bear with me for this long post as I want to give a good description of this packet!

This is a picture from the packet with everything that is included:

Each room is on a separate page and features the vocabulary items that are in each room. There is a receptive and expressive task that can be carried out for each room:

There are 1 step directions (again separated by room):

There are two versions of 2 step directions. One version DOES NOT involve switching rooms and one DOES in order to make it a little more difficult. The star shows the abbreviations I used for each room:

 3 step directions don't involve switching rooms:

There is a page for each room with concepts that can be targeted, such as on, off, in front, behind, etc:

There is also a page with additional activity ideas. I really hope you enjoy using this! It can be found HERE. Please download the preview in order to get a better idea of what's included. To win a copy, leave a comment below and I'll pick someone on Sunday! 

Maybe more app companion packets to come? :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ode to Target

This post is purely for fun. If you are an SLP and have a Target within a 50 mile radius, I'm guessing that you a frequent customer. By frequent, I mean you go weekly (sometimes more than that if you found a good idea on Pinterest or speech blog and the author mentioned picking up items at Target). 

Hi, I am the author of Teach Speech 365 and I freely admit that I will go to Target just to walk around - which usually results in me leaving with SOMETHING that I plan to use in therapy. So I give you a poem - maybe it'll put a smile on your face!


Oh Target, how I love thee,
I always leave with at least one item (or thirty three),

I'm just one fairly crafty SLP,
Big material budgets, we don't have (usually),

So I need to find other ways,
To help my students practice their L's, R's and K's,  

This means I spend a lot of time in the Dollar Spot,
Looking for that yellow, red, or blue dot,

There's always some fun, seasonal things,
That make my students feel like queens and kings, 

Educational, silly, or a storage bin, 
Not getting excited should really be a sin,

I can find a colorful tray, 
Sorting for categories or seasons - what the hey?

Play dough for a little hand,
Maracas or instruments, let's make a band,

Craft materials or a little treat,
Make my students say, "speech is really neat!"

Ask any SLP, they will say "I got it at Target!"
Don't ever go out of business because SLPs will throw a giant fit!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Irregular Past Tense Rhyme Time + Giveaway

I notice that I work on irregular past tense A LOT with several of my students. Being that it's "irregular," I'm constantly looking for ways to target it so that students will remember the irregular past tense form. I decided rhyming was the way to go. 

I give you: Irregular Past Tense Rhyme Time!

This is unlike any other activity I currently have in my TpT store, but different isn't bad! 

There are 20 common irregular past tense verbs that are included. Each is on a separate page, so that they can be compiled into a book. 

The first sentence uses the verb in present tense. The last word in the sentence rhymes with the irregular past tense form; rhyming words are underlined. Verbs themselves are in capital letters. Rhyming words are also found in the speech bubbles. The idea is that this may help students remember the past tense verb form more easily!

There is a reproducible worksheet included so that students can have additional practice with using the irregular past tense verb form in sentences.

There is also a reproducible mini booklet that students can put together to take home. 

There is also a pre/post-test and word list included! Get it HERE if you think it will help your students!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Quick Fix Therapy Idea

Not sure if any of you already do this, but yesterday during a session, I was using Super Duper's Social Skills Chipper Chat. Actually, I had the box on my counter and a preschooler asked if we could play with it. Maybe it's the red box...but I have a lot of younger kids who just want to see what's inside! I pulled out the mats that you're supposed to have the students put the chipper chat chips on and suddenly it hit me! He's an artic kid and we just discussed the pictures - great for an intelligibility rating!

After the session, I took myself to the copier to see if it would work the way I had hoped. It did!

I made a few copies of some of the mats:

BAM! Instant Do-A-Dot sheets for when you *forget* to print out a seasonal one...

For the dots that are blank, you could write in words with artic sounds that a child might be working on. Some of the boards have pictures of items in the dots - great for language kids who might be naming attributes, categories, WH questions, etc! 

Does anyone else do this?