Tuesday, December 31, 2013

14 "Speech"-solutions for 2014

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

I'm not in the habit of making New Year's Resolutions. Mainly because I feel like they are somewhat doomed to fail. However, I decided to rename them "speech"-solutions and I definitely have made some of THOSE. Here are 14 speech-related things I'd like to do in 2014:

1. Take the Introduction to PROMPT course: I will be checking this one of the list in February and will be sure to blog about my experience!

2. Plan smarter, not harder: I find myself planning each and every weekend, so I'd like to start planning monthly so that I have more time for friends and other things I like to do.

3. Follow more speech blogs - this a guilty pleasure! I have "met" so many other bloggers since starting mine in November 2012, so I'd like to continue to network and share ideas.

4. Pin more! You can follow my boards HERE. Pinterest is definitely an inspiration for not only speech, but recipes, fitness, fashion, etc. I'm always looking for people to follow, so let me know of cool boards that you like!

5. Actually download and use all the free things I've wish listed from TpT!

6. Find engaging, motivating, and educational apps that I can use in therapy. Of course, not all the time, but I love finding new apps that can help my students.

7. Read Bringing Words To Life! I've heard such great things about this book, and I really need to get ahold of a copy so I can see what it's all about.

8. Delve deeper into the Social Thinking Program: Look for blog posts about how I introduce these topics in the next few months.


9. Find new and different ways to use materials I already have!

10. Make more materials/activities to use with my students!

11. Learn more about Childhood Apraxia of Speech - this is an area I feel weakest in, so I'd like to learn whatever I can about this topic.

12. Collaborate with teachers to do more push-in services whenever possible.

13. Post more questions on my Facebook page to garner discussion! I love reading all the things people have to say in response to a question!

14. Give myself a break from all things speech to enjoy other hobbies - it's never far from mind, but learning how to switch it on and off would probably be a good thing!

What are some of your "speech"-solutions for 2014??

Monday, December 30, 2013

Social Thinking: Introducing Perspective Taking

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included for your convenience.

Part of the social thinking program is teaching perspective-taking. This can be a rather difficult skill to teach to students who are more rigid in their thinking. 

Perspective-taking is one of the lessons in the book "Thinking About You, Thinking About Me" (pictured below). I have to admit, when I got this book, it was a little overwhelming to me. Having time over this winter break to delve into a little is great, because I never really have the kind of time I'd like when school is in session. I decided to try out an activity with one of my private clients. 

One part of the book describes the differences between an Emerging Perspective Taker and an Impaired Interactive Perspective Taker. My client has some qualities of both, but seems to be more of Emerging Perspective Taker. I knew that I would need to adapt this lesson a little for this specific client. I wrote 5 different people on pieces of paper: mom, doctor, waiter, cashier, and friend. I write comments that each person might say on some speech bubbles that I found (free) and cut them out. Click on the picture below to grab a copy of the speech bubbles.

You could also use these cute ready to go sticky note speech bubbles:

Then I laid out the "people" labels and we decided which person might make each comment. This led to great discussion because some of them actually could've been made by more than one person. At the end of the activity, it looked like this:

I think I'll definitely be trying this out with some of my other kids. We talked about how sometimes we need to take the perspective of another person. I think this was a good way to introduce the topic. More to come!! 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

An SLP's Poem For 2013

Graphics: Lovin Lit

2013 you're almost done,
You've really been so much fun,

Full of articulation drills, 
And games to target language skills, 

We've worked on "s," "th", and the dreaded "r,"
So students could get their speech up to par,

Synonyms, antonyms, and multiple meaning words,
Learning phrases like "it's for the birds!"

We practiced following directions, 1 and 2 step,
The students added so much pep,

IEP meetings, evaluations, and more,
Made your eyes, ears and typing fingers a little sore,

We practiced grammar, like an irregular past tense verb, 
Some days the students wanted to kick those to the curb,

Expanding sentences, from one to three to five,
Successful students made you feel like you did a 10 point dive,

Working sounds from syllables to words to conversation,
One step closer to being done,

WH questions: like who, what, where, when, and why,
Having a student "get it" made you want to cry,

We program AAC devices to help students communicate, 
So they might be able to one day ask someone on a date,

Some days you went home completed wiped out,
But you always go back; there's never any doubt,

So 2013, you've been great,
What 2014 has in store is still up to debate! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Song Lyrics in Speech Therapy

Graphics: Lovin Lit

I hope everyone had a good Christmas (if you celebrate it) or at least some time with your families!

Who doesn't love music? I wanted to share another therapy idea that I plan to use in the new year. Song lyrics! Plus, you get a freebie out of it, so definitely keep reading! 

First, I downloaded a free app called SongFreaks - this can be found here. You can search any song and it will bring up the lyrics. I searched Wheels on the Bus as a demo. 

The great thing is that if there is a YouTube video, you can also watch it through the app (you'll need an internet connection though). I thought this would be a different way to practice articulation and language skills. I made up some basic worksheets to use, that can be downloaded here

Kids can find words with their sounds - and then take the worksheet home for more practice.

 Kids who have language goals can look through the lyrics and find words/phrases they don't know. This would be a great activity to use context clues to try to figure out the meanings of words. They can find words that have multiple meanings, synonyms, and antonyms using this worksheet. You can always create your own worksheet if these don't fit your needs too! 

I think this will be a fun activity to try in January! What do you think?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blooper Reels in Speech Therapy

Graphics and font: Lovin Lit

I don't know about you, but I love watching the blooper reels of movies. For some reason, it's impossible to not crack at least one smile. I recently had the idea that I could use these to my advantage in therapy sessions. 

First, we will start by discussing the term "blooper reel." I'm sure this will garner lots of funny responses, if kids aren't familiar with this term. Once we do that, we can move on to the video portion of the lesson.

Below are some video clips from YouTube. They are from kid friendly movies; however, you should preview them to make sure they are appropriate for your students. 

This one is appropriate for preschool-kindergarten:

This one is appropriate for older elementary students (Diary of a Wimpy Kid):

This one is appropriate for 5th-high school (Harry Potter):

This one is appropriate for middle-high school (Hunger Games):

As you're watching them, pause and discuss why certain things were funny. This would be a great exercise for kids who have difficulty picking up on humor! Talk about what the characters should have been doing. These are movies that your students may have seen so they will know what was supposed to be happening during certain scenes. 

What do you think? Will you use this in your sessions?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Love It & List It Linky

This month's Love It and List It Linky is holiday activities! These have been hits in my room:

1. Paper Plate Snowmen: Read more about these here. These are really simple, but can target so many different goals.

2. Check It Twice: This is a holiday themed activity that targets inferences, recalling details, and reasoning skills! 

3. Holiday Card Describing: I'm sure you get at least a handful of holiday cards from friends/family. This would be a great activity for before or even after the holidays! Bring in some of your cards and let the language flow. Download these free worksheets for your students to complete. Formulate sentences, compare/contrast, make predictions about what the people are doing in the pictures, etc.

The holidays are such a fun time for kids and adults! I hope you've found a couple new ideas - be sure to check out the other bloggers who've linked up!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peek At My Week 12/20

December has come and gone so quickly! This is my absolute favorite time of the year. It also can be one of the craziest times, especially in the schools. I had a bunch of meetings this week, plus there were all sorts of different events going on that led to my schedule becoming a hot mess. 

The craft of the week for the kids that celebrate Christmas was a Skittle-mas Tree. Very simple. Cut out trees with the elision machine and glue on skittles. Doesn't get simpler than that! Warning - next time I do this, I'll use card stock because the construction paper was a little too flimsy. Another note: USE BOTTLED GLUE, NOT GLUESTICKS for this craft. I have a love-hate relationship with glue. Regardless, the kids enjoyed this craft. I built whatever goals I needed to around this! 

Since I didn't get to do the snowman craft with some of my kids last week (snow days), if I knew they didn't celebrate Christmas, they did the snowman craft from last week. I've found that most of the kids don't really mind what they do, but they like taking something home!

For my older kids, a few of them are working on formulating sentences with conjunctions. Even though it wasn't winter related, I pulled out my Flower Petal Conjunctions (free). I printed it in black and white and cut out the petals - the kids loved gluing on the petals. It was a quick and easy activity, and there was still tons of practice involved. I tried to keep things light and easy - the kids were bouncing off the walls. 

Now it's time to look forward to winter break and some much needed time with family and relaxation. Never fear, I do hope to add some more activities to my store. 

Recently added items include:

Why Do I Come To Speech Therapy? Mini-Books: I'm super excited about this product. I made this product for 2 reasons: 
1) I get asked this question by students fairly frequently.
2) When I ask students why they come to see me, I get a blank stare.

There are two versions: K-5th grade:

If you work in the schools, I hope you enjoy your time off! I wish you and yours happy holidays!! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{Review} Social Thinking: You Are A Social Detective!

Graphics: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lovin-Lit

Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Products were provided to me at no cost; however, the opinions are my own.

When I was contacted and asked to become part of the Social Thinking Blogging Team, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor! I've heard wonderful things about these products from fellow bloggers, but only have experience from using a game geared towards adolescents called Should I Or Shouldn't I?  

I was sent a few products to try and will be providing reviews as I introduce them. I'm choosing a couple of the kids I think it will work well with, as well as parts of the programs that I was provided. The first product that I introduced to was "You Are A Social Detective!" This comic book introduces "social thinking" to kids in an engaging way. I love that there are pictures and words to explain. I also really like that the pages are not too visually distracting. It took a few sessions to get through the book, because as I introduced each page, we sometimes talked about the concepts. I wanted to make sure the kids had a good handle on the concepts prior to moving on because I know these terms are used in other Michelle Garcia Winner products. 

The beginning of the book talks about the different kinds of "smarts" we have. I used a brain picture to write down the kinds of smarts I think I have and then had the students fill out what they felt their smarts were. We talked about the expectations of being in school and made a list to reference later on.

Part of this book describes what your eyes and ears do when you're using your "social smarts." I pulled out the sticky notes and (badly) drew eyes and ears to place on these pages, because I think it's a really important part of the program. Social thinking is more than just being able to act appropriately in social situations. It's really about teaching kids that they can use their senses to determine "expected" vs. "unexpected" behaviors.

I think some of my students have a fairly good grasp on what is appropriate vs. inappropriate when I ask them; however, I think they struggle when they are "in the moment." We talked about what detectives do because I think it helped my students connect meaning with the concepts. I do think we'll have to spend multiple sessions on these concepts in order to really make it stick. 

I am looking forward to introducing other Social Thinking concepts to my students. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit Michelle Garcia Winner's website HERE. I'll be continuing to post reviews as I move along with the program. Have you tried it? What do you like?

Monday, December 16, 2013

S...peachy Feedback December 2013 Linky

This month was REALLY hard to pick just one piece of feedback...so I picked TWO! I am humbled by the feedback I've received, so this is my way of rewarding my followers. Check out the pictures below to see if you were one of the lucky winners. If you see your TpT username, please email teachspeech365@gmail.com with your choice of product (bundles excluded) from my store!

Remember, you're rewarded for leaving feedback on purchases! You get TpT credits every time you leave feedback. So it's really a win-win situation. When leaving feedback, remember the best kind is constructive. If there is a typo or other small issue, you can email the seller to ask them to fix it prior to leaving feedback. 

While you don't earn points for leaving feedback on freebies, it's still something great to do. A lot of times, freebies are downloaded several hundred or even thousand times but few people leave feedback. One of my winners this month left feedback on a freebie, so you never know when it might win you a product! :)

This product is called Articulation Phone Book.

Graphics: Lovin Lit

This product is called Summarizing Elves.

If you won, remember to email teachspeech365@gmail to let me know what product you want (bundles excluded)! Thank you for all your support!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Peek At My Week 12/13

Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links are included for your convenience.

The week started out with snow, ice, and rain. We actually had snow days on Monday and Tuesday, which made for a shorter week than planned. The opportunity to sleep in was a welcome one, for sure.

Craft  of the Week: Paper Plate Snowman 
(found different versions pinned HERE, which I used as inspiration)

I had googly eyes and precut hats, noses, and mouth pieces for easier and faster craft making. It was a great craft to work on WH questions, concepts (top, middle, bottom), sequencing and winter vocabulary!

This week, I used Granny's Candies for most of my groups. Sadly, I misplaced my original one somewhere, but I have the other 2 versions (just not the board or the candies, since they were in the original box). I use dot pages or just give chipper chat pieces, which work just as well.

The pink box focus on vocabulary (synonyms, antonyms, homophones, etc) and figurative language and the yellow box focuses on grammar. I was able to hit a ton of goals! For my 5th and 6th graders, we used Rachel Lynette's Free Task Cards to talk about nonfiction passages. My upper level grades are working on prediction, inferring, and summarizing (did you check out my new winter freebie?), so I do my best to change it up each week so they don't get too bored. 

Did you get a lot of snow?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

{Review}: Tactus Therapy Solutions - Answering TherAppy

Disclaimer: The app was provided to me free of charge; however, the opinions expressed are my own.

Tactus Therapy Solutions is known for creating apps that can be used with all ages. I recently got the opportunity to try Answering TherAppy, which focuses on answering WH questions and yes/no questions. There are several types of each question included, as well as several different levels.

When you're ready to add your students, you are taken to this page, where you can customize settings. I really like that you can change how many trials you'd like, as well as select how many choices are provided for answers. 

Below are the different levels for the yes/no questions: You can select as few or as many as you'd like:

Below are the different levels for the WH questions. Again, you can select as few or as many as you'd like:

I wanted you to be able to see examples of some of the questions. Below is an example of the "how long/many/often" questions. Some of them focus on 

Below is an example of the "how" questions. Some of them focus on procedural sequences, like "how do you make toast," but some have a more social focus, which is great. 

Below is an example of a "whose/which" question. 

Below is an example of a yes/no "adjective identification" question. I like how these types of questions can also help kids with basic concepts (wet/dry, big/small, etc). 

Overall, the layout was a little different from some of the other WH question apps I've tried, but that was really nice! If you want one app that targets both WH and yes/no questions, this is the ticket. The ability to use questions that go from very basic to more complex makes this app one-of-a-kind.

What I Liked:
-variety of questions with different levels
-ability to target just a few or all of the types of questions
-ability to change settings to customize for each student
-some of the questions will allow for further expressive language development (i.e. basic concepts, follow up questions I could ask, discussion of social questions)
-the "how" questions targeted social conduct type questions
-you can use the app with a wide range of ages and abilities

What I Would Change:
-I would love the ability to add a yes/no visual (a smiley face or X). I tried it with some of my kids with Autism, and it was a little difficult for some of them without the added visuals that I usually have

You can find this app here if you are interested in trying it out for yourself. They also have Asking TherAppy and both are sold in one app, called Question TherAppy. which saves you money. The really nice thing about Tactus Therapy Solutions is that they offer a lite version of most of their apps that allow you to try it out before buying!

Would you try this app? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Clinical Skills Confidence: Dear SLP...Love, Yourself

Dear SLP:

I know you are feeling tired, overworked, slightly crazed, and maybe a little disheartened. You sometimes feel that you start the day with a million things to accomplish. While you may accomplish a few tasks, different things are added or shifted and everything just piles up. Like the mountains of paperwork on your desk. Or the things in that corner that "you'll get to when you have a free moment." 

You want the best for those on your caseload. You want to see them succeed and feel a sense of pride in themselves. But sometimes you feel that you aren't doing enough.

You did not plan as thoroughly as you'd hoped for the week.
You couldn't find the pin that you KNOW you pinned a few days ago for your craft of the week.
You forgot your planner at home, which leaves you feeling completely off.
You meant to print and laminate and cut all those awesome TpT activities.
You plan your sessions, only to have it not go the way you saw it going.
You show up at a classroom, only to find there was an activity that you can't pull the students out of. 
You forgot all that Medicaid billing and now it's due tomorrow.
You have to go to meeting after meeting and some days, lunch just doesn't happen. 

It's ok. 

Stop for a minute and really think. You feel this way because YOU CARE. You push yourself to put in 120% every single day, so those days that you might only be able to give 98% feel like a failure. But it's not. 

Think about the times you showed up at a classroom and your students jumped up and said "yay, speech!"
Think about the times a parent told you how much his or her child LOVES speech.
Think about the first time a student achieved placement for the sound you've been working on forever.
Think about other therapists or teachers coming to ask your advice on something.
Think about the first time a student used their AAC device to request something.

Your job is hard. But you love it. Rest assured, you are making a difference, even if you sometimes don't see it.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter Freebie Linky Party

Lauren from Busy Bee Speech  (<--- click to be taken to her post so you can check out the other freebies that have been posted) is throwing a winter freebie linky party! 

What does that mean for you? Lots of freebies, that's what!! 

My brand new freebie is called Summarizing Elves. It features some chatty elves who have difficulty relaying "just the facts." They have to figure out how to summarize some stories so they can figure out the secret message!

Example page:

Secret message mat - each card has a number. When students decide what statement best summarizes the story, they write the letter in the corresponding box.

Example story: 

Hope you like this (feedback is much appreciated)!!! Happy Winter! It is currently snowing/sleeting in my area, which is not so nice...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Peek At My Week 12/6

Whoa, December?! This week involved some snowmen, some sticky letters, and some other (sort of) winter related topics. It's hard to think about winter when temperatures here have hit mid to high 60s. I'm used to snow by this time of year. Snowmen were the last thing on my mind...

I was excited to use my new snowman mini book (found HERE) with my younger kids. It was a huge hit! I put velcro on the pieces and had the kids finding the items to place in the book. Since I introduced the book this week, I plan to do follow-up activities next week. Disclaimer: I really had to try hard to find things to rhyme (I understand purple and wool is not the best - but I worked with what I had). The kids didn't seem to care and thought it was hilarious that the snowman couldn't decide what to wear!

I played Cariboo for my social skills group in the autism classroom. I have yet to find a kid who doesn't LOVE that game.

Some of my plans just seemed to be scattered this week. We talked a little about Thanksgiving, though most kids had already moved on to Christmas and December holidays. I did pick up these gel letters from the Target dollar section. They originally spelled Merry Christmas, but I mixed them up and had kids spelling words and making words with their artic sounds (with some added letters). They liked to squish the letters...whatever works, right?!

Sorry about the bad picture, I snapped it quickly!

What do you do the week after Thanksgiving?

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Blizzard of Winter Activities

I can't believe December is here already! You know what that means! Pull out the gloves, hats, scarves, and hot chocolate. Oh, and lots of fun winter speech activities. If you need some help with that, never fear! I am putting all my recent and past winter activities here in one place for your convenience. 


1. Complex Emotion Crackers: This activity will help your older students recognize more complex emotions. 

2. Healthy Voice Habits with Randy Reindeer (free): Help Randy Reindeer decide what's healthy and unhealthy for his voice. Best part? It's free.

3. Holiday Describing Fun (free): Your students will love describing objects in order to trim the tree and it's free!

4. Holly Jolly Language: This packet contains activities to work on plurals, pronouns, problem identification, categories, opposite concepts, and word finding. Plus, it's great for Christmas or Hanukkah!

5. Multisyllabic Reindeer (free): Target multisyllabic words with this cute reindeer freebie. Each card has the number of syllables shown with reindeer heads to give your kids a nice visual.

6. Polar Bear Pragmatics: This activity focuses on topic initiation, topic maintenance, appropriate responses, emotions, and tone of voice. The polar bears make it an engaging way to work on these skills.

7. Polar Bear Problem Solving: This activity focuses on problem identification, problem avoidance, and problem solving with those same adorable polar bears.

8. Prediction Presents: Students listen to clues to predict what's in each present. Categories include animals, school, sports, food, house, transportation, occupations, and clothing.

9. Stick It In A Hat Short Vowel Sort (free): work on sight words or help students who have difficult with short vowels or CVC words. 

10. Check It Twice: One of my newest products that targets inferences, reasoning skills, and ability to recall details. Your students have to help the elves figure out which gifts go to while child before they have to be delivered!

11. Snowman, Snowman, What Will You Wear? Mini book and speech/language activities: This is another of my newest products and I'm super excited about it. It includes a 12 page printable mini-book and a wealth of other activities, plus HW pages! 

There you have it! I'm sure I'll be making some more winter themed activities, but this should give you a great start when planning your activities! 

First one to comment with your email wins your choice of one of these products!