How In the World Did I End Up Here?

July 21, 2017

I had the privilege of guest posting for Jan Ward over at Successful Practice SLP this week and thought I'd share the link here so you can read it..... if you are interested in my life's journey.

It has been an amazing journey and I can't believe all that I have accomplished considering I'm just a coal miner's daughter.  I'm living proof that where you come from doesn't matter.  What matters is where you are going!

Enjoy reading!


Speech on the Beach 2017

June 30, 2017

Speech on the Beach 2017

It is summer and who doesn't think beach or at least think about being poolside?  If you are like me, when I'm at the pool or beach, I want something to read!  A few of us bloggers submitted one of our most popular posts to Kim Lewis (Activity Tailor) and she complied this neat little poolside read for us!  

I have already been reading it and can honestly say there are many quick and great reads in here! You'll definitely want to read these and probably want to follow a few of us, too.

To get your copy click the picture and it will take you to Kim's TpT store where you can download this for FREE!  

So go ahead apply some sunscreen, don your hat and sunglasses and head out in the sun while you enrich yourself with all these delights posts you missed through the school year!

Lazy Summer Days

May 30, 2017

Lazy summer days are ahead for many of us. 
I am excited about it.

I promised myself that this summer I would take the time to enjoy it.  

Last year I sewed all summer. I didn't go anywhere except to care for a friend who was ill. I know many SLPs have loved and appreciated my handiwork in creating all those felt book companions.  And I know my friend appreciated having me there to help her recuperate from surgery.  

But....I need a break.

Some down time

A little sunshine
Time with friends

A different scenery

It won't be all play because I'll be creating several new resources for you to use in your therapy sessions. I'm also going to be revamping some of those older resources, too.  So when you go back to school in August or September, you'll have some fresh ideas and ways to work with your students!

I hope that you will....

make the time, 

take the time, 

create the time, 

choose to enjoy your summer!
It doesn't last long and your body and brain need it!

Here's to a restful and rejuvenating SUMMER!

Why I Love Teaching Emotions

May 22, 2017

Today I have the privilege of bringing you a guest post by Erin Boley Dunkle, of Communication Blessings! Erin loves teaching emotions and has been very successful with it. Here's her story.

Have you ever had one of those students who just sticks out to you in your mind as one of your favorites? I have been an SLP for 12+ years now and there is one little guy who will always hold a special place in my heart. Ironically, I only worked with him for a year and I highly doubt anyone in his family even remembers me, but he sure made a lasting impression on me and how I do my job.
I was young, new SLP who had plenty of book knowledge, but nothing teaches you more than being down in the trenches. My favorite little guy was on the autism spectrum and had a behavior plan, but along with that, I also got to have CPI training. Wow, did that come in handy! The sweetest, most adorable kid you’ve ever laid your eyes on would suddenly turn into something like The Hulk whenever he reached his max tolerance, usually with writing. 
This is when my love for teaching body language and facial cues really began. I am a firm believer that there is no better teacher for our kids than their peers. I don’t care how much we say and do, NOTHING measures up to learning alongside their peers. When classroom peers take an interest and participate, that’s golden! 
I truly believe that having a solid understanding and use of a wide variety of emotions is VITAL for good social interactions with peers. Man, I wish I’d had some of my products back then! When I first started learning how to make my own products, this is one that was near and dear to my heart that I wanted to make “TpT worthy”. Despite the wide variety of emotion products in my store now, this one still remains my best seller. 😊 (I also have a monster version…because I monsters…and one with real photos).
My biggest goal, when working with any students who have social skills deficits, is to first make sure they understand emotions and their body language and facial cues. I do everything I can to break them down and make them as concrete as possible. When they can learn to identify the emotions of others (and the reason behind them!), that’s priceless in their social interactions. Seriously! For my favorite little guy, this was his major “AHA! moment”. He started to realize that his behavior outbursts scared some of his classmates that he so desperately wanted to impress. Conversely, many of his peers started recognizing when an outburst was coming and could help him problem solve….priceless!! 

After this “AHA! moment”, we were successfully able to build confidence with skills inside the classroom and even discovered that he was quite a math whiz. His confidence even trickled over into his clothing and food choices. He started trying new things and being proud of it! He made friends in his classroom and they cheered him on when he wore a different shirt for the day….again, priceless! I could give you many other examples as to why body language and facial cues are SO important for our students, but this one is by far my favorite. Having that core understanding of emotions (beyond just happy, mad, and sad) can open up so many other opportunities, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Erin's bio:
I am a proud alumni of the University of Kentucky. I have a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in Communication Disorders and a Master of Science degree is Communication Disorders. I have been an SLP for a little over 12 years now. Most of that time, I have worked with PreK-2nd grade. I have also spent a few years working with upper elementary students as well as infants and toddlers.

Staying Motivated to the End of the Year!!

May 15, 2017

My daughter-in-law is a kindergarten teacher and this is her last week before summer break. I can't believe we are at the end of the year.  It has flown by for me because I'm not working in the schools anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't understand how difficult it can be to keep your head in the game and motivate the kids to work as well.  So let me share with you some motivating activities the help you get through these last days!

My new search and find activities are always good because you can target articulation and some language skills because they stimulate conversation and naturally have position concepts due to the location of the hidden objects!

These snack mats from Monae's Speech House are so colorful and FUN ....and very inexpensive!!

Do you have kids working on carryover?  Then these stories by Activity Tailor will fit the bill!

Kim's Bugs in The Grass is very cute and creative too! I couldn't decide on just one of her activities!

Are you are trying to get your summer packets together?  Then you'll want to include this from Renee at Keeping Speech Simple!

Here is a board game that's sure to grab the interest of all your little girls in therapy!

We can't leave social skills out!  This is perfect for summer!

Use in your sessions right now and send home in their summer work!  Excellent emotions product.

This is so fun for working with your preschoolers until the year is over or to send home in a summer packet!

And last but not least is this cup stacking activity that is mega fun any time of the year!

So there you have lots of things to add some motivation to the end of the year and several things you can send home for practice for the summer or use in summer school!

YOU CAN MAKE IT!  Yes, you can!

Leaving TpT Feedback Equals FREE Resources!

May 8, 2017

Just a quick post today to remind you to go through your TpT purchases and leave feedback before the big sitewide sale tomorrow! 

TpT has made many improvements and one of them is in locating the purchases that need feedback.

Go to your purchases and you will see the "sort by" box and when you click it, you will see five ways in which you can sort your purchases. Highlighted in blue you will see Needs Feedback, click it and all items that you have purchased that still needs feedback will pop up!  You don't need to scroll endlessly to find them as they will be listed for you. You can quickly leave feedback in no time!

With the big sale starting tomorrow, extra money to spend while everything is on sale will be wonderful!  

Do it NOW!

Articulation Idea For That Last Month Of School

April 24, 2017

May is the hustle and bustle month for most SLPs.

A gazillion IEP reviews and re-evals are all due in this one month.

We are tired.  

We are counting the days until the summer break. Not because we are lazy but because we have given our all for the last 9 months.

I've been there and I've done that.  I understand.  You don't have time to work on engaging activities, so that is why I have created this articulation activity, Search and Find for Early Developing Sounds. Just print put in page protectors and you are ready for therapy.

You choose the targets you want to practice and let your students search and find the pictures.  It is that simple.  You can choose how you wish for them to practice these sounds: say the word x number of times, in a phrase or a carrier sentence such as I found the ____ or I see the ____.

You can also target the question "where".....Where is (the) ____? Student: Here is (the) ____.

You can laminate these pages and just pull out the ones you are using for that session.  Or you can put them in sheet protectors and a binder.  This saves time as they are all in once place and you only have to flip to the page you want. Section divider pages are included.

The sheet protectors work great with dry erase markers!  Just wipe them off, close the binder, and return to your bookshelf.  I have not been as successful with dry erase markers and laminated pages. Maybe you have?

You can create the full 8.5x11 page size or you can create a half page size. You will set your printer to print 2 to a page. Cut the pages in half and insert into page protectors (I found the 5x8 binders and sheet protectors at Staples, but have heard they can be found at Target.)  Use the cover page as your binder cover.  This smaller size is my preference. 

I've included detailed instructions in this packet on how to set these up in binders so that the questions are at the top and the picture is at the bottom.  

A simple set up that you do once and have for years to come. 

Although this is for the early sounds, I am in the process of creating the later sounds this week so they will be available for you this May!  

To know when the later sounds are released follow me on FB or IG.  (The links to follow me there and my TpT store are at the top of my blog.)

I hope this helps you help them during this busy IEP season!