My Deepest Gratitude to my Readers and Followers

November 12, 2018

Thanksgiving is the official time to stop and reflect on our blessings and all the many things we have to be thankful for.

As I take stock of the wonderful things that I have in my life, I am instantly mindful of you my readers.....


......and followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Teachers Pay Teachers.


If it weren't for you, I'd be a very lonely retiree!  So thank you for keeping me company throughout the day and night.  I very much enjoy our chats, giggles, and camaraderie as we talk about caseloads, workloads, and all things speech!

....and I especially want to give THANKS to you for your support and encouragement of my little shop on TpT.

You are a blessing to me and I am grateful for YOU!




You may download this gratitude wreath for FREE in my TpT store. Click here.

~~~~~
Share it with this pin!

A Ghostly Good Time in Speech Therapy!

October 15, 2018

I love to mix it up in my speech therapy sessions.  I especially love it when a simple activity such as this Ghostly Good Time activity can be used by all my groups. Then the icing on the cake comes from being able to use it for the two weeks leading up to Halloween!




I must give create where create is due.  This ghost idea is from Michael's Craft Store.  You can find it online here or you can continue reading to see how I made mine and how it will be used in therapy.


How to create a tabletop ghost.

This tabletop ghost game costs less than $4 and takes about 30 minutes to create. Being a crafter, I have several of the tools you need, but they really are things anyone would have around the house.   




Step 1.  I purchased the large googly eyes (Wiggly Eyes) at WalMart for less than $3 and the sheet of foam core board for $1 at the Dollar Tree. (I am not an affiliate of either of these stores and do not get any reimbursement of any kind to mention them here by name.)  You will also need a marker, hot glue gun, and a craft knife that will cut through the foam core.  I used my Fiskars fingertip craft knife. 



Step 2.  For a ghost pattern, I used a ghost image from my stash of clip art and created a pdf of the image which I printed poster size. Of course you can easily free hand a ghost of your own!




Step 3. I taped the pattern together then cut it out. Next, I pinned it to the foam core board and traced around it.  After that, I cut it out.



Step 4.  I cut out a mouth and glued on the big googly eyes.  Then I cut a 4"x6" rectangle from the core board and then cut it in half diagonally to create my two triangles to make the ghost stand up. 


Now your ghost is ready to put some fun in your therapy!


Here is how to have a ghostly good time in speech therapy.

Tossing Game:
Give your students their work for the session.  If they are using a worksheet, that's great because it will become their ball for tossing.  If they are using a card deck, then supply them with a piece of paper so they can keep score of their correct or incorrect responses. Take 5 minutes at the end of your session to allow them to toss their "balls" (wads of paper) into the ghost's mouth.  If you have been using a tangible object in your therapy session, allow your students to earn scratch paper they will wad to toss. Seriously, it won't matter what your student goals are.  One way or another they are going to get to wad up paper to form a ball to toss. 

Alternative gameplay:
Give your artic students a piece of paper and have them write words/phrases or sentences with their sound on it. Leave enough space so that they can cut them into strips that can be wadded into very small balls to toss or flick with their finger into the ghost's mouth. 

Language students can earn strips of paper to wad and flick or toss.

You can let all who get their ball of paper into the ghost's mouth be the winners or keep score.

Another idea is to use your Halloween erasers to toss.  The students will earn them by the work you require them to do.

You kids will love this!  Have fun!

6 Creative Ways To Use Fun Fact Cards in Mixed Groups!

October 1, 2018




You have often heard that a good SLP can "do therapy" with two sticks and a rock. Being "old school" or a speech therapist of a certain age/era, we learned to do just that. We could use a stack of Peabody picture cards for all our therapy, but thank goodness we don't have to do that anymore!  We have a multitude of wonderful materials at our fingertips....literally...just a click away!

Sometimes I think SLPs are missing out in all the creative ways resources like my Fun Facts series can be used just because they aren't listed as being for mixed groups. I'd like to get you thinking about ways to use these cards other than just for listening for details (auditory comprehension).

1- Articulation 

A. For sentence practice, you can have the student go through the cards and highlight their target sound in the sentences. Then they can read them aloud. Depending on the needs of the group, you could let the artic student be the teacher and read the card to the students needing to work on auditory comprehension.
B. At the word level have the student find their target words in the sentences and practice saying those words at their turn.

The picture above shows a sample of /l/, /r/. and /s, z/ words highlighted.

2- Auditory memory

Have the student recall and retell the sentence.



3- Syntax

See if the student can create a sentence in response to the questions on the cards using the sentence structure you are targeting.



4- Grammar

Have your students respond with proper grammar such as using the correct pronoun instead of the noun, subject-verb agreement, etc. Let your students identify the nouns or verbs, etc.

(identification of nouns and verbs)

 (identification of adjectives and adverbs)

5- Vocabulary

Can they substitute a synonym or antonym for a particular word within the sentence? Are there multiple meaning words in the sentence? Can they tell how that word could be used in two different ways? Can they add a prefix or suffix to the word in a sentence?  Can they state attributes for a particular word in the sentence?

 (multiple meanings)

(antonyms or synonyms)

6- Pragmatics

Use the cards for conversation starters or for staying on topic.




Does this help you to see how you can use a resource in ways other than the obvious target it was created for?  I hope this gets you thinking and helps you utilize all your materials in your mixed groups.

~~~~~~~~~~
The samples used in this post are from my Autumn Fun Facts which you can purchase here.

I have a series of Fun Facts in my store:
Christmas Fun Facts
Winter Fun Facts
Spring Fun Facts





What's New in September?

September 24, 2018




I have decided to start a monthly post about what new's in my store each month.

Why?

Because so many people don't always catch my FaceBook posts or Instagram postings about a new product.

Why?

Because neither FB nor IG posts are chronological anymore. (Insert angry face.)

At this point, I need to remind you to follow me on TpT . This way you will at least get the daily emails from TpT that show new products from your favorite teacher-authors.  Then you'll know in time to take advantage of my generous new product discount!

Why?

Because I now offer all new products at a discounted price of 50% off for the first 24 hours! I wait until those TpT emails are sent before starting the clock on the 24 hr window :)

Why?


Because the monthly #SLPMustHave sales are no longer 50% off.

Ok, now that we have that settled, I'll go on with my post.


I have been busier than normal this month in creating products for you!
My focus has been on creating hidden pictures for your articulation students. I have tried a couple of different layouts in my previous products and your feedback has directed me in this new direction.

Older Hidden Pictures: 
These resources offer only one scene but include several sounds in the one packet. My thinking was you could use it with the bulk of your artic caseload. 






Newly Created Hidden Pictures:
You guys loved my hidden pictures but wanted more than one scene, so that is what I have done!  I have created sound specific hidden pictures with six different autumn scenes.








Buy the bundle and save 20%

They are so colorful and engaging.  You can use them as a print or NO Print.  If you need instructions on how to use a PDF as a no print, you can read my post
about that here.

I hand-created these 6 scenes: 
You will notice I did 4 generic fall scenes and only one for Halloween and Thanksgiving. I want you to be able to use these all through fall and not just for the two holidays.
  • apple picking
  • pumpkin cart
  • sunflower field
  • cornfield
  • Halloween night
  • Thanksgiving feast
The packets include a black and white version as well. I must say the black and white version makes the task more difficult, so if you have kids who need a little more challenging task (like those older students) use those!  The B/W version is also great for homework!


You will find I included "cheat sheets" that have the B/W pictures of the items they are to find for each separate page.  There is also a wordlist on that page as well.

And lastly, there are answer keys for each page.  You will see the hidden pictures are in color on a black and white page, so you can easily recognize them. 


Each page has 10 words to find and each packet targets the letter sound in the initial, medial, and final position of words. The blends are only targeted in the initial position of words.  There are 60 words total.

I hope to create for all the seasons!

So that's it. What do you think? Do you love it?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For your convenience links to the products are below.








Self Monitoring In Speech Therapy

September 4, 2018

Self monitoring is a necessary skill that must be learned by all students.  Are you teaching your students to self monitor?


What is self monitoring?

It is the skill we use to keep track of our actions or performance.  It is used every day in our daily lives from sequencing activities of our morning routines to completing academic assignments of reading and math. To put it simply, we use it to keep track of what we do.  

Why teach self monitoring in speech therapy?

For us who are working with children correcting an error pattern of speech (or language) it is vital that we teach them how to listen to themselves so that they will become less dependent on us to tell them they have produced the sound correctly or incorrectly. 

How many times have we had children who use their "good" sounds with us but lose it once they walk out the door?  You see them on the playground, in the lunch line, or in the classroom and that good sound is gone.  Or you hear that error pattern and they see you and it immediately switches to the right pattern. Ever have that happen?  I did. It happened so often that it made me question why? The answer was simple I had not taught them how to monitor their own speech. That lead me to start looking at what I was doing in my sessions and to start creating ways for them to start using that skill early on in my treatment approach.

I kept self monitoring in mind as I created the pages in my articulation workbooks.  All the activity pages require the child to monitor himself from the very beginning.

Shown below are the first pages in the TH workbook that are for practicing the sound in words.  As you can see, I included a very simple self monitoring activity for them to perform as they practice.  The child has to listen to himself and determine the correctness of his response and mark in a way that demonstrates he said it right or wrong.  Marking is simple and takes no time. It might be to draw a smile or frown, thumbs up or down, or color grapes.  


A quick glance at the worksheet will give you your data for the session, too! There are 40 opportunities to produce the given sound in a that position of words.  This makes it easy for you to monitor their progress. 

(As homework sheets these are great to move the child's skills from the therapy room to home.)

To take a closer look at my articulation workbooks just go to my TpT store! You will find workbooks for F, V, K, G, R, S, L, Sh, Ch, and Th sounds.

Would you like to try a FREE workbook? Click here to get the complete V workbook!   

How To Make Your Own Doodads

August 27, 2018



One of the hottest things going right now is doodads.  If you don't know what doodads are, they are very small objects that are either plastic 3D shapes of boats, cars, trees, etc. or are similar objects that look like decorative clothing buttons or the little things that are tied on shoes.  Really they are plastic miniatures of  common objects. I think they are great and many SLPs are using them in their therapy sessions with younger students.




USES
I have noticed they are being used to represent real life objects that kids encounter in their daily lives.  They are being used to teach preK kids labeling, object functions, vocabulary etc., and in play based therapy. 

They are excellent for using in sensory bins.  They are small enough to hide in the filling so that the student has to really get his hands in there! 

They are also being use for sorting activities and in articulation therapy.

They have so many uses, but that is not the point of this blog post so I won't elaborate. I'm just explaining what they are.  Now to the point of this post :)

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN
I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make your own doodads. 

I recommend making your own if you are looking for specific vocabulary or words represented as objects.  I can see how making you own would benefit you if you want to use them for articulation or for themed language therapy!

A very quick way to make your own is to use a product called ShrinkyDinks.*
You can readily get ShrinkyDinks at craft stores, Amazon, or Walmart. (I am not affiliated with any of these companies so I am not getting any form of reimbursement for mentioning them.)





Inside the package are 6 sheets of shrinkable paper that is 8 1/2" x 11"  They are the perfect size fit into your printer!

Each sheet can be printed on either side. 

1- I used some farm house clipart from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs
(https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Farm-Animals-Clipart-Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Designs-1959067) to create a layout of 11 animals on one sheet. 


It doesn't matter how you lay them out on your sheet so long as you have room to cut them out.  You will need to bear in mind the size you want your doodads to be when they are shrunk because they will shrink to 1/3 the original size.  I wanted 1" doodads, so I make my graphics 3" on the sheet.

There are exact directions inside your ShrinkyDinks packaging.

2- I printed the pdf I created on a sheet of ShrinkyDinks.

3- I then cut out each animal.

4- Then I trimmed around each animal leaving a small white border.

5- Next I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.


6- According to the instructions on the packaging, I placed them in the oven that was preheated to 275 degrees F. for 3 minutes and let them do their magic shrinking.

7- When I took them out, I placed them on the counter and placed a wooden cutting board on them to hold them flat as they cooled.



Here they are finished and ready to use in a farm themed activity!



It takes no skill to create these, just some clipart and ShrinkyDinks!
 
The possibilities are truly endless!

Don't Rush The Treatment Process Establish Consistent Accurate Responses

August 7, 2018

DISCLAIMER: The following post is strictly the opinions of this author. 



I don't know how many times I have heard SLPs complain that their students aren't making progress with a particular sound. It is my humble opinion the reason for lack of progress is that they have rushed the process.

Whether you are following Van Riper's approach for articulation or Barbara Hodson's phonological treatment plan or any other, the fact remains you must do each step in the process.  You can't give it a cursory nod and move on just because you want to be at the word level or you don't like working at the syllable level.  You must complete each step until you get an accuracy rate that reflects consistent accurate productions.

I have observed that many times SLPs will get the sound in isolation and then immediately rush into working on syllables.  Before the phoneme is soundly established, they are rushing to the next step in the treatment plan. Don't. You need to take the time to get that sound perfect and automated.  I say an accuracy rate of 100% over 3 consecutive sessions is needed before moving on. That's just my opinion.

The next thing I have observed is that many SLPs will only spend one or two sessions at most practicing the sound in syllables and that is usually the initial and final positions only.  Rarely do they take time to practice the sound in the medial position. Again I say you need to work on this until you get a consistent accuracy rate of at least 90% for three sessions.

I know there have been studies that state you only need an accuracy rate of 75% before moving on to the next step, but I have found when you do that you will more than likely have to drop back to the previous step.  A consistently accurate production was not established and their accuracy diminishes as you try to go forward. Take the time to obtain consistently accurate responses.

My rule of thumb is 100% accuracy of the sound in isolation, then 90% in the remaining steps over 3 consecutive sessions.

I hope this makes you reflect on your own treatment plans. Then see for yourself if this makes a difference in keeping your kids moving forward without getting stuck in the process.