Friday, June 2, 2017

From Trash to Treasure!

Do you work in the schools? Well, school is coming to an end. In fact, today is the last day for me!  Yippee!! Happy dance!!

What makes this last day even better? Arriving to find HUGE piles of books that the school is getting rid of!   FREE for the taking!  Oh yeah! SCORE !


Ya, I know. It's a HOT MESS, but I see a GOLD MINE here!

And here!!

What kinds of books do I look for? Primarily, those that are small in size. As an itinerant SLP, I need books that are portable! The small books below fill the bill!


There were TONS of them! TONS!

Next, I’m interested in themes such as animals, home, school, friends, etc. Speaking of themes, how about books that are great for summer? Here are two that are perfect for this time of year:




What can you do with these? Oh my, you can do a LOT.

Fluency: I use books for fluency students to help establish fluency through reading aloud.

Articulation: You can have articulation students go through the story to find their sounds.

Semantics: How about vocabulary? Yes! Have the student choose a word and tell what they think it means. Then you can reinforce or help them change their concept of the word. Use the text and photos in the book!

Language Formulation (syntax): For expressive language, I use those vocabulary words and ask students to make up a sentence using the word. And you can ask students to describe what they see in the pictures.

Grammar (morphology): Use the photos in the book to address pronouns, verb tenses, etc. 



Literacy (and pre-literacy): Can the young students identify the parts of a book? Maybe they are able to decode. Find out! Use the words in the book to check phoneme blending and segmentation skills. Oh and how about story re-telling? Yes! These books are perfect for working on sequencing and re-tell skills.

Is there a gold mine on your campus? Check around and ask! You never know what treasure there may be just waiting for you to find it!

Happy Summer!





Saturday, May 6, 2017

Summer Speech FUN!

Summer time and the livin’ is easy! Do you hear a melody for those words in your head? It’s an old song, but a great one.



And here are some GREAT ideas for summer-themed speech & language products and activities.  For those of us who work in the schools, a much-needed summer break is coming soon. However, many parents, teachers and other staff members express concerns at this time of year. What are those concerns? Most them have to do with kids forgetting or regressing in terms of the skills they have learned in speech this year. What can we do? We can send home homework. We can send home calendars with suggested activities they can do at home. 

Wait, some of us actually WORK in the summer! What about US? We need fun, summer-themed activities to do with kids, too.
Below you will find a list of great products you can use or send home with your students. I have grouped them into categories by age/grade for you to make your shopping easier. A brief description and a link to the product is listed below each category.

Articulation

Summer Speech Homework Bundle Awesome Articulation Worksheets 2100 Words! (GoldCountrySLP): This black-ink only set has 2100 words. NO prep. I promise! 20 words per page for LOTS of practice. Appropriate for ages 4-10.

Ocean of Words Awesome Articulation Worksheets  (GoldCountrySLP): No prep! 20 words per page. Word lists for progress monitoring included.

Summertime Apraxia (Twin Speech): Apraxia PreK-2nd grade.

Summer-themed No Prep Artic Bundle (Twin Speech): PreK to 7th-artic.

Flip-Flop Articulation Dot Art (Putting Words inYour Mouth): PreK-5th grade. Articulation practice and open-ended activity. Kids decorate flip flops in this fun set.

Mixed (Articulation & Language)

Over in the Meadow Language & Literacy Book Companion (GoldCountrySLP): Grades PreK-2nd. This language and literacy based book companion accompanies a classic, Over in the Meadow, by Ezra Jack Keats. Activities include sequencing cards (2 levels), vocabulary word cards, irregular past tense verbs, regular past tense verbs, following directions (4 levels), association activities and MORE!

Mystery Pictures for Speech & Language – Summer (GoldCountrySLP): NO PREP! Grades 1st-6th. You will get MANY repetitions out of this one-pager! Great for therapy or homework.

Print and Go Summer Camp (Speech Owl): Grades K-3. Addresses articulation as well as receptive and expressive language skills. 


Language Therapy Products

Summer Complex Sentence Builder (GoldCountrySLP): Grades 2-12. Noun, verb, adjective and connector word cards as well as tasks cards. 

Following Complex Directions-Summer 500 (GoldCountrySLP): Grades 2-12. A total of 500 directions! Includes the following types of directions: temporal, conditional, directional, ordinal directions and those containing multiple modifiers. No prep – use your screen!

Summer Figurative Language (SLPRunner): Upper grades.


Busy Book for Speech & Language (Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room): Ages early childhood. Early childhood through elementary, busy book for speech and language-Summer Themed

Regular Plurals: I Have Who Has (Ms. Gardenia's Speech Room): I Have, Who Has for elementary grades.

Summer themed, print-and-go worksheets for practicing various sentence types (simple, compound, complex). Grades 3+

(Looks Like Language): This bundle has fun file folder activities to keep kids communicating!






Hope you have tons of fun in the sun!


Sunday, April 30, 2017

End of the Year Advice

Calling all CFs! For those of you who aren't SLPs, see the bottom of this post for an explanation.*



Are you working in the public school system?

Well, then you already know that the END is coming! You have almost made it but maybe, just maybe you are overwhelmed at the amount of work left to do. 

Here are some tips I am giving my current CF to help her get through the end:

• Cancel sessions NOW to get paperwork ready for May/June IEPs.

• Get ready to write end of the year progress notes NOW.

• Look at your caseload and see if there are any students who can be dismissed. Yes, it is more work to do this now, but you will be helping yourself a lot of time next year by dismissing anyone who is ready NOW.

• Remember state testing is just around the corner for many of your schools. Use that time to catch up!

• Field trips are often scheduled toward the end of the year. Look at the school’s schedule. Are there any field trips coming up? Plan ahead and you will find yourself some spare time here and there to complete assessments and paperwork.

• Class parties happen at this time of year, too. These are opportunities to get other things done. Again, check your school’s schedule so you can plan ahead to use that time effectively!

• Reach out to your clinical supervisor for advice. That is what we are here for!

• You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back! You made it through your first year. It will be much easier next year.


*For those of you outside the  profession of speech-language pathology, a CF is a Clinical Fellow. Our profession requires one year of supervision beyond the Master’s degree (really!). Once completed, the CF is eligible for the Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC) issued by  ASHA (the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Artic Pix FREEBIE

Tired of all of your speech sound cards? 

Do your students give you that look when you show them some of the cards? 

Here is the solution to that problem!



These photos are carefully chosen for several reasons:

• These are bright, colorful, kid-friendly photos!

• The speech sound contexts are selected with co-articulation in mind. You won’t find T on any of the K cards! Why? Because the error for K is usually T. If you present a word that contains both sounds, such as “cat,” you WILL hear TAT as the response.



• My medial R cards contain ONLY intervocalic R. Why? Because that context elicits the best productions more easily and effectively. The  FREEBIE above features intervocalic R stimuli.



• Coming soon: S-blends—including many FINAL S-blends!


• Bingo boards to coordinate are also in-the-making.


Stay tuned! 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easy Links to the CCSS

•  May is coming! And you know what THAT means….a frenzy of IEP meetings, reports, data collection, etc.

•  I don’t know about you, but I need anything and everything that helps me get through this time of year more easily.

•  Here is what I am using when it comes to linking IEP goals to the CCSS:


•   One reviewer said: “I like the clickable links so you can copy and paste directly into documents. This is very well done!”

•  I made this chart because I was tired of flipping through pages in a hard copy. Initially, it was just typed out on one page and then I had a brainstorm!

•  Each of the standards are hyperlinked. Just click the link and VOILA, you are transported to the standard!


•  Go HERE to find the chart.

I hope this saves you TIME!


Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Frenzied SLPs Sharing Kindness

Today I’m so pleased to join the Frenzied SLPs as we present to you our Sharing Kindness freebies.



Kindness. It is a simple concept, but something we often take for granted. Little things like smiling, holding the door open for someone else or just saying “hello,” are easy ways for anyone to share kindness. We do these things every day without thinking about it. For a couple of days last week, I paid attention to what I did that might be described as showing kindness. It was difficult to count each act of kindness (Note: I don't mean this to sound self-serving!). Just the smiling and greeting others counted for over 80%! Besides all the smiling, I supported a teacher at a parent conference because she was worried about how the parents would react. I also tied shoes, turned jacket sleeves right-side out, told my most difficult student I was happy to see him (he's difficult, but I always look forward to seeing him), shared my umbrella with two kids, joked with one of my hospital patients, exchanged greetings with several physicians, and the list goes on and on. Those of us who work in the “helping” professions practice acts of kindness all day long. Setting a good example for students, especially young children, is very important. Defining and labeling these behaviors is the key to teaching children that they are very capable of practicing kindness daily. There are SO many teachable moments throughout the school day. Making a decision to pay attention to those behaviors is a great thing to do. Letting children know when they do something kind is even better!

Click on either of the photos below to grab my FREEBIE and help your students practice kindness!  #kindnessnation



How many ways did you practice kindness today? 

Click below to head over to read my friend Pam's post over at Small Talk SLP!





Sunday, November 20, 2016

My SLP Story


Anthropology, English, Liberal Studies – OH MY!  Those were three of the FOUR different majors I declared by the time I was a junior in college, September 1979. By the junior year, we were supposed to know what we wanted to do. Ugh. Not me. I know I sound scattered-brained, but I had NO IDEA what to do. I loved Zoology, Botany and thought about taking a course in Genetics as well. Maybe I would become a geneticist. And then I became completely fascinated with the idea of majoring in Library Science and that was BEFORE technology took off! Wait, wait, wait--I forgot about my Latin course! Loved it and the professor was wonderful. Maybe I needed to major in a foreign language (already had six years of Spanish under my belt taken 7th through 12th grades). Yep, I was a hot mess when it came right down to making this decision. So, what did I do that first semester of the junior year? Why, I signed up for many different courses – including a second year of Latin and two classes from the department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at California State University, Sacramento.


Then IT happened. The first two weeks of those two SLP courses changed my direction in life FOREVER. Why on Earth did I make a life-altering decision in less than two weeks? Reason 1) The first SLP course was Language Development, taught by professor Dr. Colette Coleman. We’re talking sentence diagrams, language sampling, developmental charts, etc. Loved the topics and loved the professor. Reason 2) The second SLP course was Phonetics, taught by Dr. Morris Val Jones. I was completely enthralled learning the IPA, linguistics and transcription. Hmmm...this field sounded intriguing, so I asked some questions and did a little research. Later courses would involve a lot of anatomy and physiology, more on language development, and lots of other cool-sounding stuff. Yep, this was IT!!! I dumped everything else and jumped into Speech-Language Pathology. Yes, I knew it would be four years and two degrees, but that was totally fine. 

Little did I know that of the sixty (60) SLP students who started that semester, only nine (9) of us would walk across the stage at CSUS to accept our Master’s degrees. Dr. Mary Jane Rees warned all of us as juniors that very few would finish the program. I couldn’t believe what she was telling us, but remember resolving on the spot that I would be one of those who would finish. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something!

Cool coincidence…. Remember those first two professors I mentioned? They became the first and second readers for my Master’s thesis. Let me tell you writing a thesis is a LOT of work, but there is no better way to become an proficient at deciphering research articles than to conduct your own study!



Looking back, the only regret I have is dropping the second year course in Latin. A few years ago, I found my former Latin professor online and emailed him telling him how much I enjoyed the first year and that I sincerely regretted not taking the second year.

32 years, dozens of schools, hundreds of students and patients later, I'm still happy I made this career choice. While I do think big changes need to happen in the public school setting, I still love being a part of changing student's lives and helping patients in the acute setting. I wouldn't trade it for the world! 

What's your SLP story?