Thursday, July 31, 2014

What's in Your Cart? Linky Party!

Words that give me mixed feelings: Back To School!

Summer is coming to an end and it is time to get ready for the beginning of a new school year. While I'll miss sleeping in, I'm also excited to see my colleagues and, of course, the kids!

To help you get ready for the new year, I've linked up with Jenna over at Speech Room News with purchase recommendations! Click below to head over to her blog for more great ideas!

Remember, the big TeachersPayTeachers sale is August 4-5!!

Here are your must-haves for this year! Shop NOW! Save 28% at my store during the SALE!

Articulation Deep Test - R! 100 Pictures! Most deep tests, have NO pictures....well I've fixed that! We ALL have articulation students working on the R sound. Many of those students are poor readers, yet you need to find out how they are producing the R phoneme in a variety of contexts. Here is the screening tool you need! Tests ALL contexts-including every vowel (word level) using PICTURES! I have also included sentences, two R-loaded paragraphs for reading aloud and a tool to measure production of R in conversational speech. 

There is no other test currently available that will give you THIS comprehensive look at R! 

Click below for a direct link to my store!

I went out on a limb and put together a packet to address the context of a story! Who needs to deal with bullying? EVERYONE! Here is a way to address it during speech and language therapy!

Now, my recommendations for other products: 

1) Articulation Cans, by Putting Words in Your Mouth. These look GREAT! They are: versatile, portable, and can be used to target a variety of goals in a mixed group setting. Yay!

2) Articulation Placemats, by Figuratively Speeching. These meet the same criteria I listed above and have the added benefit of being useful for homework! Yay!

3) Reader's Theater for Articulation, Language, and Fluency, by Speech-Language Pirates. Here is an innovative way to address many goals! This activity is especially good for carryover, addressing a variety of language goals AND fluency!

Now, fill your carts and GET READY to empty them during the Big Sale August 4-5th! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Informal Assessment! That’s where it’s at!

Old McDonald Deep Test

More and more often we are being asked to provide informal assessment data to justify services—especially in the area of articulation. There are many deep tests for /R/ going all the way back to the “OLD McDonald” Deep Test. Do any of you remember it? Probably not. <sigh> I’ve been in practice for 30 years and it was old when I started practicing!  No wonder….I just looked up and original publication date was1964, with a revision in 1976!! It was a standardized test for several consonants in the initial and final positions of words. There was a sentence form as well.

Then what is available?

At this point, there are several deep tests for R available, but they are all lacking one element. Pictures. Why do we need pictures? How many kids do you have  on your caseload who require remediation of the R sound who also display weak decoding skills? Yes, that is why pictures are needed. Right now, I know of no assessment tool “out there” that contains pictures and is a “deep” test for the R phoneme. I decided to do something to remedy that situation. Here is an informal assessment for the R sound---in ALL positions of words, including blends and in ALL contexts—single words (pictures), sentences, reading and conversational speech.

How to Use the Deep Test for R 

Print out a copy of the test (you don’t need the cover or credits page).  To administer the test, you need a copy of either page four as well as either page five or page six. Page four is the form to enter in all of the scores on one page. Pages five and six are the protocols with a complete inventory of all of the words/pictures and sentences in the test. Fill out the top portion of each protocol with the appropriate information. The remainder of the protocol is where you will enter your student’s scores. As you complete each page, tally the total correct responses and note the percentage on the protocol found on page four.


Present the picture/word stimuli (and/or sentence stimuli) to your student. Have your student name the pictures or say the sentences. 

Record the responses on the examiner's protocol for each.


For continued testing, use the sentence-level stimuli. This is intended for students who can read, however, you may also read the sentence aloud and ask your student to repeat it back. Here is an example of the sentence-level stimuli. This is the examiner’s copy with the R-words underlined. The student’s copy does not have anything underlined.

Intelligibility during Reading

Next, you are ready to check your student’s intelligibility further by using the paragraph material provided. There are two paragraphs and each is loaded with R words. The student’s copy is to be read aloud by the student and contains no marks. The examiner’s copy has every R word underlined so you will be able to circle the words that are misarticulated quickly and easily. Tally up the errors and use the quick and easy formula to determine the percentage of R words correctly produced. Enter this on the protocol in the appropriate area.

Intelligibility in Conversation

Finally, you are ready to determine your student’s overall intelligibility for R in conversational speech. Write down the start time. Record ONLY words that contain the R phoneme. Words produced correctly are entered on the left-hand side of the form. Errors are entered on the right-hand side. When the conversation ends, note the ending time and the total number of minutes. Tally up the responses and use the formula to calculate the overall percentage of accuracy. Enter this on the original protocol found on page 4. 

Assessment Reports

Use this information in your report to help justify services for your artic-only students. This is an affordable, easy way to obtain more data. 

And you can use this tool for progress monitoring!

Here is another link to my Deep Test for Articulation-R with Pictures!

Hope this helps streamline your workload!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Roll A Bingo....a New Twist on an Old Game!

What? You have groups of students with different goals? In the SAME group? YIKES!

Itinerant SLPs KNOW what this is like! You have numerous artic students on your caseload. You often have no choice other than to group them together. Sometimes, often in my case, students with mixed goals are seen at the same time. It is possible to have 4 different students working on four different sounds! How do you plan a session for that?!

My solution is to come up with activities that are the same, yet feature components that target different speech sounds, so that the whole group can do the same activity, while addressing their individual needs.
Designing materials for mixed groups is probably my forte! Below you will find some examples from my Roll-A-Bingo series. Kids love it!

Print out the appropriate worksheets. I have packets for multiple sounds available—and all feature the sound in all positions of words.

First, you will need dice. If you have two that are different colors and/or sizes that would work very well. I found the set pictured below at Dollar Tree and promptly purchased two sets. They are erasers! If you can’t find something at Dollar Tree, you might check Target or

Decide which die will represent the vertical columns and which will represent the horizontal rows. You can see below that this student chose blue for the rows and red for the columns. Roll both dice. The student placed the red die on the appropriate number along the top row. Then, the same was done with the blue die along the column at the far left. Now, have you student locate that corresponding picture/word. Have the student say the word the same number of times as one of the die OR have the student use the word in a sentence. The student then crosses out the word/picture box that has been used. Now the next student may take a turn with their Roll-A-Bingo sheet. 

Continue play in this manner. To switch the mode of play, you can leave one of the die in place along either the top row or left column and roll only the other die. This is a nice variation on the game.

Here is an example of a student (seen individually) who was very goal oriented and insisted on completing the grid. It took two sessions to finish! Activities that continue from one session to the next are helpful in terms of decreasing the SLPs planning time!

There are four different versions of the Roll-A-Bingo series (at this point). I store each one of them on Google Drive, which is a free “cloud” storage service. Items stored on Drive are accessible at all of my schools, as well as at home. I simply choose the sound and position needed, and print it out. It is quick and EASY! Best of all, of course, is that you can combine students with different goals into one group and ONE activity!

I hope you find these activities as helpful, fun and time-saving as I do!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Organization 1A .... YOU can DO it! Go paperless!

Today I'm linking up with Busy Bee speech and we are discussing organization! If you are an itinerant SLP, you KNOW what a nightmare keeping everything organized can be! You have IEP meetings to schedule, phone calls to make, emails to send, assessments and therapy to track. HOW do you do it?

Here is my situation and what I did!

I am assigned to 3 schools. Two days of the week, I have to split my day. One of the schools has no consistent space for me. At that same school I have NO computer, NO phone, NO storage, etc. My overall caseload was 65 the year before last, with me assigned as case manager for 39-40 of those students. I was calling parents from school “A” while at school “B” and receiving emails about someone at school “C” while at school “A.” You get the picture!! YIKES!!

With all of the “running around” (you itinerants KNOW what I mean!), something had to change. As a LONG time SLP, I have always depended upon my date book to stay organized. Well, it was time to CHANGE! Here is how I did it.

Cloud storage! What is THAT? Digital data when stored “in the cloud” is located on a server. The beauty of cloud storage is that you can access your stuff anywhere. This has been a LIFESAVER for me and could be for you too!

Let’s talk about different forms of cloud storage and how to use them!!

FIRST, at my sons’ insistence, I signed up for Google Mail, better known as gmail.  Google has some EXCELLENT apps that I depend upon and you MUST have gmail to access these apps!

1) Google Calendar!

Everything, yes I mean EVERYTHING goes onto my Google calendar. Why? Because I can access it virtually ANYWHERE. School. Home. Smartphone. It works beautifully for me. NO MORE PAPER datebooks!

2) Google Drive!

Again, Drive is a Google product, so you must have a gmail account. Drive is GREAT! I store materials-especially black ink-only materials.  Those can be quickly and easily accessed at school for printing (which is why I offer many black ink products in my TpT store). This is also a place to store forms you may need. And let me NOT forget---you can actually print docs  stored on Drive from your smartphone!!!  Woo-hoo!!

3) Google Keep!

I LOVE Google Keep!  This is one of Google’s newer apps. You can see above what you can do with it. These are digital sticky notes-all in one place. Accessible at school, home and by smartphone. At the end of the school year, I made a quick list to remind myself of a few things that would surely be forgotten over the summer (no, NOT what is pictured above). I love, Love, LOVE Google Keep!!!! It helps me KEEP my sanity!!  :)

4) Dropbox!

Similar to Google Drive, Dropbox is another method of storing in “the cloud.” This method of document storage has been an absolute life-saver for me. Dropbox can be used at school, at home, on your phone. I use it to store TpT materials. Occasionally, I have access to a color printer at school, and Dropbox works well for this. Dropbox is not a Google product. 

Click on the picture above to sign up for Dropbox! Disclaimer: Dropbox will reward me with a little more space if you sign up via this referral by clicking the photo above.

I strongly urge you to consider going paperless! It has made my insane school year MUCH more manageable.

Have fun!!