Monday, September 14, 2015

Which Gnome???

This school year, I feel like I am going back to the basics that I used during my CFY. I'm learning the needs of some 45 students (for now) and facing new challenges. Simple activities are high on my radar. I want something quick so that I have a variety of materials to hold their attention. Sometimes it is easier said than done to find these....but I think my latest creation hits the nail on the head. 

Which Gnome? is a quick game to practice pronouns and speaking in simple sentences. The first part of the activity consists of simple drilling cards. Students can point to the correct gnome or say the appropriate pronoun after you present the sentence.

The second portion of this activity consists of a full black and white pages. Students cut and paste the objects on the bottom to the gnome picture. My students have to tell me a complete sentence  with a pronoun before they get to paste the object to the picture scene. Once all the pictures are attached, I let them color the picture and take home for additional practice.

Grab your copy of Which Gnome here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lifestyles of a commuting SLP

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door...

Commuting-- Everyone's favorite nightmare regardless of whether or not you have a long drive. I was considerably blessed to spend the past four years driving just six miles from my former house. The traffic made the trip usually run about 15 minutes each way. Now that I've moved, I get to enjoy a 30 minute drive to and from my new school. Luckily, I get to enjoy one of the most spectacular views that I've ever known on my daily trips. It is a constant reminder of how small my problems are in comparison to the world around me.

But, it also leads me to wonder what other SLPs with long commutes do....Surely, I am not the only one who has these thoughts on the way to work. I guess I could ask in one of the plethoras of facebook groups, but I think it means more to me to simply share my musings on here.

A few ideas for commuting SLPs

  1. Jam out to music 
  2. Listen to radio talk shows
  3. Plan out future shopping trips
  4. Plan out what you want to do for the day
  5. Listen to audiobooks
My biggest struggle with the commute is figuring out how to come home with enough energy left to cook. I am afraid to admit that we have been eating out far too much lately. Oh well, we can't be perfect all the time!

Friday, August 28, 2015


Adjust per Webster's dictionary:

: to change (something) in a minor way so that it works better
: to change the position of (something)
: to change in order to work or do better in a new situation

My horseshoe table and the meeting table.
I would say that all three of those definitions apply to life lately. First, I had to change rooms at my new school on the very first workday. It went from being in a secondary building in the morning to being in the main building that afternoon. It was exciting and stressful to know that I would have a full-sized classroom. I've even expanded my classroom furniture vocabulary thanks to the lead custodian.

It's still fairly un-decorated at this point as I wasn't expecting anything more than your typical therapy closet. Eventually, it will have an Inside Out theme going on. My favorite feature is the huge window. We also have a really awesome projector connected to the computer. I cannot wait to show my new students the "Biscotti Kid" video for our whole body listening lesson.

Another really awesome surprise is the therapy I-Pad. I'm slowly learning how to use it.

If learning a new district's system wasn't enough work, I was also crazy enough to let my husband talk me into getting Buddy a friend. We ended up bringing him home TWO. The little one in the picture has stolen my husband's heart. Unfortunately, we've had to deal with the lovely issue of fleas, deworming, teething (on every electrical devices they can find), and some type of bacterial infection that puppies from breeders often get. I haven't had much time to work on freebies with the three of them running around in a destructive cloud of teeth and claws. Puppies are a great source of exercise. :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Life is sweet

I am in the mood to do a little celebrating today. I finally got to sign my contract with my new school district! It is such a huge relief to have the paperwork done after all the craziness that took place with my job hunt over the summer. Why?

Well, I got TWO phone calls from other districts that I had interviewed with previously on the day that I moved to my new town (while I was in the midst of the 2.5 hour drive with two days before my wedding). I had already accepted a position with a large district after giving up hope on the job that I really wanted. Life; however, has a funny way of working out and I was able to get the job with my "dream" district. It is much  more similar to my previous one and that makes leaving a place that I loved so much a little bit easier. I also get the bonus of having a much better commute to work. It just goes to show you that a little bit of patience goes a long way. 

Since I am not quite sure of what I will be facing at my new school, I am trying to create some very generalized activities that I can use to hit multiple goals. Word Collector is aimed at syntax goals.

There are several ways you can use this activity. 

1) You can have students sort the words into the different parts of speech bags.
2) You can have students describe the word. (I would use the Expanding Expression Tool for this.)
3) You can have students formulate sentences using their words.

Grab your copy of Word Collector here!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


The good thing about rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off for two months is that you don't have much time to think. I feel like I am finally catching my breath. No more being preoccupied with wedding, honeymoon, and moving to a new town. I am feeling much more settled and sort-of ready to start in my new district.

This little guy has been helping me out by keeping me constantly on my toes.
Luckily, he gets along very well with his Aunt Serena.
As someone who is fairly introverted, the prospect of having to meet a whole bunch of new people and adjust to a new space falls into the dread category. It seems like it would be an easy transition with so much advanced warning of the move, but I am still struggling with the "what ifs" of being the new person. I have been searching for some new ideas on TeachersPayTeachers to kick the new school year off with a few less nerves. Here are some of the things I've found recently:


  1. Back-to-School Icebreaker game
  2. Conversation Starters


  1. Bear-Y Good Speech /r/ sheet (perfect for Teddy Talker)
  2. 100 Word Chain for any sound


  1. Ninja themed following directions
  2. No-Print Idioms 

Social Skills

  1. Free Emotions Cards
  2. Unthinkables video clips
  3. Social Emotional Worksheet (for older students)
  4. Inside Out Board Game (not from TPT but really cute freebie)


  1. CF Supervision Forms (These are pretty nice templates)

Parent/Teacher Communications

  1. Parent Communication Letters (Seasonal)
  2. Parent Contact Log (single student per sheet)
  3. Teacher Communication Forms
  4. Speech Notes

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It's the most magical place on Earth....

It's been much too long since my last post. I have really missed blogging and working on new materials. So to get things back into gear, I thought I would share a few pictures of what I've been up to the past month......

The wedding cake had the same pattern as my wedding dress.

The wedding kiss via Mickey and Minnie.

My first ever trip to Disney World. It was amazing until my husband tried to get me on the rides. 

Wedding ears.

The Haunted Mansion ride was the only one that I really enjoyed out of all four parks.

The beautiful mural inside the castle breezeway. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


This is a hard week for me in so many ways even though it has been a long time coming. I've planned and prepared as best I can....and yet, now that this week is finally here I am struggling. It's moving week.

I said good-bye to my speech room in my little hometown for the last time on Friday. It was difficult to walk away from that bare-bones room after four years of calling it home. It was even harder to say good-bye to my coworkers and students. That school will always hold a dear place in my heart no matter how far away life takes me.

I am very fortunate to have a new job already. I will be in school with a hour commute each way. Although I dread the drive (my old 15 minute drive has me spoiled), I don't think there is any other setting I would rather be at this point in my career. Maybe someday I will work my way up to a university clinic, but for now I am happy being in a place where I can help children.