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.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Checking Up on Opposites

One of my recent Goodwill shopping trips has inspired me to think a little outside of my normal card-shaped bounds this month.....I found a wooden brochure holder from a medical office of some kind. It was in pristine condition for just $3.99. Being someone who changes her storage strategies every year, I decided to jump on the deal and figure out a way to incorporate it into my deep appreciation for 5 minute articulation tasks. 

When I start a task of potentially summer-long proportions, I like to test it out on a smaller scale to see if I truly want to devote that many hours into it. The result is what you see here.

In what little practice I've been able to do with my students this past week, it has been so much easier than shuffling through flashcards. My students are also getting to learn how to open and close a brochure. This is likely to be the first in a series of brochures that will hopefully target language goals as well as the articulation set that I hope to complete this summer (in the midst of getting married, going on a honeymoon, and moving). The trick is to have access to a printer that does double-sided pages without assistance. 

When you fold the paper it will turn out looking like this.
I selected opposite concepts that I frequently work on with students of all ages. The little boxes underneath the pictures allow the students to mark off if they got the concept or needed a second try. You could also use the boxes as a way of progress monitoring instead by writing the date underneath and whether or not they got the answer correct.  

Grab your copy of the Opposites Brochure here!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Off the beaten path....

I recently had a new kind of yard sale experience. A town-wide yard sale.

It was definitely an interesting and informational trip. So here are a few things I learned:

1. Some sellers will have absolutely NOTHING priced. I suppose this is to encourage haggling, but I really didn't like having to sound like a pricing parrot.
2. You will run into some sellers who think they are running a one/two day antique shop. Yes, pedal cars are really cool but the $400 price tag was not so much.
3. You might want to bring a rolling cart along so you don't end up stuck carrying something really heavy around for long.
4. There will be an overload of people shopping. Be fast. Be a yard sale ninja.
5. Spend the rest of the year working on the fine art of haggling.
6. Bathrooms are hard to find. Scout out gas stations on google maps before you head off on the trip.

P.S. I had absolutely no success at finding any new therapy materials, but loved every minute of my trip.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Looking towards summer....

This school year, more than any other that I've experienced thus far, has been challenging. So many changes come with getting a new superintendent and principle than I realized or noticed during my student days. 

I am grateful for the challenges, the changes, and the growing that both my students and I faced this year. It has made all of us stronger. 

I am grateful for the ideas rolling around in my head for next year. 

I am grateful for other SLPs continuing to visit this blog. It keeps me inspired to find new ideas and make new materials. 

And, I am grateful for summer being right around the corner. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

To everything there is a season....

It's hard to believe that it's May 11th and the end of school is just around the corner. I've been busy with kindergarten screenings and the teachers are just starting the end of year district benchmark assessments. It is a little bit different than our previous benchmarks as the entire school schedule has been shifted. 

The change and working on cause & effect with one of my inclusion groups inspired me to try my hand at making a foldable activity. 

Students have to tell me a possible consequence (effect) of the written action. Then, they get to pick a number and do whatever is hidden.

The actions range from making a silly face to describing an object and even to play-acting what they would do/say in the situation.

You can grab your copy of Consequences here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lessons from Kindergarten Screening

We are currently in the middle of Kindergarten Screening. It has really snuck up on me this year. My mother and grandmother are certainly right in saying that time has a way of passing you by before you even notice it. So here are my reflections on this year's screening.

  1. The test developers REALLY need to consult with a Speech-Language Pathologist before creating future articulation tasks. They also need to consult us on the horrid "I Spy" task too. 
  2. I hate tweezers. 
  3. The language section seems to take 10 times longer than any other section. (The only exception to the rule is when you have someone taking a really long time to score.)
  4. The screening goes much more smoothly when everyone pays attention to what sections a child has/has not completed and brings them to X area for a needed section. 
  5. Blocks should not be used in the children's waiting area. It makes it very difficult for other children to pass the hearing screening.
  6. You will always have a least one kid who pitches a fit at the sight of the headphones & audiometer. Unfortunately, some are easier to reassure than others. 
  7. You will always have someone show up late when its about time to leave.
  8. Never say "will you"....without expecting someone to eventually refuse.
  9. The rhyming task is a nightmare. Always has been and always will be. 
  10. You will be ridiculously tired the next day for no reason at all. 

Monday, April 27, 2015