Monday, November 9, 2015

Thankful for pronouns

November always seems to rush by in a blur of IEP meetings, regular staff meetings, special activities, and holiday gathering. It is no small wonder why I have been looking for a few quick activities to pair with fall themed books for my language groups. This activity was actually inspired my old pronoun book creation. I pulled it out a few weeks ago and decided that we still needed more structured practice. So here is a Thanksgiving creation from my speech room to yours....Hope you enjoy!

Included in this activity are four sheets for structured pronoun practice. Students have to label the person using either he or she and then decide which item that person might be thankful for during the fall. Most of the pictures are related to fall and can be used to target fall vocabulary. 

I have also included a page with a boy and girl pilgrim to be used as a magazine sorting activity. In similar fashion to the structured pages, students should tell you sentences as they make a thankful collage.

You can grab your copy of Giving our Thanks here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Part Two of my recent finds....

Last week, I posted about my recent discovery of the Entire World of R products. I absolutely love their two story books, but I also needed something for students who aren't quite ready for reading paragraphs. I started out by simply writing two to three target phrases on sentence strips. These work really well if you have students who are struggling readers. You have complete control over the words that they will encounter. I wanted something similar for targeting sentence level, but I didn't have time to make my own. Luckily, I noticed that Amazon also carried the Entire World of R flip books

It's an eight book set that targets the different variations of /r/ in every position of words. It's $84 on Amazon which is definitely hard to swallow when you first see the books. Why? They are printed on some sort of cardboard-like paper that students can easily destroy by bending or inadvertently ripping out when turning the pages too roughly. I wish they were made more similarly to Super Duper's flip books and turn & talk series. It is a pretty big negative for a material that is very useful otherwise. I really like how students can mix up the pages to create their own silly sentence or just follow the original order of the pages. (Would I buy it out of pocket again now? No. This is something I think would be better on a purchase request given the questionable quality.)
The second material we are currently enjoying in my room is Alfredo's Food Fight. This was Goodwill find in the .50 cent game section. I took a chance and bought it without doing a thorough inspection of game pieces. I was lucky to find out that it was complete and barely used. 

The object of the game is to throw meatballs at Alfredo as he spins around. The fork launchers can be a little testy if you aren't paying attention to the "noodles" (yarn). It's really bad to get stuck in the forks. However, it is hilarious to see the meatballs flying around. I have used this with preschoolers and fifth graders alike. It is something that they all have loved and request to play again.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kicking up articulation therapy a notch.....

Between struggling with bronchitis for three weeks and watching two family members fight fraudulent credt/debit card charges, I have been less than motivated to do much of anything besides sleep. I did; however, discover several new materials recently that have made my life a little bit easier. 

My favorite finds are these two books of carryover stores from Say It Right that I found on Amazon. 

The Entire World of /R/ Book of Stories contains simple sound loaded paragraphs for /r/ in its various forms. Each story has 3 comprehension questions that students can either respond to aloud or write down. I typically end up asking more than just the three for additional practice at the spontaneous speech level. This book has been wonderful for my third and fourth grade students. Even though the stories are obviously fictitious, they hold the interest of my students in a way that some of the ones on Communication Connects do not (I can't complain too much about getting those stories for free though). The stories have some challenging words that I model but most of them are decodable. At $35, it is something that I would recommend for people who have a large amount of articulation students on their caseload.

The Big Book of  R Carryover Stories also contains sound loaded paragraph stories with comprehension questions for /r/ in its various forms. The stories in this book are longer and often more challenging than the yellow book. I've used it with fourth and fifth grade students, but I can see this easily carrying over into the middle school therapy room as well. I like this book because it is not nearly as difficult as the You Decide : Carryover Articulation Stories for S and R book that my previous district had. (Granted, that book is another great resource for more advanced readers/grade levels.) You can have each student read their own story at around 5 minutes apiece versus nearly 20 for the other. At another $35, it is something that I would recommend for people who have a large amount of upper elementary articulation students on their caseload.

Overall, I am really happy that I decided to bite the bullet and purchase these two books out of pocket. I can really envision using them for years to come.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pronouns at Recess

Once again, I find myself blogging about pronouns. I spend most days talking about pronouns at least twice if not more. I typically do this by drawing a boy and girl stick figure with various articulation and verb card decks. It's an easy way to keep my therapy table from getting loaded down with clutter. However, I recently decided to add in a little technology to the mix using my projector.

This simple little slideshow is designed to be used with PowerPoint on either a Smartboard, projection screen, or a computer. You just click view slideshow. 

Students are given a choice of pronoun at the bottom of each slide for either labeling or developing a sentence based on what they see. 

If you are using a Smartboard, you can let students draw additional items into the picture. They can also write their sentences on the board. You can also have them write sentences on a whiteboard.

Grab your copy of Pronouns at Recess here.

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. :)