Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lemons and crash course lessons in kidney stones

Being a caregiver doesn't leave me with much time for blogging, especially with the kidney stone battle. My poor grandmother has passed a kidney stone about every other week since her first one in late July. I've learned more about kidney stones in the past two months than I ever cared to know.

SLP friends.,....lemons are your best protection from kidney stones. Eat them, drink water with lemon juice, and avoid tea. When they say that kidney stones are painful, they are not kidding. It's really hard to watch someone suffering from them too and not be able to do a darn thing about it. (Although, they say that roller coasters can help.)



In other news, I have recently found a great oldie resource for those of you that need quick activities for drilling. It's called Practical Language Activities from ECL Publications. I've been using it for grammar practice with some of my older students for push-in therapy. It's a quick way to work directly on skills without needing to haul a bunch of stuff around.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Keeping it simple

I wanted to share just a few pictures of my completely finished room set-up for this year. I'm going with the keep-it-simple motto this year since I'll mostly be going into classrooms. 


I've hidden away all of my games in the closet. Hehehehehe.....


Articulation/craft area.


Language area

Sunday, August 21, 2016

/R/ You Ready?

I'm not quite sure how it happened....but this week will be my first full back at work. I would like to say that I'm bursting full of creative ideas for my room, but my brain has been pretty much focused on watching the summer Olympics and Chopped re-runs. Hehe.....I'm glad that I have this week to figure out my door decoration. 


It's empty, but it's my old "home" so to speak. I will be doing a large part of my day through inclusion so I'm not bringing as much stuff as I used to have in there. It will be much less distracting for assessments with just bookcases of notebooks and my TPT cards/card decks hidden away in the purple bins. My manipulative boxes and few games will be hidden away in the closet when not in use. 

I've been racking my brain for a little while on how to better serve my students in the inclusion setting. I'm really excited to try the Story Grammar Marker & Braidy that I bought back in April. I think that will help with many of my language groups. I will also be using the EET as always. However, I also have to figure out articulation beyond using Teddy Talker for my k-1 crowd. I prefer to do pull-out for students in the beginning process of therapy, but I want something that the teacher can see/reinforce after the sessions. I like the thought of interactive notebooks because it essentially makes a product of the student's growth. Plus, it's something that they can take pride in showing off. 


This Speech Sound Book is for /r/. I included a table of contents to make everything relatively easy to find. 


There's a word list because it always helps to have an idea of things to practice beyond the task cards I've made. 


There are practice cards and several different activity pages for the sound in all positions. 


My favorite part is letting the students track their own growth with this chart. You can print as many as you need and add them to the end of the notebook after each chart is complete. 


So if you want to test it out along with me, you can grab a copy of My /R/ Speech Sound Book here. (Please note that this is very much a trial and error project. I don't know that I will make anymore of these unless it goes well for my students.) 


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Preparing for back to school

Today is the last day in July. It makes me feel a little sad in one way and really excited in another. I'll be going back to the school district and the elementary school where I started out. I'm excited for the new and the old. I'm also a tiny bit nervous because they are implementing a dual language program. It will start this year in two kindergarten classrooms and expand over the course of the next several years to each grade level. These classrooms will have half of their instruction in Spanish. It will be a challenge for me to figure out how to work with this and with the push for inclusion that has continued to grow while I was away. I've been trying to research some, but I really haven't found much to help me with the dual language aspect. It's just going to be a big learning process for us all.


In the meantime, I decided to go ahead and start thinking about how I want to get the new school year started. Bucket Filling is always a key part to my initial lessons as it helps to explain why we have rules in speech (although not too many). I also like to do a "get to know you" activity too. I hang these up in my room for the first few weeks of school. I'm really excited about the ones I found this year. It'll be a nice change from the superhero sheet that I've used for the past four years.

Here is a list of some freebies that I've found and will be incorporating into my plans:


"All About Me"
  1. All About Me Booklet. 
  2. All About Me Page or a slightly more grown-up version here for middle school 
    1. All About Me Spanish Page
  3. Student Goal Page
  4. Icebreakers
  5. What I Didn't Do on My Vacation (very cute)
Bucket Filler Activities
  1. Sorting Page
  2. Word Search
  3. Bucket Filler Incentive Chart
  4. Bucket Filler Wall
Articulation
  1. Back to School Backback craft. I love this cute craft for students. It's something that they will want to show off to their parents and teachers. 
Language
  1. Back to School Grammar Baseline
  2. Self-checking pronoun cards. I really like the photos in this one. 
  3. Back to School Verbs
  4. Flip It! Back to School Themed Following Directions Activity.
  5. BTS Cariboo
Fluency
  1. BTS Get to know me/summer vacation fluency tower

Friday, July 22, 2016

Finding my way back....


These last three months have been some of the hardest in my life since my sophomore year in college when my father nearly died in a car accident. I feel like I've been through hell and back.

But.....I am stronger for it.....

With the love of my life supporting me (can't believe we've been married a year now)
With our dogs to keep me busy as always 
With my family's help 
With a new diet to undo the damage of the last three months (got in trouble with my cholesterol)
With a new job far away from the cause of all of this

All I can say is that I am not meant for a life of permanent upheaval. I also think all those websites that claim to have tips for family members of people struggling with mental illnesses do not fully grasp just how bad it can be. It is not a world of sunshine and rainbows. It is a very lonely and scary place. A place that I will no longer be trapped in. 

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Buzzing with Analogies

Summer is finally here! I'm so excited for the much needed break. This past school year has been one of the biggest challenges thus far in my career. I moved, got married, started a new job, and got three puppies all in one fell swoop. Yet, I managed to survive all of these changes and learned that I'm able to cope better than I thought I could. 

Looking back on the school year made me want to make a product with yellow jackets. It's the school mascot of the elementary school. I'm thankful for all the things I learned this year and what better way to say "thank you." So Buzzing with Analogies was born.....

This activity is a simple set of cards for analogy practice. Your students simply fill in the missing word. 


You can grab your copy of Buzzing with Analogies here.


Have a great summer!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Because I am always amazed.....

I am someone who absolutely loves to learn for the sake of learning. I want to grow and I was not disappointed by the experiences I had at this year's NCSHLA's spring conference. It was wonderful. 


What did I attend?
  • Visual Immersion System: Communication Enhancement for Autism Spectrum Disorders by Howard Shane
  • School-Aged Stuttering: A Practical Approach by J. Scott Yaruss
  • Don't Worry, Be App-y by Kimberly Lewis
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech: A Multi-Sensory Approach to Achieving Speech Outcomes by David Hammer
  • How to Make a Cold Retelling Hot with Story Grammar Marker by Maryellen Rooney Moreau 
One of the best tips I learned came from Mr. Hammer's session. It's so simple that it makes you want to take a step back and say "well, duh!" or "Why didn't I think of that sooner?". He told us that he uses a piece of string (ribbon or shoelaces work well too) with a bead on the end to help students working on final consonant deletion. It gives them a multi-sensory reminder to put that sound on the end. They hold out the vowel as they slide their hand down to the bead/final consonant. I've been using this trick and it has made a real difference for my students.

I was also very impressed with Dr. Shane's idea of video modeling clips for students. He shows his clients little video clips of what he wants them to do with little manipulatives (like a little doll going up a ladder) instead of relying on live clinician models. Some students really respond better to this. While I don't have any students that I can try this with right now, I am definitely going to save this idea for my bag of tricks.