Friday, August 29, 2014

Poetry can heal the soul

Change happens. 
Go with the flow.
Don't resist the current.
Embrace the chance to learn
and you will find 
a better you was hidden all this time.
Change is life.
To refuse to change is death.
Negativity will not make it disappear.
Negativity will only drive others away from you in fear.
Embrace the beauty.
Embrace the challenges.
You are stronger than you think
so make the changes your own.
Twist what may come your way
to fit your style
and demeanor.
Never give up.
You can do this.
If you are in doubt, find an optimist.
Don't ever say I can't
because deep down you really can.
But don't let yourself be taken advantage of either.
Change is life
and life is good.
Happiness and change can co-exist.
Just go with the flow and trust that somehow
it will ALL work out.


I hope this ever changing world will start making changes for the better. I've finally given up on watching the news because all of the bad things that are happening across the world are just too tough to stomach. It's not a change that I am fond of, but I would rather start my days out on happiness.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Relief (non-speech related)

This is a public service announcement from the lamination king: 
Serenity got a good report from the veterinary specialists at NC State! 
Give me all your laminated products! I will eat them! Bwahahahaha.
Her latest bile study showed that her levels were slightly elevated, but are still in the acceptable range. She doesn't have to go back to Raleigh for three months and they took her off of her last medication. If all goes well at her next visit, she may get to start eating normal dog food again! I'm sure she's really excited to hear that Blue Buffalo may be in her future again.
I'm a whole 9 pounds now!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Welcome to Walt Speech World 2014-2015

Welcome to the magical world of Speech-Language Pathology!

My main materials
Inclusion cart close-up. Contains EET, story rope, articulation cards, & manipulatives.

Word wall

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just visualize

This school year holds many new changes. We have a new superintendent, a new principle, new teachers on staff, a new Speech-Language Pathologist joining our team, new students, and all the many paperwork changes that happen every year. I'll even be seeing some students at a local private school this year. It seems like all we did last year was say "good-bye" to many incredible people. Now, we will begin with a series of "hellos."  I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little nervous even as I head into my 4th year with the district.

So, I'm closing my eyes and visualizing what I want to see for this year.....My students being successful inside and outside of the classroom. The great and terrible /r/ finally being conquered. Open-ended questions leading to more enthusiasm towards reading. Laughter. Smiles. Parents advocating for their children and bragging about their accomplishments (no matter the size). Reading to Teddy Talker and practicing their sounds with him. Describing manipulatives with the Expanding Expression Tool. Category hopscotch. A bilingual word-wall. Learning prepositions with stuffed animals and pronouns with people puppets. Less stress, more crafts, and more smiles.

In my personal world, I am praying for some much needed strength. One of my relatives found out that they had a second form of cancer over the summer and is in pretty bad pain. The medication the doctors prescribe for the pain seems to make it worse instead of better. I'm really hoping for the best, but it is not easy. We are also still waiting to hear from the vet's about Serena's most recent bile study. (Please no more liver shunts!!!!)

Visualization.....It's a strategy that I often use with my older students. I like the way it puts things into a different perspective. Sometimes we are so close to a subject that we lose our ability to be objective judges.

[Keating stands on his desk]
Keating: Why do I stand up here? Anybody?
Dalton: To feel taller!
Keating: No! [Dings a bell with his foot] Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton. I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
                              ---Dead Poet's Society

Monday, August 11, 2014

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars

Categories, categories, and more categories! It seems like I am forever talking about categories with my language students either directly through their goals or indirectly for another language concern via the Expanding Expression Tool. I am constantly on the hunt for something to make categorization more fun and interesting for my students. We use store-bought games, sorting manipulative objects, and homemade activities. Each year, I try to challenge myself to find a new way to make something fun for the topic. I think that my students will be pretty pleased with the end result this year.

Category cubes! I decided to make these to use on rainy days when I can't take them outside to use my homemade thumball.  

There are twelve different category cubes in this packet that range from specific (ex. things at school) to random topics (ex. naming things with wheels). There is also a number cube, which students use to determine the number of items they have to name. You can also use regular dice with this activity if you prefer. There is also a blank cube for other categories that you might want to use. 

Grab your copy of Category Cubes here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Time for a little bit of royalty....

Thoughts on beginning the 2014-2015 school year
May the road rise up to meet you and
May you not get behind too many school buses going to work.
May your after school meetings be quick and to the point.
Let the piles of paperwork be shorter...
and Medicaid billing painless.
May you attend many relevant workshops and conferences.
May the sunshine and happiness of your students
wash away all negativity that you might face.
May your school year be blessed!

I hope you will enjoy this little freebie for the new school year. It's several pages of open-ended questions to use with stories. You can easily keep these on a binder ring for a language quick activity.

Grab your copy of Crowning Questions here.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thoughts on Bubble Talk

I recently stumbled across a game that has been on my SLP wishlist for what feels like forever at the Goodwill Outlet. It was just sitting there in a bin that had been pretty well picked over by the point I walked in the door. Why was I about ready to bust out in my happy dance?

Well,  Bubble Talk is a very versatile game that can strike up a conversation almost instantly. The pictures range from completely wacky to the more realistic. The bare bones premise of the game is that you match the funniest caption card to each picture.

I see this game being so much more:
  1. Using the pictures and/or caption card as a story starter.
  2. Open-ended questioning.
  3. Describing what they see.
  4. Identifying the action or the noun.  
  5. Identifying emotions and giving a reason why the person/animal might feel that way.
  6. Identifying what doesn't make sense with the pictures.
  7. Articulation carryover
My one suggestion would be to go through all of the cards before you pull this game out for therapy. (Actually, it's a good thing to do this with any new game.) I found a few that were a bit questionable for the age group that I serve. 
The picture of the sister tying her little brother to the chair will probably be one that really gets them talking.
I've learned over the past three years that my favorite games to use in therapy are either the ones that can hit multiple targets, like this one, or the ones that will get me multiple productions from turn-taking without being too time consuming.

One of my favorite pictures for emotions.
Why do you think the baby is making that face?