Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back to School Roll, Say & Color VERBS! (freebie!)

My roll, say and color articulation activities are such a hit I decided to create a fun one that can be used to target verbs in a variety of ways!!
Grab 2 dice, print the page of the target sound working on, and some crayons and you are ready!  No laminating involved!

Students roll the two dice.  One dice will tell them which row to look at.  The second dice will tell them to count across to determine the verb! 

You can have students use these verbs to work on the following goals:
–Expressing present, past, or future tenses
–Determining if it is a regular or irregular verb
–Using verbs in a complete sentence
–Using verbs to ask a question
–Use the verb to tell a story

–Or more!

To grab this freebie, hop on over and "like" my Facebook page!!  Then visit the "free downloads" tab!!  It is as simple as that!!  Already a fan, well then just grab it!  If you like it, leave a comment, it may inspire me to create more similar to this in the future :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Having A Reader's Notebook - Guest Blogger!

Today I share with you information from a literacy teacher/blogger/TpT seller.  As SLPs we are often collaborating with reading specialists since they typically see similar weaknesses and are working on similar skills.  Keep reading to learn more!!

I like to use many strategies and techniques in my reading classroom.  One such technique is a reader's notebook.  Having students complete a reader's notebook really allows students to interact with a book. It gives them the opportunity to reflect and record their feelings about what they are reading, as well as giving them the chance to analyze the story and how its written.  

I find this important because students often just rush through their reading assignments rather than really trying to understand the text.  My students are often reluctant to begin a reader's notebook but I often find it is something they eventually enjoy doing because it lets them be honest about their feelings without the fear of being judged by their peers. This benefits me by really being able to see what they understand and what they are struggling with.

I like to have my students glue the checklist in the front of their readers notebook.  It is important to me that my students use different prompts so I like the checklist because I can quickly monitor how often they are using a specific one. 

On Fridays I have my students complete an exit ticket response page that they turn in.  I respond to their writing and return the page on Monday.  This gives me the opportunity to monitor the responses and I get to respond to their entries on Monday they glue the response page into their notebook. Sometimes I have students work in pairs or triads on Monday to discuss the prompt they chose and their responses.  It is great watching their skills grow as they become more involved with the book and their discussions become more in depth.
How does this effect SLPs?!  Well, I often see students struggling with being able to:

  • discuss with their peers/myself
  • follow directions to complete this task
  • use a wide variety of feelings words
  • comprehend what they read in order to reflect
  • understand that others may have a different opinion
  • ability to write long responses/communicate in complete, complex sentences
  • understanding of common core vocabulary concepts
It is important for students to develop these skills so they can participate during ELA/literacy activities such as this above.  It is important for SLPs and ELA teachers/reading specialists to work together to achieve this goal and to build our students' reading comprehension abilities!

Beach Bum Literacy Chick is a reading specialist in an elementary school.  She uses up to date techniques and shares her hands on approach on her blog.  You can also find her on TpT, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Curriculum Challenge (PART 2!!) --- freebie plus a giveaway!!

Did you catch my previous post regarding the "curriculum challenge?"  I have received amazing feedback from it!  I have also received several questions...so...I have answers and more!
What are some places you go to for curriculum materials/resources?

  • Ed Helper:  This website has great reading comprehension activities.  I have taken short stories and created speech/language activities with them.  Like what?  Pull out articulation words, make Venn diagrams to work on compare/contrast using facts from the text, and creating timelines to work on sequencing.
  • Reading A-Z:  This website has leveled books.  They have books related to curriculum content areas.  You can print out ones at your students' level.  It can be used for working on vocabulary.  It can also help you understand what vocabulary words students are expected to know related to that curriculum topic.
  • Teachers pay teachers!  Just search for the topics your students are working on!!  You will be surprised how many resources you can find!  I have found great sorting activities for vocabulary concepts, cause/effect activities, and other graphic organizers!
How is this different than what a resource room teacher or classroom teacher will do?
We have a different approach!  We work on skills first, then carryover.  For example, work on compare/contrast, make sure students understand how to and can express responses using complete sentences, then give them two science terms to compare/contrast.

We can break down the concepts and see where our students will struggle with our knowledge of their difficulties.  If your students can't answer wh- questions, they are going to struggle answering questions about a text read in their classrooms.  What can we do to help?  Make visual aids to help them recall the different wh- questions.  Pull out the text and show them how using their visuals can help them!

What kind of form do you use to keep teachers informed or to ask what they are working on?
I have created a newsletter template that can be easily completed to keep parents or teachers informed on what is going on in your therapy rooms.  It can be difficult to touch base in person with EVERY teacher you work with (especially if you are in multiple buildings).  You can find this newsletter resource in my TpT store by clicking HERE!

I also have a standard form I use to easily complete and place in teachers' mailboxes.
How do I use these?  I make several copies, cut them apart, and store in a file folder on my desk.  This way I have them ready to go!  All I have to do is complete for a student or place in a teacher's mailbox for them to complete regarding a student.  Although some teachers don't like extra paperwork, others have found that by completing these, I am able to help them and their students more and found it worthwhile!  You can access this freebie in my TpT store by clicking HERE!

I hope these posts have helped you with the curriculum challenge!  How about a giveaway of my speech newsletters?!  Enter to win below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm an SLP and I cannot live without...

Are you wondering what myself and other SLP bloggers/Tpt Sellers cannot live without?!  Keep reading to find out!
I cannot live without:

  • Coffee: I cannot run without my dose of Dunkin Donuts!  Yes, you see above my Dunkin koozie.  It keeps my iced coffee cold all morning!  You can find them at your local Dunkin Donuts for like $3-4 -- totally worth it!
  • Sharpie markers!  Love them!  They make my organization cute, colorful, and color coded!  I have fine tip for writing fun memos and writing on my calendar/planner.  I have the thick tip for art projects and other DIY ideas I may use in my speech room.
  • My iPhone!  It has my calendar, photos, email, to do lists, and so much more!  I don't know what I would do if I lost it!
  • My laminator.  I love keeping my materials and I do not have to worry about my students ruining them.  It also helps make materials dry erase too!  I got mine YEARS ago at Staples.  You can find better deals on Amazon!
  • Dropbox.  Are you familiar?!  If not, it is a tool/website that allows you to store data.  It is great for backing up data as well as easily transporting data work to home.
  • DVR: ok, this may not have to do with being an SLP but knowing after a hard days work I can come home and catch up on my drama/reality TV, it is a definite motivator!
Those are just some of the MANY things I cannot live without!  

Now lets check out what others have to say:

What can you not live without?!  Join in on the fun and share it on Intagram!!  Use the hashtag #SLPscannotlivewithout to participate!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Curriculum Challenge!

As an SLP in the schools, it is always a goal each year to incorporate the classroom curriculum into speech therapy sessions as much as possible.  Many speech and language students have curriculum vocabulary goals or comprehension skills goals that correlate to those skills necessary in the classroom environment.  As SLPs, our overall goal is to teach our students strategies in order to be successful academically and socially, and to eventually no longer require speech and language services.  But how can we incorporate the curriculum as much as possible into our speech sessions?

One way to battle this challenge is to use the classroom themes into speech sessions.  Are the classroom teachers using holiday, seasonal, or themes in their classrooms?  Design your lessons using storybooks and activities that use that same vocabulary.  It can be difficult to find common time to plan with all teachers on your caseload.  You can send monthly e-mails or make a form for teachers to complete with concepts and themes they plan on using that month or week.

Do you work with older students?  They may not be working on seasonal vocabulary but science and social studies concepts.  Again, you can send monthly or weekly e-mails or have a form for teachers to complete with what they plan on working on.  Another trick, walk around!  Many teachers hang student work in their classrooms and in the hallways.  Take a look to see what they are working on.  Another trick, ask your students!  You will be surprised how much they can share with you.  I like to ask them early in the week what they are working on and I will have activities ready to go the next time they come in with vocabulary concepts they told me about.  Use the internet to research vocabulary lists related to the topics they are working on if you do not have access to curriculum maps or textbooks.


Those are just some tips and ideas to help battle the curriculum challenge.  It is important for us, as SLPs in the schools, to incorporate the classroom curriculum into our therapy sessions as much as possible.  It helps make our therapy sessions relevant and promotes carryover of learned skills into the classrooms.  It also impresses and pleases our colleagues, which is always a bonus!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Organization Fun!

Organization fun --- is that even possible!?  Well...every summer, I am always looking up ideas and trying to come up with new ways to be organized in the upcoming school year.  I try my best throughout the year to keep organized.  I will say, when I am organized, I definitely do a better job!  I remember to complete all tasks before upcoming meetings, paperwork is up to date and completed, and reports are written in a timely manner.  

This week, I am joining in a new linky with Busy Bee Speech.  Check out her blog to see how she and other bloggers stay organized!!

How do I stay organized?!  I use a data binder to keep everything in one place.  I use a binder with a clear insert on the cover.  In here, I put my schedule.  In this binder, I have tabs for each student.  For each student, I have an IEP cheat sheet, parent communication log, IEP goals printed out, an attendance form, and a data log for progress monitoring.  Check out my previous blog post about this binder by clicking HERE!
You can grab a FREE copy of my data collection form in my TpT store by clicking HERE!
What are my organization goals for next school year?

  • Clean up my drawers filled with lesson materials so I can find things easily and quickly.
  • Keep frequently used graphic organizers/worksheets in a nearby spot so I can easily grab them at any point.  I found these great magnetic holders that I can use!  Click HERE to see them for yourself!
  • Not forget about some great materials and products that I have!!  Things get hidden or pushed into the back of cabinets and I forget about them!  Boo!  So not fun!
  • Put things away right after I use them!  I hate the piles and clutter!
  • Remember to look at my calendar and planner!
Have you seen my other previous posts on organization??  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thrifty Finds Linky!

Do you spend your summers searching for cheap deals for therapy materials?!  Jenna over at Speech Room News has been hosting a thrifty finds linky party so that us bloggers can share what we have found!
Where do I go for cheap finds?  Dollar stores and Target's Dollar Spot!!  Those are my favorites!!  I know many SLPs/teachers do well at garage sales and Goodwill, but I have yet to be successful with those!  Another good place to look, RETIRING TEACHERS AND SLPS!!  They are always willing to give away or sell cheaply!  I know many SLPs have bought supplies on EBay as well!  I have recently been spotting Super Duper Inc. products as well as other great educational materials on Zulily.  What is that?  It is a website/iPhone app that has deals that run for a few days...you gotta keep checking in to see what deals pop up to make sure you catch them!

I have posted in the past some of my favorite finds.  Here they are:

Those are just some of my MANY favorite thrifty finds!!  I hope you can use these ideas in your therapy rooms!


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