MEGA GIVEAWAY!

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Would you like a little extra money to spend shopping on Amazon?? I know I would. Well, it just so happens that I have teamed up with some other TpT sellers to put together an awesome giveaway.  We are giving away a $300 Amazon Card and a $100 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers!  There will be 2 winners and you have 20 chances to enter! Follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until tomorrow to enter. Good luck!

Kind regards,

Renee

 

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SLP SHORTCUTS FOR THE BUSY SLP

 

Truth be told, this isn’t just for SLPs. These shortcuts hold true for many of us who are busy trying to get it all done, while  maintaining a certain level of health, fitness and organization. slide1

Here are a few of the ways I take some short cuts during the course of the week.

First of all, I prep my lunch for the week, the whole week. If I am going to take the time to make a salad, why not portion out for 5 days instead of 1 day at a time. I love using mason jars.  Yes, salads are fine in glass for the week! I also eat a lot of soup in the winter. It keeps for the week and you can heat and eat right out of the mason jar.

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That alarm goes off sooner than I would like most mornings. Is it just me or does every single minute in bed count? I’m like most, I probably hit that snooze button more than I should. morning-1092771_1920

That being said, I do get up and go to the gym at least 4 mornings per week during the school week. So, I may or may not sleep in my gym clothes. They are comfortable enough for sleep, so why not? Sometimes when I don’t,  I find myself with my shirt on inside out when I get to the gym. All the more reason to wear the gym clothes to bed!

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Take the time to take inventory at the beginning of the month of  all your seasonal books, crafts,  games and materials. It may not feel like a short cut, but trust me, it will save you time in the long run. How many times have you scrambled to plan and stumbled upon some materials you forgot you had? If you take the time at the beginning of the month, you will find less time planning during the week.

Keep a supply of No Prep materials for those unexpected times. We all have great intentions for cooking and crafting but sometimes the day gets away from us and we just need some go to no prep materials to get us through. If you are interested in my No Prep Articulation worksheets for Valentines Day, you can find those here. If you, like me just experienced a blizzard and would like to add to your FREE  No Prep, Low Prep Materials, you can find my Winter Actions freebie here.

Another shortcut most of us is looking for is dinner. Here is one of my favorite short cut dinners…sauteed shrimp. It’s quick, healthy and delicious, if I do say so myself. It’s good hot, or cold then next day for lunch. You can keep shrimp on hand in the freezer and it defrosts in water in no time. All you need is shrimp, garlic (only the real deal please), crushed red pepper, olive oil and a lemon. Pair it with sauteed spinach, and rice, or toss it over pasta and serve with salad.  So many options!

(You can use any size shrimp and any amount.This is not a recipe. The measurements really don’t matter. It’s subject to taste.

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Heat a skillet on medium low. Add olive oil. Let it heat for a minute then add garlic (I use a clove or 2 per half a pound of shrimp) and crushed red pepper. I like spicy so I’m a bit heavy handed. If you don’t  like spicy, still use it, just maybe a 1/4 tsp per half pound of shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to garlic and pepper oil. Cook until shrimp is curled and pink.If you have some parsley around, throw it on top but it certainly doesn’t need it.  Top with grated lemon zest. This is done in all of 10 minutes!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite shortcuts!

 

WE GOT THIS!

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How are you? Yes, you. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with how much you have to do and not enough time to get it all done? Does it feel like everyone is asking you for something? Like you are getting pulled in a million directions? Yes, you’re getting things done, but you are not quite feeling as effective as you would like to be. I know that feeling all too well.

Are you finding a few more excuses for those resolutions that you made almost a few weeks ago? Are you walking past that fitness equipment even though you want to use it and feel better?

home-fitness-equipment-1840858_1920 Are you grabbing whatever you can for lunch as you head out the door because it’s quick and convenient? Maybe you feel like you don’t even have time for that.

So I want to share with you something you may not know… food and fitness are just as important to me as being a mom and an SLP. I have done half marathons, sprint triathlons, challenge runs, crossfit and the list goes on. Below is a picture of me completing the Crossfit workout the Murph a few years ago.the-murph-2

As much as I loved the hard core workouts, I have learned that there can be a kinder, gentler approach to effective workouts.

The best part of a good workout, well for me, is the good food afterwards.   I have always loved food and cooking. Cooking can put me in my happy place. I know that’s not for everyone. But, there are ways to cook healthy and tasty without taking up a lot of time. I am excited to start sharing my “recipes” and methods for making really good, healthy food. asian-1238726_1920

I am also excited to start sharing some of my fitness knowledge. I’ve been encouraged by some of my SLP colleagues to start sharing this side of me, so I decided it was time to do just that.

 At the end of the day, I am not looking to be the fittest, strongest, leanest, soon-to-be-50 year old woman, but I do want to feel good. And you know what? The better I eat, and the better I feel, the better I work. Isn’t that what we all want?

Oh, and don’t worry there is still room for wine in all of this!wine-1543170_1920

Together, we got this!

MY GOAL FOR 2017…KEEP THE MOMENTUM

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It’s that time of year. That time to think about the year ahead and set some goals or resolutions. My goal for work this year is to keep the momentum going. Each year I start out enthusiastic, organized and well prepared.

Slowly, almost without notice, the desk becomes a place I don’t recognize. Materials don’t get put away because I am racing against the clock to get to where I need to be and finish the seemingly endless paperwork. I’m not going to lie, it can be a challenge to keep the momentum going but I think I have a few tips that help me to keep it going and maybe they can help you.

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One thing I’ve done is stopped thinking about the school year as a “year”. I no longer feel like the schedule I start with, is the schedule I need to keep for the rest of the year. Yes, it’s a challenge but I do reschedule my students and make changes to service delivery several times per year.  I have found the other service providers who I need to coordinate with tend  to be very flexible when they know at the beginning of the year that this will happen. Changing the schedule over the course of the school year, can help to keep things fresh, almost like a new year. day-planner-828611_1920

One of the ways I may make changes to the schedule is by pushing  into a classroom for a social skill group during the winter months, but then pulling a small group to run a joke club or lunch group.

Many of those groups are co-treats with the Occupational Therapist. This is one of my  very favorite parts of my job. On Thursdays, almost all of my groups are co-treats, which makes it one of my favorite days of the week.  Together we can  problem solve, plan and work together, each from a different perspective. Most importantly we can laugh at ourselves when things don’t go as planned, but then work together to improve for next time.

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Last but not least, I think a little incentive is perfectly in order. I love office supplies. If I have cute and fun notepads, paperclips and sticky notes around me, it makes me happy. I may or may not have filled up a cart at the office supply store yesterday before my first day back today.

I also have started to treat myself to some of my favorite foods during  lunch, especially  on those days that I expect to be a little challenging. One of my favorite foods is sea scallops. I wouldn’t normally bring those for lunch but if I have a day of back to back meetings, knowing I have those sweet scallops waiting for me in my lunch bag, helps me to keep it going. Nothing wrong with that!appetizer-1846026_1920

These are just some of the ways I try to  keep the  momentum throughout the year. How do you keep the momentum?

MY 5 BEST TIPS FOR KEEPING PARENTS INFORMED

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Most of our parents want to be informed about what’s happening during therapy sessions in our speech rooms and in the classrooms, but most of our students aren’t always the best reporters. Here are some of my tips for easy ways to communicate with parents.

  1. Snap a quick picture on the iPad and send an email. It has been my experience that pictures require very little text when sent to parents. Social groups and lunch groups are always a great time to send a picture of a student interacting with peers. Sometimes I may keep it as simple as “Here is Renee eating lunch with a friend”. Parents can use the picture as a spring-board to talk with their child. Important..Be sure to be cognizant of the privacy and photography policy for the school and for students who may be involved.
  2. Create a blind copy mailing list in google. This allows you to send out bullets of information to all of your parents while keeping it confidential. It’s a quick way to send any general information that is pertinent to the majority of your caseload, such as “progress notes will be coming home next week” or “see you at open house next Monday”.  It’s just another way for parents to feel like they are being kept in the loop.
  3. Invite parents in for a visit to show them materials. I know this feels like it’s a little above and beyond, but I have found those parents who have so many questions and want a lot of feedback, can be put at ease by coming in and taking a look at the materials that are frequently used during therapy, especially for those students who are not taking home worksheets or other “work”.  I have had parents observe sessions as well, but not all children respond well to having a parent observe. Sometimes just a visit with the materials is enough to satisfy a parent’s curiosity and help to improve understanding of what’s happening during speech.
  4. Pick up the phone and make an old-fashioned call. phone-1742828_1920While we can communicate about activities and general therapy information in notes and emails, some information can be a bit sensitive to those mediums. Parents do appreciate when we take the time to communicate any sensitive information by making a call. It can be so easy for information to be lost in translation in the written form, when dealing with any type feedback particular to the child’s behavior or responses to intervention. When in doubt, take the time to make the call.
  5. Send home information in a time sensitive manner regarding therapy sessions. For me this has always been a struggle. I find that I spend my day racing against the clock and the last thing I want to do is sit down and write a note about what we did in therapy. I finally decided to create a form so that I could just check off the goals worked on, as well as the materials used to work on those goals. Students can take them home the same day as their therapy session. I can keep them as brief as I need to or as detailed as I feel necessary. I don’t necessarily send them after each session, but I do try to send at least one home per week per child. You can access my parent communication forms here for free! slide4By communicating regularly with parents, we are creating trust.  This allows us to develop a meaningful relationship where they can feel, and should feel, part of the team. It is also one of our responsibilities for being a school based SLP. We are all pressed for time with bulging caseloads, but there are ways to communicate effectively and efficiently. How do you manage parent communication with your families?

TpT Cyber Monday Sale

cyber-linkyAnyone else having a hard time thinking about work after spending an indulgent weekend with family and friends?! Tomorrow morning will come soon enough, so it’s time to start thinking about what I’ve got planned for my groups.  Thankfully, I have been busy making  some new holiday products that my students are so excited to be use! Since it’s the TpT Cyber Monday sale,  it’s a good time to start purchasing some of those items on my Wish List.  To see what some of my blogger friends will by buying tomorrow, be sure to follow the linky back to Short and Sweet Speech.

Here are some of my favorite products for this time of year!

Hot off the press, this Rudolph inspired open target game is going to be one of my go-to games for my mixed therapy groups. I’ll be able to target multiple skills while students try to be the winner who ends up with the red nose on his/her reindeer.

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My students love interactive, repetitive readers. The interactive nature helps to promote visual attention which is very effective with my ASD students. These books help to develop vocabulary and early literacy skills, in a fun and engaging nature. I also like to use related activities and games to reinforce the same vocabulary and concepts. I’ll be using my Gingerbread, Gingerbread Book and related activities in the next few weeks.

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With so many young articulation students, who are not established readers, I will be using my No Prep Articulation Worksheets – Christmas Themed, which are picture supported. These print and go worksheets cover over 14 sounds including blends and vocalic /r/. There are 63 worksheets in all.

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My students love the books and posters from Monae’s Speech House.The pictures are so bright and engaging and they are perfect for targeting vocabulary and concepts.  I’m not sure I will be able to pick just one book, but I’m leaning towards the book “Hey Santa, Hey Santa, That’s Not Your Hat”.

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I’m not sure about your students, but mine love when I break out the play dough! I think these gingerbread themed play dough mats for articulation are a must from Small Talk SLP.

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I’m also planning on grabbing these winter themed interactive books by Communication Window. I can not have enough interactive books! Also included in this bundle are some sentence flip books, which are perfect for my caseload!

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Happy Shopping during this Cyber Sale! Don’t forget to leave feedback on your purchases. You will earn credits that can be used towards future purchases!

Happy Holidays!

Renee

THIS IS NUTS!

Love this post by Monae from Monae’s Speech House! This is exactly how I am feeling this fall…nutty! Not sure why it feels so crazy this year but it does. I am so glad I have some of Monae’s posters, books and artic products prepped and ready to go! If you don’t know Monae and her books, please take the time to check out her post and her amazing books and other quality products. Here’s to a great 2016-2017!

Monae's Speech and Language House

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School has been in session for a month and I’m starting to feel the craziness of it all. Trying to juggle therapy and those assessments and IEPs lurking down the road. So another words, it’s getting a little nutty!

Instead of panicking, I‘ve decided to join in and get a little nuttier this week. I have an entire weeks worth of fun lessons planned that will focus on fall, squirrels and nuts. I’ll be using a few of my fall books. My newest book, CLICK HERE  Nuts About Nuts, is a hilarious interactive story that includes lots of extra language activities, including WH and yes/no questions, a memory/vocabulary board, a simple coloring and writing page, and a few other goodies. I’ll be using my squirrel puppet  to start the lesson and we will definitely be listening to the song “I’m a Nut!”  There is also a version on You Tube that…

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