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”.

hey-santa

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.

gingerbread-smash-mats

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!

winter-interactive-books

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

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HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEPTEMBER

I can’t believe we have started school and it is already September! Here’s a glimpse of what’s happening in speech for this month:

First, I need to develop a schedule.  Sounds easy enough but it’s not. The students can’t be pulled during their itinerant times, wellness (formerly known as recess), lunch, recess or core instruction. Doesn’t leave much of the day for students who require pull out service. It’s especially tough when you’re negotiating for that time with the other service providers.  We now meet as a team (Speech, OT, PT, reading, resource and psych. services) to schedule at the same time. This has been extremely helpful in avoiding overlap of services. It is also beneficial when trying to schedule co-treats with other service providers. Once the schedule is on paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will actually work in real-time. Usually it takes a few weeks to work out the kinks.

The first few weeks of service are spent establishing relationships and setting expectations. If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that students are most productive during speech when they like to come. If students do not want to be there because they think they are missing something or not enjoying the activities (not all students will like all the activities all the time) they become challenged to fully engage and therefore the expected results can be compromised. I’ve also learned that clear expectations and routines need to be established. I think most children (especially K-2) like when things are organized and predictable. When students know what to expect, it helps them to be ready to learn. Once we have that basic foundation of therapy established, we can start to target specific objectives. We will do that by reading books, using materials, playing games and making crafts.

These are just some of the books we’ll be reading this month:

Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books!

Follow Me to School

When Autumn Comes

To make our articulation drill work fun we will be using some Back to School and Fall Themed Roll and Color reinforcers worksheets. roll and colorWe will also be playing some articulation games, including these quick play games.

quick play games

To target vocabulary, following directions, spatial concepts and oral expression, we will be using some of these materials:fall language pack

gray squirrel

Here’s at least one craft that we will try.fall treee

These are just some of the fun things planned for this month. It’s going to be a great month!

PRODUCT REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!

Recently I had the good fortune of reviewing some great products from Beautiful Speech and TLC Talk Shop. I am also excited because each of these ladies has agreed to give away their products to a lucky winner! In the spirit of the giveaway, I  will also give away one of my products.

I currently work with preschoolers and school aged students, grades K-2. I am always looking for interactive, hands-on activities that are bright, engaging and hit as many targets as possible. Aren’t we all?? These products do just that!

I will start with Kristin’s Verb-Pronoun Flip and Practice Book. verb pronoun flip and practiceThis interactive flip book provides targets for subjective pronouns, is/are and 20 verbs. This product can be used as an interactive flip book (that’s how I’ve been using it) or as an interactive cut and glue activity. The pictures are bright, clear and large, which is perfect when using in a small group or individually.

the man is mowing

When used as a flip book, students can generate sentences to match the pictures.  The books can also be used for asking and answering questions, such as “What is he doing?” and “Who is climbing?” This product also lends itself to expansion questions such as “When do you swim?” and “Where do you dig?” This product is especially effective with those students who have decoding skills that are stronger than their comprehension. Students can match the verb words to the action pictures, helping to build comprehension. This quality product is certainly becoming a staple during my therapy sessions. This product could also be used by special educators.

I have also been able to use the fun and interactive books that target multisyllabic words by Tami from TLC Talk Shop.

steph and frank go on vacation

This product contains two interactive story books. The books are bright, engaging and just fun! They target vocabulary and speech production of multisyllabic words. Also included is a board for barrier games and following directions. Task cards for various “WH” questions is also included.  This is a perfect activity when you are grouping students with various needs. There are even homework reinforcement pages included where students can practice production of multisyllabic words, as well as think about categories.

I have also used the Speech and Language Dojo Bundle.

speech and language dojo

First of all, students just love the “ninja” type characters! The Speech materials include:

265+ Act It Out Sound Loaded Articulation Cards. Students have the opportunity to practice following directions, and articulation all at once! Problem solving is also targeted for those students who are guessing the actions.

25 K Cards 25 G Cards 25 F Cards 25 V Cards 23 CH Cards 25 SH Cards 25 TH Cards 30 S & S-blend Cards 30 L & L-blend Cards 30 R & R-blend Cards There are also blank cards so that you can create your own Act It Out Cards.

My students LOVE roll and cover, and roll and color activities. There are colorful ninja token pages that can be laminated so that they can be used as boards. There’s also a black and white ninja token board for a low ink option or to use with daubers, another favorite in my speech room!

dojo token board

This bundle is also loaded with language activities! Included in the bundle:

DESCRIPTIVE FEATURES:

There are 20 description cards students use to figure out what is being described; 25 single word cards for students to describe as well as a Descriptive Features Mat. CATEGORIES: There are multiple ways to work on categories. There are 5 cards for what doesn’t belong that provide visual representation. There are  15 word lists cards for what doesn’t belong. These could also be used to target auditory memory. There are 20 name the category and add to it cards.

COMPARE/CONTRAST: Students can practice similarities and differences by describing the compare and contrast cards. There are 10 cards that have pictures and  20 that have written words.

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ACTION/SEQUENCE: Also included are 30 Act it Out Action/Sequence Cards- Students can take turns acting out basic sequences for actions such as brushing teeth and putting on shoes. Other students in the group can practice problem solving by guessing the action sequences being performed. ABSURDITIES: There are 30 absurdity cards that describe silly situations, such as “The girl rode her broom to school”. Students can use problem solving to determine what is wrong and practice use of sentence structures by recreating a sentence that makes sense. INFERENCE: There are 30 inference cards that require students to determine “where”  someone is based on the location described. Students also describe “what” someone is doing based on the actions described. Students also explain “why” someone is feeling a certain way or performing a certain way based on the actions described. RECALLING DETAILS: Also included are 30 Recalling Details Cards. Questions target Who (5); What (5); Where (10); and When (10).

This set is just loaded with activities that hit almost so many targets and are appealing to a wide range of grades and ages.

Since it is June (and some of us are still in school), I thought I would give away my Summer Interactive Grammar Books.

summer grammar books

There are 2 interactive summer themed interactive type books. Subjective pronouns he/she/they are targeted as well as possessive pronouns his, her and their. Eight irregular past tense verbs are targeted, as well as has/have. These books can be used as part of therapy, or as part of a center. They could also be sent home to be used as reinforcement of skills. Instead of creating a book, copies could be made to create an interactive cut and paste activity. Just eliminate the the full board on the last page.

Here’s a peek inside:

sandcastle 1

sandcastle 2

Contest begins 6/12/15. To win these products enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s Yours Like?

Recently, during a class meeting with second grade students, we introduced a spin-off game of What’s Yours Like?.
We played a child friendly version available here on TpT (shameless plug). what's yours like?We played with a second grade class, who was able to play successfully but I wouldn’t recommend playing with students any younger. During the game, there is a “Guess Word” which can be anything from a backpack, to a bike to hair. One student asks the others students “what’s yours like?” in an effort to try to guess the “Guess Word”. Students are to answer truthfully but cleverly. The object of the game is to try to guess the “Guess Word” with the fewest clues possible. For example, if the “Guess Word” was closet, students might describe their closet as “messy”, “cluttered”, “organized”, “empty”, etc. If one were to answer “where I hang my clothes”, the clue would be too obvious and the guesser would be able to easily guess the guess word. The game seems simple enough, but it was definitely a shift for some of the students. Students were used to giving clues so others could make a guess, not offer clues so others wouldn’t be able to guess.

You might think it would be the children with the language difficulties who had the most trouble with this game, but not so. It really was the children with social language challenges. We had been playing several games such as reverse charades and spring taboo (shameless plug number 2), where the students were to give clues so that others could make a guess as to what they were describing. This game requires students give truthful clues while hoping the guesser doesn’t guess correctly. Students with social language difficulties had a hard time demonstrating this flexibility in thinking.

To give an example, one of the target words was shoes. Several of the students described theirs as “worn out”, “broken”, “glittery”, etc. One very bright boy, with social language challenges, described his as “white on the bottom”. He then sat with his feet sticking out (children were in a circle on the carpet) towards the guesser waving his feet at her, hoping that he would provide the clue that elicited the correct answer. Why is this important?

This is important for several reasons. One for those students, who are perceived as bright and achieving well academically, performing in such a manner during this game can look like behavior. It may look a little like a student trying to be the class clown, when in fact, he/she doesn’t understand the game expectations. Two, the other students can become frustrated. As a whole, the class doesn’t want the “guesser” to guess the “guess word” so when it appears that someone is trying to give it away or deliberately provide a clue, the others in the group become annoyed with that student. This can result in the student who is giving the deliberate clue to be hurt and confused. So, what can you do?

For those students who have social language difficulties and may have trouble understanding the concept of giving clues but not wanting someone to guess correctly, you can pre-teach the game and practice in a smaller group setting, time permitting. You may also want to provide a sheet of descriptive words for students to use (included in my What’s Yours Like? game -shameless plug number 3) to help students make accurate yet not obvious descriptions.

So much emphasis is placed on academics and number of instructional minutes in the classroom these days. There seems to be less and less time to “play games” and “have fun” when in fact these types of games (Taboo and What’s Yours LIke? – last shameless plug)  promote problem solving, inferencing, descriptive language, social language, team building and a sense of class community. I think it is important to try and build time into the day, even if only for a few minutes per week to target some of these important skills.

Games, games and more games

Recently, more and more parents have asked me about the apps I recommend for home. While I use apps with students and find many of them helpful, I don’t really recommend them for home. I have let parents know the apps I have found to be successful, but in general, my recommendations for carryover of speech, language and communication skills are not apps.

What do I recommend for home carryover? Games, games and more games. Games target so many of the skills our children are working on: following directions, giving information, providing explanations, concept development, social interactions, turn taking, problem solving, opportunities for articulation carryover and the list goes on…Depending on the game, math skills and reading fluency could also be targeted. It’s also good quality time for the family. We have many game nights in my family. Ages range from my youngest niece, who is 9 to my mother who probably doesn’t appreciate her age being revealed. We also bring a new board game to almost every holiday. In the summer time we have “game nights” by my brother’s pool. The teenaged boys actually request these nights with the family. Here is a great list of games by the artful parent. I also strongly recommend cranium games. Some favorites in my family also include Last Word which can be scaffolded for different playing levels, Catch Phrase and What’s Yours Like? There are so many games that are great for carryover practice, it would be impossible to list them all. You probably have some in your closet right now. Go take a look.

I know not everyone loves to sit and play board games, but not all games need to be sedentary.  This Easter we launched our first Easter Games (I took first in yo-yo and jump rope, thank you very much). The games we played required establishing teams, negotiating events, keeping score and demonstrating sportsmanship (more on that later). We only had one episode of tears. You can find a list of some old fashioned games for outdoors here. It should finally be nice out this weekend so get out there and play!

Now, a little about sportsmanship. I think (my opinion), that children should participate in games to learn how to win and lose gracefully. In this day and age when everyone “earns” a trophy for participating, it seems that children have a harder time losing. I don’t have any data on hand to back that up, but if I start to track it I’m sure I could. Many children ask me if a game is a winning game or losing game, because they don’t want to play a game that they might lose. While I understand that, being a little competitive myself, I think it’s important for children to learn how to lose. How is that related to speech and language? Social communication. We have observed many a student have a very difficult time losing, to the point that they require adult assistance to pull themselves back together. This does not put one in the best light with peers, socially. The same holds true for the student who is not the most gracious winner. No one loves a ‘sore winner”. In the speech room, you are only allowed to announce “I won!” two times and the winner usually gets to clean up, all in good fun.

I’m not suggesting that games are the only way to carryover speech, language and communication but I do find them to be a powerful and motivating context to practice some of the skills we are targeting. Try setting some time aside this weekend for some family game time if you aren’t  already. I think you’ll be glad you did.

What’s Happening in April

I’ve been wanting to share some of the daily happenings that occur in the speech room. I love that fellow blogger ChelseaSLP posts her weekly lesson plans. I thought I might try to post a general preview at the beginning of each month. These are general ideas and not all children will participate in each.

WHAT WE ARE READINGThere Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog, Leap Back Home to Me, Growing Vegetable Soup and Three Stretchy Frogs

april books

Language therapy in my speech room is almost always literacy based.  I would like to devote more time to that in another post so I will leave it at that for now.

WHAT WE ARE PLAYING: We are using lots of games during articulation sessions. Let’s face it, drill work can be a little dry ( I might liken it to learning to conjugate verbs when first learning a foreign language). This is where we use a little trickery. We mask the dryness of drills with fun games, crafts and activities. This month we are playing Fill the Farm Stand Game. We are also using Roll and Cover Game boards found here on TpT. Students also like using the spring themed boards for Seasonal Chipper Chat. 

farmstand game

During class meetings in some first and second grade classes we have been playing a Spring Themed Taboo Game. Why are we playing? It targets describing, explaining, listening, drawing conclusions and participating in social interactions.  Oh, and it’s fun. We are hoping to play a What’s Yours Like Game, in an adapted, child friendly version. This is still in the works.

To target some structural goals we are using Pronouns and Prepositions for Spring. The students love acquiring new seasonally related items for their boards and describing what they have. Many of the students can identify spatial concepts and follow directions involving them, but when asked to describe a location the response is often “it’s right here”. Not in my speech room! We will also be using spring themed barrier games (still in development). I am a huge fan of barrier games and I will probably devote a post specifically to that at another time.

WHAT WE ARE DOING: Hopefully we’ll get to some fun crafts like this cute garden picture.  (Notice some similar themes between some books, games and crafts??)

bunny craft

Why are we doing crafts? Crafts provide a fun and meaningful context to target sequencing, following directions, concepts, vocabulary, and it’s just fun to do. It also provides students with a hands on experience that can be talked about at a later time (relaying past events).

Hopefully, we will get a chance to re-pot some of our plants. Why are we doing this? Three reasons. One, the re-potting provides the same opportunities as when doing a craft. Two, we use the plants as a daily “job” for some students. Three, they’re not going to make it much longer if they’re not re-potted. Can’t have a watering job with no plants.

JUST FOR FUN: The second grade boys who come for articulation therapy have really been into sticker charts. I decided to try to make my own and take their requests. I’ve only done a few and they’re nothing fancy but the kids don’t seem to mind. Help yourself here.

Spring vacation is the week of April 19th. Every year we think it will be the last year with a break in February and a break in April. Best to enjoy, in case it’s our last April break.

 

Hopefully these are just some of the activities we get to this month.

Renee

 

Today’s Co-Treat with the OT

Today we had another fun day of co-treat sessions. I’ve mentioned our lunch groups previously; today highlights a typical, traditional speech and OT group. Today’s group was comprised of six kindergarten aged students who all receive speech/language, OT and resource. Our group time is 30 minutes. In addition to the speech room, Kat (the OT) and I share a classroom for treatment. This group takes place in a classroom.

Here is a breakdown of how we run a typical group.

1. Students enter and put their schedule books on a designated shelf and proceed to find a poly spot on the floor for a GoNoodle video. Side note- we use poly spots all the time to help students become grounded and mark their space…more on that another time…

2. Students transition to the next area. Today it was to the carpet to read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick. Yes, we did have the Easter dilemma. Sometimes we change the words to Spring Bunny but since all of the students celebrate Easter we went with Easter Bunny.  Sometimes we read at a table, sometimes we read on the carpet. We try to keep a routine with some variability. We want kids to rely on the language and not just the routine. Students take turns feeding the old lady, nicknamed “Granny” by one of students this week. Funny how the kids never get tired of “feeding” the Old Lady and anyone or anything for that matter.

3. We use a transition question to move to the next area for the next activity. Today students had to recall an item  that she ate. Students aren’t allowed to repeat what another student has said so they need to listen to each other. Sounds simple but this can be a challenge for many of our kids. They are learning that this is a group expectation.

4. Today we borrowed a great idea from Katie from playing with words 365 Sequence necklaces! Graphics are courtesy of her site. First we had the students cut all the pictures of the items the Old Lady swallowed, in the correct sequence. As a modification for those students who have trouble cutting, we imported the pictures into Boardmaker and surrounded them with a bold outline, giving children a better visual of where to cut.

chick cut

5. Next the students sequenced the pictures onto a necklace. Targets include: sequencing, fine motor for threading and following directions. Notice the cotton ball to hold the pictures in place on the end of string…feels a little better than a string knot on the back of the neck. chick necklace

6. If we had the time, we could have had the students re-tell the story using their necklaces. Where does 30 minutes go?? Truth be told, we probably started late and went over late so it all works out.

7. Sometimes we have the students fill out a journal sheet to report on what they have done. Sometimes we send home a sheet completed by us so that the parents can ask about the session with their child.  Here you can find  a copy of the sheet completed by us: speech OT group communication. Feel free to copy for your own use or adapted use.

Why do I love co-treating with the OT? Well, first of all she has made me a better therapist. I now consider sensory, motor and regulatory needs in a way that I didn’t when I first started out. (That wasn’t on the grad school syllabus when I was in school). When you have that moment when a student accomplishes an anticipated skill for the first time there’s someone there to share the joy.  When I’m feeling like the well of ideas is dry, Kat is there to fill it up and vice versa. No matter how good we are, we can’t see everything in a session. It’s always nice to have another set of eyes when reflecting on how the session went and what to do for next time. I could go on but I’ll save some more for next time..