What Instagram Has Done For Me

I probably joined Instagram a few years ago and like most social media I belong to, I joined to keep tabs on my boys. I was also interested in seeing what some of my friends had to post as well. I posted an occasional photo here and there but I could go days and weeks without really looking at it. I’m not exactly sure when I decided to start following other speech pathologists, but when I did, a whole online community of generous therapists opened up to me!

Instagram was where I discovered other therapists looking to collaborate on the Newbie Blog Hop, including co-hosts SLP Chelsea and Jen from Speech Therapy Fun. Thanks to them, I have a blog, TpT store and most importantly a new online mastermind group that provides support and collaboration for a group of us who are looking to further our practice and share our information and resources with others.

Recently Jessica from Consonantly Speaking and Kristin from Simply_Speech organized a contest through Instagram. The challenge was to post a different picture each day of the month for May in an effort to raise awareness for Better Hearing and Speech Month. I decided to challenge myself and post a picture each day. I think in the beginning I was so worried about what I was going to post, I  hadn’t really thought much about what I would SEE posted by others.  I am so impressed with the group of therapists who participated and shared their ideas. I know I will be walking away with much more than I put out. Although there are still a few days left, I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from the contest….

Articulation, we all know it can be a little dry, so we are always looking for ways to make it fun and engaging. I know I can easily fall into the comfort zone of my favorites. I will definitely be adding some of these simple, but adorable craft ideas to future artic sessions.

Bubble craft picture from my.speech.er.  Each bubble has a speech target. I will use pictures in the bubbles for my non-readers.

bubble craft

I love this flag craft idea from slptree. I will certainly be using this over the summer.

flag artic

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs?? Can’t wait to make these meatball speech words with the students. Thanks to talkintime for sharing. spaghetti meatballs

In addition to crafts, we know the little ones love to “feed” animals, monsters and old ladies! I think I need to add Feed the Woozle shared by vlinderct.

feed the monsters

I’m also going to have to get my hands on one of these giant dies like sparklyspeechgirl shared. My kiddos love the smaller foam die. I can’t wait to introduce this giant one! Looks like we could even target some math with this!

die artic

Anyone who has read previous posts knows that I LOVE using arts and crafts in therapy. I’m planning on using both of these crafts this summer shared by speakingofspeech. Bubble prints and oceans in a jar! I have done oceans in cups with jello, and oceans on paper plates with plastic wrap, but never in a jar. Looking forward to the challenge!
bubble printsocean jars

I am an avid reader, although this spring has slowed me down a tad. I love this idea from speech4africa, using speech bubbles in books to target feelings, social thinking and more.

speech bubbles in books

Another great idea to target social thinking by sunshineonaspeechday is using a jello “brain” to identify different types of “smarts”!

brain

I think as a whole, you might not find a group recycling more than slps! We are forever saying, “don’t throw that away, I can use that! I’m just not sure how quite yet.” I love this idea  from slpstephiek for using recycled creamer bottles as bowling pins. Who doesn’t love to bowl??

creamer bowling

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I have been trying to take back the speech room in terms of organization, aesthetics and function. I think there should be an HGTV (is that still a network??) show featuring classrooms and therapy rooms. Anyone else agree?? I love the polka dots and speech sign shared by slpstephiek. I also love these fabric bins shared by puttingwordsinyourmouth,  that look attractive yet are perfect for keeping items/materials out of view.

speech cornerstorage bins

This is one of my favorite finds that I could not wait to share with Kat, the OT. Speakingofspeech shared this food plate to be used with picky eaters. Why didn’t I think of that?!

FOOD PLATE

I love a good quote. the_speech_peach shared this one. I think it should be hung in all classrooms, regardless of grade.

speech quote

This is just a sample of the incredible posts shared by a generous online community of therapists. If you would like to see more, go to Instagram and search #instaBHSM. You won’t be disappointed.

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Taking Back the Speech Room

For the last two years I have been trying to take back the speech room. I was tired of the piles on my desk, and work table and anywhere else I could find a flat surface. I was tired of the disorganization and the wasted time looking for things because they didn’t have a proper place. I was tired of always feeling frazzled and one step behind. I used to hide behind the phrase “there’s a method to the madness”.

I didn’t start out that way but that’s probably because I didn’t own anything. I started in a cleaned out room in the basement of an inner city school. I believe I had a SPARC book and a few homemade games from grad school and then slowly the accumulating (hoarding) of books, materials, toys, papers and handouts from workshops began. It’s amazing how much stuff can be acquired over the course of 20 years. It’s even more amazing how much stuff can fit into a closet, and I’ve been in a few.

When construction was being done on my school a few years ago  every single thing in the room had to be boxed and labeled right down to the last paperclip so I figured it might be a good time to do an overhaul. Luckily there was a new therapist in the building who didn’t have anything so I was able to share (get rid of stuff) without the guilt of throwing things away. Once I lightened the load I was better able to organize what I have.

For years I kept articulation cards in plastic drawers intended for shoes but this year I moved to open baskets. The kids can access their cards a little easier this way. artic card storage

 

I have finally taken the time to put masters of seasonal units and articulation pages into page protectors and binders. I don’t miss the bins of hanging file folders that sucked all of the papers into a coiled roll at the bottom of the folder.

binders

I saw the idea on Pinterest to have a caddy near the work area that contains some of the necessary materials for the week. I also keep 5 minute quick drills here (sometimes lessons go quicker than expected and they are always ready to go). I also keep seasonal and nonseasonal open ended games here as well. Friday is my team day so no drawer for Friday.

easy access

 

I even decided to get a little crafty. I jazzed up this bulletin board with some buttons and hot glue. bulletin board

 

I love how these articulation cans came out. I used fabric duck tape and cans from the paint store. Click to find the link to TpT.

speech cans

 

What I have found with the new and improved speech room is better productivity, less time looking for things because everything has a home and best of all, no piles cluttering up my desk. All of that equals less stress and there’s enough of that already. Notice there are no full shots of the speech room. That’s because there’s still plenty to do but I’m on my way to getting it done and feeling pretty good about it.