Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's In Your Cart Linky Party: Hero Sale!

Hey friends!

As if you don't already know it, teachers (and SLPs) are HEROES!!! To celebrate the heroes that we all are, TPT is throwing another site-wide sale!

My friend Jenna from Speech Room News usually hosts a linky where everyone links up their wishlists, and this time in no exception! Make sure you check out the linky for great suggestions for the sale. Every time I take a look, I add more to my cart!!

Here's a look at what I suggest from my store:

My March Book Club:

My book club bundles are perfect for getting all of your planning done for the month! Each book companion comes with a seasonal book, a fictional book, a nonfiction book, and a year-round story!

And my April Book Club: 

Currently, there are Book Club Bundles listed in my store for January-May, with the remainder of the months coming out soon! They're already listed at a bundle price, so with the additional discount from the sale, they're an awesome deal!

Here's what's in my cart:

Jenn's Great Listener packet looks AMAZING!!!

Jenna's Color Interactive Books are a MUST HAVE for like every kid on my caseload under 4!

Kristin's Articulation Necklaces look so adorable...I know my kiddos will LOVE them!

 Lauren's Story in a Can packet looks like it would work great with Story Grammar Marker!

And finally, Nicole's Leveled Grammar Intervention is sure to be a MUCH needed resource!

What's in your cart? I'd love to hear!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Shamrock Absurdities FREEBIE!

Hi Friends!

Whelp....Valentine's Day is over and I've got a week of therapy activities planned around President's Day! But after President's Day comes Saint Patrick's Day, and I'm trying to get a jump start on planning!

Currently, I have quite a few students working on absurdities. I thought they might be a little more motivated to work on them if they were holiday related, so I created a quick activity to target absurdities, and I'm sharing it with you!

Seriously, the support you guys give makes me feel like the luckiest SLP in the world. So thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart! And Happy (early) Saint Patrick's Day!

You can download the freebie in my TPT Store by clicking the link below:

Chicken Soup for the SLP Soul Bloghop!

Hey friends!

I'm so excited to be a part of this super cool blog hop! When I was younger (and had time to just sit and read), I read tons of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books. I loved how some stories were funny, some were sad, and all were inspirational. So when Felice (the Dabbling Speechie) suggested we do a Chicken Soup for the SLP Soul blog hop, I jumped at the chance!

Though I was super excited to write this post, I had a terribly difficult time deciding what to write about. I'm sure many (if not all of you) have had someone in your life tell you at some point that you should write a book after you tell them a story or two from your SLP life. I get that from my family all the time. I do try to write funny or inspirational stories down occasionally so I'll remember them. I sometimes even look back at the funny ones when I'm having a bad day! So I sorted through tons of stories and finally chose what has to be my favorite one of all time:

Before my current job, I worked at the best elementary school I could imagine. The school has self-contained Autism classrooms from PreK-5th grade. Though many of the students could be funny from time to time, one of the boys in the 2nd grade classroom kept us laughing daily. He is lovingly referred to as the "preacher man" because he is always saying things like "Praise Jesus" and "yes Lord!" One day, I went to get him for therapy and his classroom teacher was having a hard time getting him to do any work. He kept pulling on his right ear and saying there was water in there. His classroom teacher told me that when he went to take a drink of water from the water fountain that morning, he turned his head and water shot in his ear. They wiped his ear out and when I looked, it was completely dry. I just figured he had gotten "stuck" on the topic and was perseverating on the water in his ear, so I told him to stand up and jump while shaking his head to the right. I was planning on saying something like "Great job! The water is all gone now, so we can get back to work." But you guys, I kid you not. When that kid started jumping and shaking his head, water literally poured out of his ear. It was like a dam broke. There was actually a puddle of water on the table! The classroom teacher and I were shocked. But the look on the kid's face was priceless. He looked even more surprised than we were. He grabbed his ear, ran around the room, and shouted "I can hear! I've been healed! Praise the Lord, I'm healed!" May we all have such strong childlike faith!

I hope you're enjoying hopping through these stories as much as I am! You can head back to the first blog by clicking the picture below:

You can head to the next blog by clicking the picture below:

And don't forget to keep up with the numbers. There are awesome prizes at the end!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Day I Let My iPad Die

If you’re anything at all like me, your iPad has completely changed your life in terms of speech therapy. And checking email. And browsing Pinterest and Facebook. And shopping online. And playing mindless games before you fall asleep. And reading good books. But mostly, it has changed your speech therapy.

Seriously, friends. What did we do before we had apps? Adorable, fun, cute, engaging, never-boring, never-ending therapy materials all wrapped up into one small, LIGHT WEIGHT little package. I’ll tell you what I did: I stock-piled one of my 14 jumbo-sized Super-Duper bags with what seemed like hundreds of games, artic cards, drill books, worksheets, and arts and craft supplies and hauled it in classrooms, around schools, in and out of therapy centers, day-cares, my car, and patients’ homes.  And all the extra items that didn't fit in my bag filled my trunk to the rim.

So the first day I took only my iPad to therapy, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Artic kids? I had an app (or four) for that! Fluency kids? I had an app for that! Language kids? I had lots of apps for that! Social/Pragmatic kids? Same story. Reinforcement games? I had tons of apps for that minus the 65 teeny tiny pieces that come with most board games! And the day I realized I could download the hundreds of Teachers Pay Teachers products into iBooks and use them without having to print them? Pure. Sweet. Bliss.

So for two years, I plodded along with my iPad as my trusty therapy sidekick. We did everything together. Went everywhere together. Sure, I used hard materials still, but not like before. I was pretty convinced that I’d never do another therapy session without my new aptly-named i-PAL. And why would I ever want to?

Then one day, a few weeks before Christmas break, right about the time everything was starting to get good and chaotic, the unthinkable happened. I accidentally forgot to charge the iPad the night before, and the battery died. Died! I stared at the ugly little red battery indicator for a few seconds before it all went black. What was I going to do? I had come to rely on all the perfect little apps to basically handle my therapy planning for me. The kids all knew what to do, and they loved it too. They were always engaged with the iPad.  And my jumbo-sized Super Duper bag had long since retired to the bottomless pit of my therapy closet. I had a patient to see in 5 minutes, so I had to think fast.

“Where’s your iPad?” the kid asked. “I’m sorry. The battery died. I don’t have it today,” I replied, fully expecting a meltdown to quickly ensue. “Ok, so what are we doing then?” he asked calmly. “We’re going to look at each other and talk a lot,” I told him.

And for the next 30 minutes, we talked a ton. We played an actual board game. We used concrete artic cards. We read an actual book where we had to actually turn the pages instead of swipe the pages. We sorted tangible objects. We pretended to cook food and feed dolls. We shared some major eye contact. We had a blast.

By the end of the first day without my i-Pal, I was exhausted! I literally sounded hoarse from all the extra talking I had done that day! (Mostly explaining where the iPad was).  This is not to say I didn't talk to my kiddos when I used my iPad. But talking over a game or app is not always as effective. The kids don’t have to look at you when they’re on the iPad, so they miss out on your facial expressions, body language, and even your tone of voice. Even more so, holding a physical object in hand can appeal to many different senses, as opposed to the iPad only appealing to sight and sound. (I.e. my student could feel the textures of the play food as he categorized it into fruits and vegetables, instead of just seeing a picture of the fruit and hearing an applause when he sorted correctly.) As I reflected back on that day of therapy, I felt sure that some of my kids had actually noticed me that day. That they had thought of me more as a therapist or even as a friend, instead of just a lady who sat in the room next to them while they did their work, throwing out words and phrases while they were playing and making sure they didn't exit out of the educational game to play Plants vs. Zombies.

So the result? I decided to allow my trusted-but-no-longer-needed i-Pal to stay dead for the rest of the week. It forced me to be imaginative in my therapy planning once again and to get out of the technological rut that had besieged my creativity. To my astonishment, the kids were fine with it. (Although I did actually have to show a few of them that the iPad was really dead for them to believe me!)

And now that the New Year is upon us, my i-Pal has a place in my therapy once again: In the last 5 minutes before the kids leave. Provided they spent the first 25 minutes actively engaged with me.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What's In Your Cart Linky

Hey Friends!!!

I can't believe another Thanksgiving has come and gone and we're on to Christmas! This Christmas is especially exciting because my little girl is 15 months now and notices everything!

If you haven't already heard, TPT is hosting another site-wide sale December 1st & 2nd (Monday & Tuesday)! The site-wide sales are awesome opportunities to empty out your wishlist and save, save, save! Just be sure to enter the code TPTCYBER to save up to 28% in most stores (mine included!)

My friend Jenna at Speech Room News is hosting another awesome "What's In Your Cart" linky party, and I'm participating! Head over to her her blog to see many of your favorite SLP bloggers' posts on what they are planning to buy during this sale!

First, here are a few of my own products I recommend:

If your kiddos loved Turkey Trouble, they'll adore this book companion to the sequel: Turkey Claus!!

Since non-fiction is so important these days, I created a fun way for students to learn the history behind Christmas symbols such as the Christmas tree, Candy Cane, Gingerbread Man, Stockings, and More! 

This Little Critter book companion is so much fun and has activities for a wide range of ages!!! 

Pierre the Penguin is one of my favorite non-fiction books to teach!!! This book companion not only incorporates the story, but you can also learn about the different types of penguins too!!

Finally, my January Book Club Bundle is a great way to get 4 book companions at a fantastic price! As with all of my Monthly Book Club Bundles, you already get 4 companions for the price of 3, but with an additional 28% off, you'll never find this packet at a lower rate! 

And now, here are several items that are already in my cart:

First up is Jenn at Crazy Speech World's Old Lady Craftivity Bundle...I have no words for how adorable this is!! 

Next is Jenna from Speech Room News' Christmas & Holiday Interactive Books. My students are totally addicted to these things (as am I!) 

Then comes Kristin from Simply Speech's Trim the Pronoun Tree. Anything with Pronouns is desperately needed...and holiday-themed pronouns are a bonus! 

I've been dying to get my hands on Nicole from Allison Speech Peeps' Leveled Vocabulary Intervention Pack!! 

And finally, I'm so excited to snag Felice at The Dabbling Speechie's Winter Wonderland Social Pragmatics Pack. I have several of her holiday-themed packets and they're amazing, so I know this one will be too! 

What's in your cart? I'm always up for more suggestions!!! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Turkey Hunting!

Hey Y'all!

If you're like me, you've just finished up with Halloween activities, and you're rushing around looking for Thanksgiving materials to fill your therapy sessions for a bit of festive learning! I have TONS of students on my caseload right now working on prepositions. They need to see examples of prepositions and also have a chance to practice them. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving (and turkey season in the South), I called in the turkey to help teach prepositions in this FREEBIE!

There are several pages of cards which describe and show where the turkey is. For your non-readers, you can asked them to tell you where the turkey is.

At the end, there are turkeys to laminate and cut out for the students to practice placing them where instructed.

You can download this FREEBIE by clicking the link below. 

Hope you enjoy! I'd love to hear how your students like this activity! Happy Turkey Hunting!! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Batty for Speech & Language!

Hey Yall!

I can't believe Halloween is FRIDAY! The past few months have been a blur, and before we know it, this year will be over! If your therapy is anything like mine this week, you're ankle deep in Halloween speech and language activities! Take a look at what we're using this week in therapy!

We worked on matching inferences with my Halloween Costume Inferences! I asked the kiddos to describe their own costume to me as well and let me guess what they are going to be. They especially loved this!

For my older kiddos who work on behavior/social skills, we used Miss Speechie's Good Witch, Bad Witch activity to sort nice actions from not-so-nice actions!

My younger lovies worked on colors with Dina Peters story, Orange Pumpkin, Orange Pumpkin!

Jenn Alcorn's Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat story companion was a HUGE hit, especially since there are activities for an array of ability levels!

My Pumpkin 'WH' Questions activity was great for practicing answering questions and learning about fall and Halloween!

My older students LOVED learning about the history behind Halloween with my Halloween History Comprehension Packet! Do YOU know how Halloween began?

I couldn't let my kiddos go Trick-or-Treating Friday night without a quick lesson on Halloween safety! My True/False Safety activity will help your students learn how to make safe choices while getting their trick-or-treat on!

I have a ton of students with category goals right now. They loved using my Spooky Spider Halloween Categories game to sort and describe! This game can be easily modified by taking away categories or items from each category to make it easier. The sorting cards also come with both word and picture options!

Who doesn't love Room on the Broom?!?! My kids ADORE this book, and I do too. Not only are there great vocabulary words in the book, but the words rhyme too! We used a best seller of mine, my Room on the Broom Comprehension Pack, to answer questions (with and without answer choices), sequence the story, do writing responses, and more!!!

Finally, we used pumpkin emotion cards and a sticker book of faces to make our own pumpkin faces and learn about feelings!

What are you doing for Halloween? I'd love to hear!!!