Friday, January 31, 2014

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Imagination, Chalk, Wild Things, and a Freebie!

Happy Friday, Everyone!

It's a wet and chilly one here in FL, but it's a Friday nonetheless!

I missed last week's Weekly Wrap-up, so I'm doubling up this week. It worked out, though, because we've been doing the same things for two weeks now. This is what we've been up to for the past two weeks in therapy:

One of our units this month is "Imagination." Oh the fun you can have imagining with a student in Pre-K!

First, we read "This is the Sun...Or is it?" It's a simple, adorable book which shows how one picture can turn into other things when you use your imagination. Then, I had the students turn different shapes into other things, just like the illustrator did in the book. You can see that some of the little 4 year-olds were very creative!

A smiley face, an egg, a house, a trash can, a semi, and a kite!

A smiley face, a lady bug, a robot, a can of soup, a planter, and a baseball diamond!

A sun, a man, Sponge Bob, and Wall-e!

You can download this freebie in my TPT store here:

Next, we read a really cool book called "Chalk," by Bill Thomson. Ok, so we didn't really "read" it, because it's a book with NO words! These books are awesome, because the students get to look at the pictures and make up their own stories! In "Chalk," kids are walking by the park on a rainy day and find a bag of chalk. They start drawing, and anything they draw comes to life! They play with butterflies and hide from dinosaurs until they rain washes the drawings away and the "real" things are gone. This book is wonderful for talking about imagination!

You can find "Chalk" on Amazon by clicking the affiliate link below:

Because it's been raining off and on here all week, we had the students draw with chalk on construction paper instead of outside. Then, they told everyone a story they imagined about what they drew: 

We finished up our "Imagination" unit by reading one of my favorites, "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. 

I used Speech Room News' book companion to work on comprehension questions, word associations, adjectives, and articulation! You can find the book companion in here TPT store by clicking HERE.

We also did some good 'ole artic drilling for that dreaded /r/! 

And finally, we read Bear Snores On, and used my book companion packet on the iPad for NO PRINT, instant activities: 

You can find my Bear Snores On packet here:

And non-speech related, but this little girl turned 5 months old this past week! She is sitting (although wobbily), feeding herself, babbling like crazy, playing with toys, chewing on everything, and she has three teeth. It's amazing how fast they grow and change! 

I'm off to spend the weekend with family! Hope you guys have a great weekend too!

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Individualized Goal Plan (IGP) for Your's Truly!


The dreaded "r" word at the beginning of each new calendar year. Blah! I happen to love New Year's Day for several reasons. First, it's a holiday, so that means no work. Second and more importantly, it's my birthday! And third, and most importantly, it means a fresh start is here. With each new year brings the possibility of doing things differently than the previous year. And just like every other human being, I always have things I can improve on.

But here's the problem: I hate the word "resolution." To me, it seems like "I don't really want to do this, but I "need" to, so I'm going to "resolve" myself to "having" to do it." Like I said...blah! This mentality pretty much sets me up for failure before I ever begin. So I never make "resolutions." I make goals. Resolutions = Something I have to try not to fail at. Goals = Something I choose to try and be good at. See the difference?

This year, I'm trying something different. I was thinking about how I write 50+ IEPs for students each year. IEPs that detail specific goals in different areas that we expect the kids to meet. And in order to help make sure they get there, we set objectives for these goals and make them measurable so we can track progress. So this year, I made myself my very own IGP (Individual Goal Plan). You can see it detailed below:

The very first thing I did was brainstorm about different goals that were important to me. I used this adorable worksheet by Addie Williams. You can find it HERE.

I made goals for these areas:

1) Faith
2) Family
3) Health
4) Work


GOAL: Whitney will dedicate time each day to spend with the Lord.
             OBJECTIVE: Spend time in the Word each day
             OBJECTIVE: Be a prayer warrior for others
             OBJECTIVE:  Find a church home away from home

Reported progress thus far: Began a yearly devotional written by pastors across the country.


GOAL: In an effort to spend more time with the husband and be more active, Whitney will begin playing golf again.
             OBJECTIVE: Get new golf clubs (old ones are ancient)
             OBJECTIVE: Find a partner to play with when husband is playing with his friends
             OBJECTIVE: Play enough over the course of the year that I no longer suck entirely 

Reported progress thus far: Began the search for new clubs; Played my first game in 6-7 years over Christmas break (I need a lot of work.)

GOAL: In an effort to save more money and eventually buy a house, Whitney will make a valiant effort to pay off her credit card and keep it at a zero balance.
            OBJECTIVE: Come up with a payment plan and stick to it.
            OBJECTIVE: Don't buy anything I don't have the cash to pay for.

Reported progress thus far: Large amount paid on credit card. (Thank you, TPT). Now to keep it going.


GOAL: In an effort to get back to pre-wedding weight, Whitney will engage in an entire healthier lifestyle change.

             OBJECTIVE: Exercise 2-3 times per week
             OBJECTIVE: Plan healthier meals and avoid fast food
             OBJECTIVE: Limit Chocolate Chip Frappes to no more than 1 per month.
             OBJECTIVE: Limit Coke Zero to no more than 1 per day.

Reported progress thus far: Bought a Groupon for exercise class and attended first one this past week (Dude, I'm sore!); Have not had more than 1 Coke Zero per day for 2 weeks now; Have only had one Choc. Chip Frappe this month; Just made grocery list which includes healthy meal choices; Went through pantry and got rid of junk (not by eating it!)


GOAL: In an effort to curb her clip art addiction and save money, Whitney will help put her mom's amazing artistic abilities to use by turning sketches into clip art.

             OBJECTIVE: Research and purchase a clip art program
             OBJECTIVE: Convince mom to participate
Reported progress thus far: Began negotiations with mom

GOAL: Whitney will publish a children's book.

            OBJECTIVE: Find an illustrator
            OBJECTIVE: Find a publisher
Reported progress thus far: Book is written; Mom will illustrate; Still need a publisher. Anyone know anyone?

So in closing, I'm hoping that by writing this post and putting my goals out there for everyone to see, I will be even more motivated to meet these goals by the end of 2014. So far, so good. Probably need an accountability partner.  Apply within.

What are your resolutions goals for 2014?

The Weekly Wrap-Up: Penguins, Penguins, Penguins!

Happy Friday!

We had a trade day today, so I'm home today enjoying the day with this munchkin:

 I can't believe she'll be 5 months next week!

Anyway, I wanted to show you guys what we've been up to for the whole month of January....Penguins!

We paired my Pierre the Penguin Comprehension Packet with Jenn's Penguin Craftivity for lots of penguin-related fun!
 The students have been reading the non-fictional story, writing summaries, comparing and contrasting, answering comprehension questions, and sequencing the story events!

Jenn's craft worked perfectly with Pierre!

Overall, this has been one of my favorite units to teach, and the students adored it too! What are you guys up to in January?

Stay tuned for February lesson plans and my own personal 2014 goals coming soon!


Sunday, January 5, 2014

SLP Blogger Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

Hi Everyone!

I can't begin to tell you how awesome it has been to get to know and collaborate with SLPs all over the globe this past year! I have met some amazing people, and talking with them has made me a much better therapist than ever before! Some of us decided to get together and do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange this year.

I drew Teach Speech 365. I loved shopping for her! To see what I got her, check out her blog post here:

Also, make sure to follow her Facebook page and TPT Store. She has tons of amazing ideas and products! 

My wonderful gifts came from Rachel Jones, of Let's Talk Speech Therapy. You can read her blog post about what she sent and received by clicking below: 

Also, make sure to check out Rachel's Facebook page and TPT Store. She has so many awesome products! (I was even able to review a new product for her today!)'s what she got me. She was so creative...and you won't believe how perfect the gifts were for me!

 She had three gifts wrapped individually. Each gift was labeled with numbers 1-3.

 Number 1 was titled "For You."

 Number 2 was titled "For Speech."

 Number 3 was titled "For the Season."

Number 1 was an adorable blue scarf! I LOVE scarves, and this one is super soft and comfy!

Number 2 was Apples to Apples Dice. Though she didn't know it, I've had this game on my Amazon wishlist for about 2 months, just waiting to get an order big enough to order it. My students LOVE the Apples to Apples board game, and they are going to go crazy over the dice edition when we start back to school this week. Again, perfect!

 And finally, gift # 3 was the most perfect of all. On the card, it says that Rachel loves Little People, and if I can't use it at school, to use the book at home with Halle Jane (my 4.5 month old). Of course Rachel didn't know, but our "theme" for Halle Jane's Christmas this year was Little People. She got the farm set and the Little People Nativity set. I love Little People too, and so I couldn't have been more excited to open this Little People Christmas Lift-the-Flap book! (Halle Jane loved it too!)

And finally, Rachel included an oh-so-sweet handwritten card all the way from Indiana! Isn't it so awesome when things work out perfectly? I already thought it was super cool that she drew my name since our blog names are so similar. But when I received her gifts, I was pretty sure that some Christmas magic had happened and we were perfectly matched! One day, I'm going to meet these SLP "Blogger Besties" in person that I've come to rely on so much over the past year. And what an exciting, happy day that will be!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January Book Companion Club

Happy New Year! (And actually, Happy Birthday to me!)

I'm soooo excited about a new series I've started in my TPT store. If you're like me and you like to plan ahead for each month, this new book club bundle series is for you! I'm bundling together my book companions (and making MANY new ones), for each month of the year. Each monthly book club will consist of 4 companion packets: 1 fictional story, 1 nonfiction story, 1 holiday/seasonal story, and 1 year-round story. This will take care of your lesson planning for the month (and save you money along the way!). You can download the companion packets individually in my TPT store, but buying the monthly bundle will help you plan ahead AND save some moolah!

For January, the following books are included:

Fictional Story:

Non-Fictional Story:

Holiday/Seasonal Story:

Year-Round Story:

As a heads-up, the February Stories will be:

Fictional Story: Bear Wakes Up
Non-fictional Story: Knut the Polar Bear (and factual information about Bears)
Holiday/Seasonal Story: Someobody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
Year-Round Story: Mr. Duck Means Business

You can see the January Book Club Bundle here:

Hope you all have a wonderful day, and a very Happy New Year!