Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pancakes & Pajamas

Hi Friends!

I can't believe it, but I have a 3 year old! It's I look back over the past three years, I feel like they flew by, and yet, I can barely remember life without our sweet Halle Jane! We've been planning a Disney trip for her 3rd birthday for the past year (we leave next week!), but we wanted her to be able to celebrate with her friends as well. So instead of having a big birthday party, we kept it small and simple, with a Pancake & Pajama breakfast last Saturday. She invited four little girls from her class at school, and it turned out so cute and fun! You can check out the deets below!

Sweet the little 3 year old....We asked all of the little girls to come in their pj's!

I covered the table with sack paper and we used a marker to draw on placemats with their names!

While they were waiting on the pancakes, they made Fruit Loop necklaces!

Here's a close-up of the drawn-on placemats! I found the milk glasses from the Target Dollar Spot for $3 for two, and they took those home as part of their party favors!

A close up of the cake-made to look like pancakes (with butter and syrup!)

Not shown are the pancakes and bowl of fruit!

We also let the girls choose a box of cereal to take home with them if they wanted it! 

"Bacon and Eggs" made from Pretzels, Wilton's chocolate pieces, and M&Ms-so easy, and delicious!

Cinnamon rolls are so much more fun on sticks!

The birthday girl!

monogrammed pillow cased for the girls with the Silhouette as their other party favor, and they played Pancake Pileup (a super fun relay race with pancakes) after breakfast!

It turned out to be so simple and sweet-a perfect morning for our little pajama princess!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Speech Room Tour, 2016 Edition

Hi Friends!

I blogged before about my first speech room in St. Petersburg, FL, but I've yet to blog about my new speech room in my hometown of South GA, and I've been here two years now! So I thought that today, I'd give you a little view inside our speech room!

Welcome to Speech!

Though I'm in the same room, my speech room looks a lot different this year than it did last year! Last year was my first year teaching in the same school system I grew up in. I inherited a room that the previous SLP had been in for years, and with it I inherited a hodge podge of therapy items and furniture. I cleaned a lot out last year and brought a lot of my personal items in, but I did little to decorate, as there just wasn't much time. Over the summer, I took out book shelves and filing cabinets and repainted them, refinished the wooden student table, bought new shelving, and hung new curtains! When all of the other decorations were added, I could finally see my personal touch on our room!

We have a Superhero theme school-wide this year. I made a Superhero Decor packet, which you'll see featured in the pictures below! You can check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store HERE. 

Here's a view of my desk when you first walk in the door. Though my room is small, we're cozy and not in a broom closet, so I'm thankful!

I spray painted an old ugly file cabinet, and it turned out so much better than before!

The side of my file cabinet is my inspiration wall....the bible verses help me get through the tough times!

My family is represented on top of the file cabinet, as well as my Chika Chika Boom Boom treee and The Giving Tree book. The Giving Tree book was given to me after I graduated college by my 5th grade teacher. I was in his class his first year of teaching. We kept in touch, he sang in my wedding, and now he's the principal of my new school!

These organizational drawers sit to the left of my desk. They hold my school supplies....yes, I'm a school supply hoarder!

Here's a view of the rest of my room from the doorway!

I bought these new shelves from Hope Depot this year, and I love them! They're much better than the corkboard bookshelf I had before that was going to completely fall apart at any time! They house my laminator, printer, treasure box, extra ink, and CD's.

I just hung this bulletin board this year, as well as the new SPEECH letters! The bulletin board houses our school Superhero Expectations. I bought the cardboard SPEECH letters from Hobby Lobby. I spray painted them navy blue to match my room, and hot-glued green ribbon to the top. They hang on command hooks!

Here's a close-up of our speech table. I LOVE the size of this little wooden table. I refinished it over the summer and it looks even better than before! The lime green stools were ordered from Amazon (my favorite)!

Here's a closeup of the supply box. I bought this silverware/napkin holder from Target over the summer on clearance for $0.70!!! I used my Silhouette to put the word "Supplies" on there, and Viola! it keeps all of our craft supplies organized!

The board houses our calendar and weather activities, as well as our Weekly Theme, CCSS Reference, Essential Question, and Ticket Out the Door!

I write below these each week depending on what we're learning. (Administrators LOVE seeing this!)

Of course, my room wouldn't be complete without Braidy!

 Finally, my bookshelves. These babies also got a makeover this summer with new paint! The left bookshelf houses all of my teaching workbooks, notebooks, children's books, and SGM items! The right bookshelf houses artic materials on the top, language materials in the middle, and games at the bottom!

And that's it! A little glimpse into our speech room! *Not pictured are two additional filing cabinets outside of my door. It's small, but cozy, and we're proud of it! (Plus, it's currently clean and perfectly organized, since it's the beginning of the year!)

Have a great new year, friends!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sunny Speech Minimal Pairs Flip Book for FCD {A Product Review}

Hi friends!

I'm back today with a product review for a neat way to practice those dreaded final consonants! Sunny Speech Games were created by Annika Suarez, an SLP in sunny Florida. The flip-book games were created to target phonological processes, such as final consonant deletion, fronting and backing, stopping, voicing/devoicing, gliding, and cluster reduction, using a minimal pairs therapy technique.

I met Annika during the ASHA Convention, and she graciously offered to supply me with one of the flip books in exchange for my review. I chose FCD, as it seems to be a very popular goal around here! Disclaimer: While the Flip Book and contents were provided free of charge, the following opinions are all mine. 

It seems we do a lot of work on final consonants. A lot of work. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to practice articulation sounds and phonological processes that keep my little kiddos engaged and motivated. This minimal pair flip book has been a huge hit with my babies!

Each flip book set comes with a spiral bound flip book (that stands up!), 2 sheets of reusable stickers, reusable data sheets for both younger and older students, a blank sky page for the stickers, 10 SLP data conversion sheets, and 5 SLP data sheets. An adorable Sunny Speech bag is also included to house your set, which is perfect when I'm traveling around the school!

The book includes a detailed directions page for explaining how to play the game, how to keep data on the data sheets, and tips for working with younger students versus older students. It also includes directions for Auditory Bombardment, directions for playing an "I'm Aware" game for Auditory Discrimination, and directions for playing a "Say It" game to practice the phonological process you're targeting. There are TWO sets of flip-books for Final Consonant Deletion. My set targets the final deletion of /n/, /ch/, /p/, /t/, /k/, /m/, /d/, and /s/.

The pictures in the flip books are set up as minimal pairs. Minimal pairs are great for helping children become aware of what sounds they are saying, and how the sounds they choose effect how someone understands them. For instance, if a child is trying to say "couch" but leaves off the /ch/ on the end, you can visually show them how they said "cow" instead! Minimal pair therapy has been very effective for my kiddos with phonological processes!


The best part about the flip-books is the sunshine stickers for motivation. These stickers are made from vinyl, so they are easily removable for reuse again and again! The students can either place them on their data sheets to help keep data, or they can place them on the sky sheet. My students love earning as many sunshine stickers as they can! 

The data sheets are great as well. They are easy to decipher and color coded based on the amount of cueing needed. This is great for keeping up with how well the student is doing independently! 

Overall, this flip-book has become a great edition to my arsenal of speech materials. In fact, it is one of my most requested activities during speech groups! 

You can learn more about Sunny Speech games and order one or more for yourself by clicking the link below! 

Have you used any flip books from Sunny Speech? I'd love to hear what you think! 

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Story Box {A Product Review}

Happy Monday, friends!

If you know me at all, you know I love books. All books. But especially children's books. I own so many children's books that I have to keep them in multiple locations. But I still buy more any chance I get!

Have you heard of The Story Box? It's a *super affordable* monthly subscription service for children's books created by a certified Speech & Language Pathologist! Each adorably packaged box comes with two new children's books that are yours to keep forever! The books are specifically chosen to be brightly colored, fun, and attention-keeping for your child. In addition, the boxes come with a monthly tip or challenge (for the board book package), a parent guide (for the picture book package) or both (if you get the family package). The price of the box is less than the cost of both books, so you really can't go wrong!

The Story Box was created by Holly, an SLP, and her husband, Clint in an attempt to pass on their passion for reading with their children to other families. I love the story and heart behind this mission!

Each month you are subscribed, you will receive a box with two children's books. You won't know ahead of time which books are coming, so it will be a great surprise for you and your children! Should you receive a book that you already own, simply send them a picture of the new and old book together, and they'll include an extra book in the next month's box (This is great for children's book hoarders like me!)

As an SLP and mommy, the best part of the box is the parent guides. There is a different parent guide for each book, and each parent guide explains why the book was chosen. It also lists language concepts and suggests supplemental activities for each book. These suggestions are broken down by age range (babies: 1-2 years, toddlers: 2-3.5 years, pre-schoolers: 3.5-5 years, and early elementary: K-2nd graders). These guides are AWESOME for quick lessons for SLPs and teachers, and even better for modeling how parents can interact with their children during reading!

So who's The Story Box good for? In short, everyone. But more specifically:

1) Parents, who are looking to spend some quality time with their kids and fill their home up with something better than junky toys

2) Teachers, who are looking for quality books to add to their classroom library, as well as quick suggestions for extension activities

3) Speech Therapists and other service providers, who are looking to add new and exciting books into their therapy sessions, as well as quick extension activities filled with language-rich content

4) Grandparents and other family members, who are looking to give a gift that will keep giving and giving and giving

5) Children, who are looking to dive into exciting books and expand their knowledge and love for reading!

Still have questions? Follow The Story Box on instagram and Facebook to see examples of past boxes, as well as gain access to occasional coupon codes....I promise you won't be disappointed!

Have you tried The Story Box yet? I'd love to hear what you think!