December already! I am looking forward to the holiday break for some time off to spend with family and friends.
It can be a hectic time at school and the kids attention spans are short because they are so excited. I created this high interest, visually fun FREEBIE activity just for these days. Click here.
Laminate each of the four pages (perfect for group therapy) and grab some play dough (so cheap and fun, I think 4 containers are under $3 at Target). If I’m working with a group I roll the snowballs ahead of time.
You can work on “her”. Child says “her mitten”, gets snowball and gets to smash it on the mitten. Or you can work on “she”. Child says “She has a mitten”, gets snowball and gets to smash it on the mitten. (Same for “his” and “he” for the snowman and boy snowbaby)
The next level would be “She wants her hat” (using both forms of the feminine pronoun).
The males of course would be “He wants his hat”.
The sheets can also be used for labeling winter vocabulary or for increasing MLU (I see a snowman).
Play dough makes everything fun so your students will love this. You will too, enjoy!
If you are doing some planning and want to have some materials ready for when you return, my Winter Plurals
will provide activities for two-three sessions. This is a fun way to teach plurals with an introductory flip book, practice game, and follow up flip book to support the skill. The Reading activities support connecting the skill from the vocabulary word level to the reading comprehension level.
Whatever you are doing for the next couple of weeks, I hope you can enjoy the contagious excitement and joy of season.
Facebook can be used for a lot more than looking up old high school friends or posting vacation pictures that make your friends envious. Here are a couple of other ways to use Facebook to your professional advantage, making you a better speech language pathologist (SLP) by helping you connect, consult your peers and have access to great therapy ideas.
Many SLPs have Facebook pages that are separate from their personal pages. They’re used to share interesting links to articles, tell therapy success stories and let followers know about therapy materials (including Teachers Pay Teachers items). I use mine as a way to connect. Click here
to like and follow. As I mentioned in my last post, I am also a member of Speech Spotlight, our page is here
SLP group membership Facebook pages are a great resource. Members connect and collaborate around a common theme. Most times you ask to join and then the administrator will confirm that you know someone in the group and that you are in fact an SLP, and then invite you to join. Here are some of my favorites:
SLP Bloggers and SLPTPTSellers
The name is pretty self explanatory. Currently at 165 members this page is a goldmine. Here you can find out about linky-parties, blog hops, ask members to proofread new products for you, ask questions about TPT and learn about ASHA meet-ups. This very welcoming and supportive group has taught me a lot.
School-Based Speech and Language Pathologists
With almost 17,000 members, this a a great place to ask questions and keep your finger on the pulse of the school SLP. You can share job highs and lows, ask specific therapy questions, share concerns about caseload and workload. It is amazing to be able to connect with this many SLP’s.
Speech Pathology Positivity
Looking for somewhere to share good news? Speech Pathology Positivity is a newly formed group that is dedicated to inspiring and encouraging SLP’s with happy stories and awesome speech pathology experiences.
And finally, here are three groups recommended by my SLP colleagues at Speech Spotlight:
SLP Student Help Desk
A group of experienced SLPs from a variety of settings offer a safe, non-judgemental place for undergrads, grads and CFY’s to ask questions, share ideas and look for advice.
Speech and Language Pathologist’s Role in Language and Literacy
Designed for SLP’s to discuss all things literacy and language. I just asked to join this group since I love language and literacy.
AAC for the SLP
This group is to discuss anything related to AAC and to share useful information. I just joined this group and am looking forward to some discussions.
I hope you try connecting with one of these groups. With so many talented SLPs using Facebook as a way to collaborate and build their tribe, a panel of experts is always just a few clicks away.
Did you like this post? If you did please sign up to receive new blog posts, insider sale information, and stay connected. If there are other facebook groups that you like please mention them in the comments below.
Stayed tuned for the next post in this series about the impact of Instagram.
School is back in full swing for me.
Are you like me and tell yourself that you’re going to be more organized this year? (And say it every year?)
This year I’m actually doing it-not perfectly of course. But I have to say Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) has made my life sooo much easier. When I first discovered TPT, I was just downloading freebies left and right and buying products that were cheap.
Now, I’m a little more discriminating. Just because something is free or inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s the right product for me.
Here are 6 ways that I use TPT to make me more organized and the therapy materials I need at my fingertips.
1. Buy staple items that you know you can use every year.
Here is my list for K-3 (yours may look different, you’ll customize to fit your needs)
Articulation rings, flipbooks
Articulation (s, l, r)
Vocabulary: grade level antonyms, synonyms, homonyms, context clues
Grammar: verbs, adjectives
Watch for items that are Core Curriculum Aligned.
2. Consider your teaching/therapy style.
Do you like worksheets and paper/pencil activities or do you motivate students through cards and games?
Get products that you can easily picture yourself using. Do you need activities with no or low preparation time? Or do you love having colorful,laminated materials and don’t mind cutting laminated items while you watch the latest episode of The Bachelor?
Purchase items that will fit into your way of doing things.
3. Don’t re-invent the wheel.
You can get planners, data sheets, forms, posters, homework sheets, brag tags, and punch cards on TPT. Get SUPER organized by using them.
4. Find your favorite sellers
Once you start purchasing items you’ll find sellers that seem like they are making products just for you. These sellers are gems! Follow them and show them some love by giving feedback on their products. (Especially the freebies)
When I need something I save myself time by searching their stores first (less to scroll through than when I do a site-wide search).
5. Buy seasonal and holiday items as little treats to keep your sessions fresh and fun. (for your students and for you)
Kids get so excited about holidays (so do I). Fun seasonal materials can breathe new life into concepts you’ve been working on.
6. Give some thought to how you store your TPT products
You want them to be easily accessible. I use Globe-Weiss clear plastic envelopes with colored ziptops (from Amazon). I print the product cover page and place inside to use it as a label. These are really sturdy and can stand on a shelf.
So there you have it, 6 easy ways to help you be organized, effective and fun by using TPT. Which tip will help you the most? Leave a note in the comments below.
Did you like this post? If you did please share with your friends! And head on over to my TPT store to find some fun organizational and game-base products.
So what exactly is preliteracy?
This term covers all the areas a child needs to get ready to read. It includes important skills like oral language and phonological and phonemic awareness (the awareness of sounds), as well as knowledge of the alphabet and an understanding of common print concepts (print goes from left to right and from up to down on a page, how to hold a book).
A child that has been identified with a speech and/or language impairment (SLI) can be at a higher risk for having reading difficulties. Studies have indicated that as many as 40-75% of children with SLI will have problems learning to read.
A speech language pathologist (SLP) can help not only in the development of oral language but in the following areas as well:
1. Print Motivation
Get excited about what you are reading to a child, enthusiasm is contagious. Talk about why you like the book and what you like about it. Be animated. Let him know that it was your favorite when you were a child or that you read it to your little girl. Help them to make an emotional connection.
2. Print Awareness
When using books in therapy to help develop vocabulary and sequencing skills, take this time to point out the title and the author. Let the child turn the pages. Track with your finger under the words as you read them.
Help kids play with sounds to help them understand that words are made up of smaller sounds. Sing songs, read books with rhymes. Play a funny rhyming game with their names.
Need I say more? As SLP’s we are all about expanding vocabulary. Label the pictures. Talk about some words that you think might be unfamiliar. When you come across those words in the text, ask if they know what it means. If not, talk about the words and place them in a familiar context.
5. Narrative skills
Ask questions about the story that can’t be answered with yes or no. Ask him to retell the story; if this is too hard provide a scaffold by asking questions or giving choices.
6. Letter Knowledge
Learning about letters and know what sounds they make is so much fun. Help kids get excited about recognizing the first letter in their name and make a game of looking for letters in their environment. Make playing with letters fun and multi-sensory.
Learning the letters of the alphabet is a big part of Kindergarten. It can be challenging to incorporate the repetition kids need and to keep them interested.
I created this Letter Recognition and Sound game
to do just that. It’s an engaging, colorful activity with two levels of play. Students can apply their knowledge of letters and letter sounds as they play games and interact with letters by flipping over the cards and building a smores.
So there you have it…6 Ways an SLP can help with preliteracy skills and have fun doing it!
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What a wild ride!
Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the Las Vegas TPT Conference 2015 “Come Together Go Further” with about 1100 other Teachers Pay Teachers premium sellers.
Since I live in Phoenix, I decided to drive. It was about a 5 hour road trip through some beautiful desert scenery that is very dear to me since I grew up in Nevada and Arizona.
The conference was at the beautiful Venetian hotel and casino. Where else would you find ladies in dresses made of roses and orchids?
THE highlight of the trip for me was meeting members of my tribe “SLPs on TPT”. Our shirts and presence made quite a splash, we were even mentioned by TPT royalty and CEO Adam Freed.
I had the good fortune of meeting up with Kim Lewis from Activity Tailor. Her wonderful blog is the first speechie blogs I started following. (Love her artic. zig-zags)
I also met Maureen from The Speech Bubble and Natalie Snyders (I have their products)
And here I am with the wonderful Felice Clark from The Dabbing Speechie and bilingual SLP Sarah Wu from Speech is Beautiful.
It is so great to see someone go from a little two dimensional profile pic on facebook or instagram to a life sized three dimensional person. Everyone was so willing to share and collaborate; it was refreshing.
The conference itself was amazing! Top notch presenters and sellers shared their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm. I found myself wanting to get autographs…I mean, Kimberly Geswein of KG Fonts (she is hilarious) and The 3am Teacher( I watched her tutorial to first learn to make products). I could go on and on.
If you are a TPT seller, I would wholeheartedly recommend this conference. I am already planning on going next year!
Until then, I have plenty of new ideas and resources to keep me busy and to make my TPT store and products even better!
Erin Cobb from Lovin’ Lit generously handed out these planners at her session (boy, did I learn a lot from her).
My big takeaway was a greater understanding of the power of networking. When we work together, we are all creating better products and becoming better within our profession.
The end result: we are helping a whole generation of students learn and reach their potential.
That’s what it’s all about, right?
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Thanks to Lisette from Speech Sprouts
and Laura from All Y’all Need
for hosting this Linky Party. Drop by and visit their blogs by clicking on the blog name.
Lots of activity here this summer. Since I am a school based SLP, I am taking advantage of some time off and upgrading my website. I am building it on my own, an ambitious project, I know. Here is my new logo, which I love. It’s upbeat and cheerful (like me). Stay tuned for lots of fun changes and new products. Warning: I will probably make some mistakes. So if you are here and things look weird, don’t worry I will figure it out.