Prepositions got you feeling like a Bad SLP? (or Bad Teacher?)

Prepositions got you feeling like a Bad SLP? (or Bad Teacher?)

Do you feel like you are aimless or not at the top of you game when working on prepositions?
I can totally relate. I work with a lot of special education students. I tried taking pictures of students under tables, in chairs, next to each other. They enjoyed the activity but it didn’t stick.
I tried having them take turns putting a fun toy on the chair or taking it off the chair. Again fun, but not getting the concept.
I tried it with matching puzzle pieces, with apps, and games. Still no lasting success.
Talk about feeling like a Bad Therapist.
But I kept trying. 
Then a combination of learning experiences came together. I noticed that teaching opposite prepositions didn’t work.  I noticed that kids got distracted by little details in pictures. I went to an amazing presentation by Dr. Elena Plante, research SLP from University of Arizona and she talked about the importance of errorless learning and teaching one concept at a time.
I learned about fast-mapping. Fast mapping is the psychological term for learning a new concept after a single exposure to information.
Students with SLI and cognitive impairments are not able to fast-map like their typical peers. 
I tried making a book with simple visuals and white background. This way the focus was only on the relationship of the objects to each other.
There is a picture strip with words at the bottom of the page, always the same “Where is the _____”(object) The next page always has   ______ (target preposition) the ___________ (relationship word).
Object remains the same. For example in “The Under Book” the object is always a banana, it is always under something. Going through the book once gives 12-15 repetitions.
The other important piece is that the skill needs to be taught in more than one setting. So with all of the prepositions books I offer examples for how to extend the new concept into different settings.
I’m still doing more investigating in this area but I can say, I’m having good results with these books. So are the people who have bought them.
” I am so excited about this book! I have several students who are working on positional concepts and it just takes so many repetitions to learn the concepts. I love that this book is full of repetitions. I am looking forward to more in the future!” ~Buyer
Here is the new “Next To Book”.  This completes the first three prepositional concepts that children with typical language development acquire at the age of 3:  “on” and “under” and “next to”. I’ll be working on the next ones soon.
While I was doing my research, I put together this handy little chart. This will be great as a parent/teacher handout and just to keep for your own reference. I’m giving it to you for FREE, just click here. As a Beautiful Speech Life follower, you are getting it early! I already gave it to my TPT followers, but if you missed it, here it is again. I’ll be putting it in my TPT store later. (It’s also included in The Next To Book)
You might also be interested in The Under Book and The On Book. Coming soon…The In Book.
The Under BookTheOnBookCover
So take charge of those prepositions and SLP Like a Boss,
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Don’t miss the last day of the big sale!

It’s back to school time and Teachers Pay Teachers is making it a little easier to go back.

The big site wide sale is on all day August 4th. Take some time to fill your cart and get up to 28% off.  (Pssst….Use the code BTS15).

I don’t know about you but my cart is full! So many great resources for such great prices.

My newest product is all about vocabulary!. I have linked the activities to the common core curriculum to provide 6 lessons that will help increase vocabulary and reading comprehension.


I hope you love it…I included QR codes, photos, and reading comprehension questions to make it fun, multi-sensory, and functional.

Happy Shopping!


Helping Kids be more Descriptive

Helping Kids be more Descriptive

Nacho Sentence Builder Snip

(Graphics by Ashley Hughes, Creative Clips and Tiffany Teaches)

Who wants their students/clients to speak and write more descriptively? I know I do. I created the Nacho Sentence Builders as an engaging activity to do just that!

This fun game helps students learn to build more detailed sentences using adjectives and adverbs.  Aligned with Common Core Standards (Speaking and Listening 2.4, 3.4, 4.4, 5.4), there are at least three different levels of play(more if you use your imagination).

Correct word order

Research tells us that solid syntactical skills rely on understanding and use of correct word order and organization. By providing these written and oral examples of sentences you are helping your student move from simple sentences to richer, more detailed sentences. As we know (and studies prove), repeated modeling and opportunities for practice are needed for students to solidly acquire these new grammatical forms (Gummersall & Strong, 1999).

Describe it

While playing the game, take the opportunity to talk about how the adverbs and adjectives change the meaning of the sentences. Use examples such as how is “big” different from “humongous”? Use a white board and make a scale starting at “teeny” and incrementally moving up to “giganitic” (Nippold, 1998).

Nacho chips

Nacho Sentence Builder includes all the fixin’s you need to make simple or loaded nachos.

24 Nacho Chip pronouns                     24 Black Bean verbs

27 Guacamole adverbs                         27 Melted Cheese prepos./article

27 Jalapeno location nouns              6 Blank Nacho Chip pronouns

9 Blank Black Bean nouns                   9 Blank Guacamole adverbs

9 Blank Melted Cheese prep./article   9 Blank Jalapeno location nouns

6 different colors of Nacho platters     8 bowls of salsa


Mmmm, hungry yet? I also included three leveled writing/homework sheets.

Sentence Homework

This game is perfect for small groups and is geared toward 2nd – 5th graders.  Now available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Nacho Sentence Builder Snip

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