Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back To School Linky Party

Jenna at Speech Room News is hosting a linky party for TPT back-to-school purchases You can save up to 28% at the store using the code on their home page), and I can't wait to share what I'm planning on buying!

1)  Back to Speech:  No Prep Activities
I love Scarlett Stamper activities, and the fact that these are no prep- just print and use, is AWESOME!  I am worn out from printing, laminating, and cutting this summer, and this packet also has great language activities.  Can't wait to get this product!!!

2)  Listen Up:  Listening Activities for Little Listeners
Again, no prep, high need!

3)  No Prep Practice Language Concepts

Just print and use!  Always need more language items like these!

4)  Describe It:  Semantic Mapping

It wouldn't be a TPT purchase for me if I didn't get at least one product from Mia McDaniel!  These game boards will be great for my EET plans this year!

5)  Feed The Monster:  An Interactive SmartBoard game
I always pick up a few of Pink Cat Studio PowerPoint games for holidays and themes so I can pair them with books we read.  They are simple, quick play games that can be done on my SmartBoard or the iPad to review goals when I have a few minutes in a session I need to fill!

I can't wait to see what everyone else is buying!  I always end up expanding my list after reading everyone's ideas!  Happy shopping and have a blessed school year!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thanksgiving in July

I'm linking up with Deanna Jump for her summer favorite reading linky.
I know-  this post seems a little odd, but as I was perusing Pinterest, I saw a pin for a book I used to use years ago when I was a counselor called Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting.  The lesson centered around being grateful for what you have, but as I started reflecting on the lesson I did as a counselor, I began to realize how wonderful this book is for speech therapy, or any classroom for that matter, especially in November around Thanksgiving.  Thus- Thanksgiving in July!
The book tells the story of a young boy who is homeless and lives in an airport with his dad trying not to be noticed so they have somewhere to stay.  It is a great story with really rich vocabulary, and provides so many opportunities for discussion with your second through fifth graders.  It allows discussion of metaphors (there is a part of the story where a bird is trapped in the airport continuously hitting the glass door keeping him in the terminal and the boy wishes nothing more than for the bird to get free-  just like he and his dad are trapped and want to be free with their own home), as well as synonyms (if you do this book at Thanksgiving and you are discussing what makes you thankful, brainstorm and list words that are similar in meaning to being thankful such as grateful, appreciative, content, pleased).

When I was counseling, I would begin the lesson by showing different types of homes on the SmartBoard before I read the book.

I asked the students after I showed each picture one at a time how many would be grateful to have a home like in the picture-  starting with the really fancy one with a pool.  As we go along, it gets a little harder to say what you could appreciate with the homes, but if you really think about it, there is always something.  (These are just quick examples-  I also include a mobile home and apartment complex, too-  easy to find with a quick Google search of home images).  For speech therapists, this would be a great way to talk about attributes (maybe even use the EET string with it).  Just label the pictures right on the SmartBoard if you have one in your therapy room-  or on the iPad using an app that allows you to write on pictures. 

I love all of the typical turkey disguising themselves so they don't get eaten books, and books about things one is grateful for like friends, family, etc.  However, this book just really opens students eyes to what is truly important and what real gratitude is making it a perfect fit for Thanksgiving.  Check your school library for this gem of a book!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Storage Option for TPT cards

What's better than shopping for storage/organization of all of those TPT materials you have printed, laminated, and cut but now need storage for that meets the requirements of a highly organized, ultra-nerdy and could spend hours in the Container Store just looking at every possible way to store, collect, and organize your life SLP?  A fellow SLP colleague and friend who has the same passions going shopping with you!

This past week my friend and I went to our local Container Store and right in the door was the nifty product I told her I had seen at a craft store that is meant for keeping pictures:
It is a plastic case with a handle that also helps keep it locked, and inside is twelve 4 X 6 plastic containers that can store all of your creations.  And the best part?  It was two dollars less than the craft store had it with their 40% off coupon!  Here is the link if you do not have a Container Store near you!  My friend had a great idea to get chalk labels, or erasable labels to label each box inside.  Great minds, am I right?

Don't you just love finding bargains, getting organized, and shopping with friends???

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What's What- A Book for Teaching Attributes

Just had to do a quick blog post to share a neat book I found at Barnes and Noble called What's What?:
A brother and sister play a guessing game using attributes (which are also opposites-  i.e. dry/wet, cold/warm, etc) to guess a final item by the end of the book (a dog).  It is great for breaking down the teaching of attributes as it asks on one page, "What is _____(fill in an attribute)" like this sample page:
Followed by a colorful illustration and rhyme to list some things that have such attribute, for example:
I like several things about this book:
  • It allows you to create a list of attributes with the students as you read it and examples of each.
  • It allows a discussion of opposites/antonyms as mentioned earlier.
  • It features diversity in the main characters.
  • The final object that is guessed is one that is described by all of the attributes discussed in the book highlighting the fact that most items can be described by multiple attributes.
Check out your local bookstore for this little gem, or by clicking the link above to Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Sew" Easy

In my 19 years of education, I have never had a window in my room.  When I get to my school, I have no idea what is happening in the outside world until I walk out to my car in the afternoon.  This year, I FINALLY get a ...

So excited!  Which means I need a curtain.  Any money is tight right now, so I was so happy when I saw a Pin on Pinterest on how to make a cheap curtain. 

It is "SEW" easy!

First, hit your local craft store.

Grab three handkerchiefs in a pattern/color you like.  The ones above go with my room d├ęcor and were a dollar each.  I then got a pack of no-sew adhesive for three dollars that you simply cut and place between the cloth and with an iron heat to bind so you don't have to sew.

I laid it across the curtain to cut the right length.  Fold over the top to cover the no-sew adhesive and iron it to "sew" it closed.  I did this for three handkerchiefs:
I took these three handkerchiefs and made them into panels that fit over a tension rod.  Now I have really cheap curtains for my window:
I can't wait to look out this window this year and actually know what the weather is like during the day. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Office Organization

Being a Type-A, perfectionistic, slightly extremely obsessive SLP, nothing gets me going more than being organized.  I thought I would share two things I have in my room that have helped me out the past two years for those of you who like to shop during the summer.
This is how I organize supplies my students may need during therapy sessions.  My whiteboard is magnetic, so I bought these white wire mesh magnetic boxes from the Container Store a few years ago when they were 40% off (they are made to hang in lockers-  check Wal-Mart or Target for comparable items in their back-to-school locker sections):
They come in a variety of sizes, and they make it really easy to keep all of my supplies in until I am ready to use them.  Then when we need a glue stick or marker during therapy, we just grab the container from the board.  I used magnetic business cards to make labels for the front of each container:

The links are just to give you an idea of where and what the products are to help you make these if they are useful to you.  I did not pay anywhere near the prices of these-  I am a bargain shopper and looked at several places and waited for sales before I put this together.  But it has been worth the price I finally did spend as it keeps everything so organized.  While you are at Office stores, check out your local Office Depot (or go on-line) for these great crayon tins:
I just can't stand how beat up crayon boxes get after they are opened the first time.  Plus the lost time of little hands trying to cram them back in to the box as we rush to clean up from an activity.  I've tried big pencil boxes that have all crayons mixed together, but then we have the digging in the box trying to get the colors needed headache.  These tin boxes keep a box of 24 crayons neat and tidy without the paper box.  They stack nicely and the kids love having their own "tin" of crayons. 

What little ways do you keep your therapy room organized?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There Was A Speech Teacher Who Swallowed Some Dice

Pat Mervine has written another great book for SLPs that can be used for therapy, loaned to parents as a fun resource for parents to read to their children, or as an icebreaker activity for an SLP to read with a new student starting speech therapy.  The book is a whimsical take on “There Was An Old Lady” series, and features an SLP  who first swallows dice, and then swallows various other materials commonly found in speech rooms such as sound card decks, tongue depressors, games, and more.  The colorful pictures help complement the fun, light tone of the book.  But, oh, there is so much more wonderful things in this book that should be mentioned!

First, this book would be great for doing a sequencing activity-  what did the SLP swallow first, second, and so on?  Second, there are a plethora of language goals that can be met with this book-   metaphors (“dark as midnight”), multiple meaning words (“Inside her insides”), and acquisition of new vocabulary words (uneasy, queasy, data, glistening, misery, doom).   The biggest benefit of this book is that it highlights how speech therapy can be fun, and through this fun atmosphere using the materials listed in the story, students can improve their communication (even the dedication is fun-  make sure to check it out.  Every SLP can relate to the quote from Johnny that is in the dedication).  I loved the ending and the final advice to not swallow the dice!
The book also has a few additional features including an index of some of the materials and items in an SLPs office/therapy room and a speech room scavenger hunt which is a great follow-up activity to the book.   This book is another wonderful addition to every SLPs toolbox!  Check it out at Amazon or in Pat's on-line store today!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Sweet Start to the School Year

Boy is the summer flying by, and hopefully everyone is having a great one so far.  There has been a lot of VERY stressful things happening in my personal life, so I have been attempting to feel some control over my life by thinking ahead to the first week back with kids so I have something ready in case things don't improve.

Even when things are going great both at home and professionally I still tend to plan ahead, so I honestly can say I've been thinking about how to start off the year with the students for awhile now.  Last year, I made fifty cupcakes and we had cupcakes and did these cupcake conversation starters available here at TPT (after we set up our speech folders , course)!
This was a big hit because the kids really liked the treat and how relaxed we started the year off.  This year, I think I will do either a get-to-know you activity around Skittles or M & M's like these below:

Food can be tricky sometimes, as so many kids have food allergies these days, so a book for the first session of the year can be a good alternative like this good one (Chrysanthemum) I posted about  here

What fun activities are you using to start off the next school year?