Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TPT Cyber Monday Sale

Oh how I love to shop, but oh how I hate crowds.  The older I get, the worst this gets for me, so there is nothing better for me than shopping on-line.  I have so many things on my TPT wish list that I am over the moon it is time for another great stock-up sale!  Jenna at Speech Room News is hosting a linky party to share what we have on our shopping lists!

Here is what I am looking to buy during Cyber Monday:

1)  The Hat Activity Pack by Little Red
I love Jan Brett books, and I always do The Mitten with my students after Christmas (Little Red has a packet for that book as well as The Gingerbread Baby).  This year, I want to do a different book and this print and go packet has lots of great activities for me to use with my students.  I used her Thanksgiving Around the World packets a few weeks ago, so I know her products are high quality!

2) No Print Snowman Language by The Speech Owl
I love no print materials I can load into Dropbox and then onto my iPad.  This packet has a great theme for after Christmas.  The pics feature adorable snowmen and can be used for expressive and language tasks.  So excited for this gem!

3)  Selfies for Language Expression by Mia MacDaniel
I have never participated in a big TPT sale without getting at least one product from Mia MacDaniel.  In fact, I have bought more of her prodcuts than anyone else's in the TPT store.  She never disappoints.  This product will meet multiple goals in one activity and I can't wait to get it and print it out.  I am also looking to purchase her Do You Wanna Build A Turkey Turkey reinforcer game so I can prep it over the summer for next Thanksgiving:
4)  The Friendly Sounds:  Articulation Visual Supports For Consonant Blends by Speech Sanity
I always love using visuals, especially for articulation  skills that can be difficult-  gotta love extra visual cues!  This product looks great and will be much used in my therapy room.

I could go on and on, as I have three pages worth of products saved on my wish list, but these are the first five I definitely want to purchase. 

What is on your must have list for Cyber Monday?

Why SLPS Need TPT...Linky Party

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I am linking up with Miss Speechie at Speech Time Fun to share why SLPs need TPT.
I could list a million reasons why TPT has been my go-to place for resources, but I will keep it simple with my top three reasons as well as my go-to people I follow for great resources!

1)  The variety of materials available is mind-blowing.  You can find anything-  articulation cards based on themes, open-ended games, resources for parents, SmartBoard games, book companion sets, resources for the SLP such as strategies for eliciting sounds or fluent speech, and so much more.  These resources are created by SLPs who know what we need and thankfully share their talents with us!

2)  The money-strapped SLP has a way to get affordable resources INSTANTLY!  It is such a relief when you run into a student who has a goal or need you are not sure how to address, or you can only find resources from the big companies that are way out of your price range.  A quick search of TPT always pulls up high quality resources that are so affordable and ready for immediate download.  *** Heavy sigh of appreciation here***

3)  Looking at TPT products is inspiring!  Sometimes I am looking for something for a specific student and find a product created that inspires me to try a new way of teaching a skill from the way I have done it before, or to use a technique I had not seen before.  It also causes me to start looking for even more new information.  It makes me so happy to be a SLP and inspires me to keep growing and creating and trying new things!

So, I could list many gems I have found on TPT, but I thought I would do something a little different and list my top people I follow on TPT to see what is added to their stores each day.

1)  I always buy things from Mia MacDaniel.  I have more of her products than anyone else.  Enter her name and start following her!  She has so many great, high interest products-  cute graphics, lots of open-ended games that can be used with all groups, and some really good specific skill sets as well.

2)  I also have really started to enjoy products from The Speech Owl.  Her print and go pack for There Was An Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything was a big hit in my therapy room and so I have started to follow her for more great companion packs.

3)  I could list many more and why, but I am going to include the others I follow together here so you can see my list of great stores (plus once you click follow, you automatically get updates of what new products have been added):  Speech Is Sweet, Speech Therapy Games, Miss Speechie, The Speechstress, Natalie Snyder, Jenna Rayburn, and Nicole Allison.

Check out why other bloggers need TPT, and enjoy exploring this great site if you have never been there before. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Therapy Games to Snag During Black Friday Sales

Well, my Christmas tree is up and I'm ready to tackle the two school days before Thanksgiving Break with the game my students love the most in my therapy room-  Pop the Pig.
Why this game?  Well, we have spent the entire month of November talking about Thanksgiving Around the World, reading Turkey Trouble, making turkey puppets, and playing turkey-themed games.  This game is perfect for all of my groups and for all age levels.  Many of my groups may not even happen as many classrooms do special family lunches and plays, etc.  Plus, it is no prep and easy to set up.  Pair any card deck with it and it is an instant therapy activity that focuses on one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions-  eating til you POP!

So, looking ahead, I spent this Sunday leafing through the circulars that came with the Sunday paper, and now I am already thinking ahead to Black Friday deals.  It is a great time of year to pick up some great games for reinforcers in therapy.  I wrote about two new favorites Gooey Louie and Phil Up Chuck here.
I also love the following fun finds:
Jumping Jack will be great at Easter this year instead of always playing Funny Bunny.  It will be on sale at Target.
Moustache Smash is on sale at many stores including Target and Toys R Us this Black Friday.  Students smack the picture card that matches the mustache they have on a stick in front of their face for a fun reinforcer.  Plus, my kids like to adopt a funny voice as they wear the mustaches and say their words for artic practice.  I even record them on the iPad and we watch them saying their words as a group.
Dino Meal is another great new toy that will be part of the Target and Toys R Us sales.  I plan to use this during our dinosaur theme week in the Spring when I break out my Descripto Dinos pack from Super Duper.  The point of the game is to use the tweezers to grab eggs from under the leaves before the Dino growls at you.  May be a tad scary for some of my younger kids, but second grade and up should like it.  Keep in mind any students with fine motor issues could benefit from practice with the tweezers.

I'm also doing a zoo theme in the Spring, and this game that is similar to HoneyBee Tree but with more levels and uses monkeys instead of bees, will be a great game that can be used with all ages and groups.  This game is normally 25 bucks, but will be on sale at Kohls for Black Friday for only 11.99. 

What games are you looking forward to getting, or do you recommend, we look out for during the Black Friday deals?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SLP Bucket List

For some reason, since my youngest daughter started middle school last year, she has had several teachers give assignments that have to do with bucket lists-  things you want to accomplish in your life before you kick the bucket.  This got me to thinking about what would be on my bucket list for my career as an SLP.  Honestly, I hate the term bucket list, and I prefer the idea of a vision board where you collage together photos, words, and ideas that inspire you towards a goal, but I don't have the time to make a collage at the moment, and I can easily find cute bucket clipart on Google to illustrate my goals.  Since I have at least twenty more years to go before I can retire, here is what I would put on my career bucket list:

What would you put on your career bucket list?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

To Craft or Not To Craft? - That Is The Question!

If you have read my blog, it is obvious I am a fan of games-  especially ones that can be adapted for any goal, age, and topic.  However, I like to mix things up and use books, worksheets, and crafts when possible.

Here are the pumpkins I made with one group-  all artic only first graders a few weeks ago that is super cute for Halloween or Thanksgiving:
I had seen versions of it on Pinterest and thought what a cute craftivity.  Just cut 2 inch strips of orange construction paper (8 for each student) and hole punch at the bottom of the strips and the top so after they glue on pictures with their sounds (which I printed from the Articulation Notebooks Value Bundle from Speech Therapy Games) a brad can be put in the top hole and one in the bottom.  Fan out the strips once the brads are in, and you get a bouncy pumpkin.

So, here is where my confession comes in.  It was cute, and now they have a great homework practice tool.  But I was SLAP WORN OUT after doing this with just one group.  This craftivity takes prep time and planning that I don't usually have a lot of time for...and it was a lot to manage because by the time it is explained, assembled, and the actual speech practice thrown in, the 30 minute session was over and we were still assembling as we walked down the hall back to class.

My goal with activities like this is that I can get some table time to work with students individually while the others are busy on the craft.  Instead, I was having to try to help one find his pictures that kept sliding under the table and answer the other one for what he needed to do next while also trying to do individual drill with another.    Maybe it would be better with older students, but they really don't like doing crafts.  My hook for this with my younger boys in the group I completed this with was the idea they could toss these bouncy pumpkins to one another and say the word their thumb landed on five times in a row.  Anytime they can throw something they are happy.

My hat is tipped to those wonderful therapists and bloggers who can do creative crafts with their caseloads.  I will still try them out every so often, but they just are not my specialty.  How often do you use crafts in your speech room?