Sunday, February 24, 2019

Using Mini Books to Teach Basic Concepts in Speech Therapy

One area that I target with my Kindergartners and first graders in Speech therapy is always basic concepts. I give my students the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts in the beginning of the school year. It test 50 commonly used Kindergarten basic concepts.  Understanding these concepts help my students follow directions and be successful in our district's Kindergarten Math program.  I select concepts from the Boehm that many of my students struggle with.


 FREE Mini Book
I created a set of mini books that allows me to target next to, beside, in front, between, left, right, over, under, above and below all year long.  I included monthly themes that my students really enjoy.  When we are done they get to take the books home, which they LOVE! I have gotten so many requests for more themes that I decided to make a FREE dog themed mini book.  I have also expanded all of my seasonal sets to include additional themes.

CLICK HERE to get my FREE Mini Book.

 I created seasonal mini books that can be used all year long.
  • Spring: The mini books target St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Bunnies, Frogs and Bees.
  • Summer:  The mini books target Camping, the Beach, Carnivals, and Ladybugs.
  • Fall:  The mini books target Scarecrows, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Turkeys.
  • Winter:  The mini books target Christmas, Snowmen, Groundhogs and Penguins.
Spring Bunny Mini Book
 All of these units include a progress monitoring sheet. I keep track of which concepts are mastered and which concepts need more review. I use this to monitor progress during the school year.

These additional mini books are available in a Basic Concept BUNDLE if your students need more practice.

I hope that your students enjoy learning about basic concepts and using these mini books.

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Monday, January 28, 2019

Using diologic Reading in Speech Therapy


 Fairy Tales
I love children's literature books, especially fairy tales. They are one of my favorite activities to include in therapy. A method of reading books called diologic reading was developed by the Stony Brook Reading and Language Project. This method of reading to children increases vocabulary skills, the mean length of utterances and teaches morphological structures. This is an easy way to incorporate evidence based teaching into something that you already do. When using this method you prompt, evaluate, expand and repeat (PEER).

 What is diologic reading? 
It is a method of reading where the teacher or parent helps the child tell the story. The adult does this by actively involving the child in the story. The adult prompts the child throughout the reading of the story. Five types of prompts are used: completion prompts, recall prompts, open-ended prompts, wh prompts and distancing prompts. These prompts also enable the therapist to differentiate instruction, when working with mixed ability groups.
 I love fairy tales. Diologic reading is one method I use to help my students activity engage with fairy tale. One of my favorite fairy tales is Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Completion, open-ended and Wh prompts are the easier prompts, while recall and distancing prompts are more advanced.
  • Completion Prompts: Mama bear said, "My porridge is to _____." Goldilocks said, "This ____ is to soft."  Papa bear said, "Someone has been ____ in my bed."
  • Recall Prompts:  What happened to Goldilocks in the story?  Can you tell me why the bears went for a walk?  How did the bears know someone had been in their cottage?
  • Open-ended Prompts:  Tell me what is happening in this picture.  Tell me what else the bears could have for breakfast.  Tell me where the bears could go.
  • Wh Prompts: What is this?  Who made the porridge? Where did the bears go? When did Goldilocks fall asleep?  Why was Goldilocks frightened?
  • Distancing Prompts: Make a real life connection to the book.  Remember when we had oatmeal for breakfast.  Remember when your toy broke.  Remember when you were frightened.
The first time I read the story I like to limit the number of prompts I use.  I like the children to hear the natural flow of the story.  In all future readings I prompt students on every page to help them begin retelling the story. 

I will often use parts of my Book companions to help.  I will use the vocabulary cards to help students with the completion prompts.  I might show the picture of the Goldilocks to help them complete the prompt "The porridge was to hot", said ___________ or a choice card for other students.
The story element sheets can be filled in using these prompts as well. A distancing prompt can be used to start the ask the students if they can remember where the bears lived. 
Throughout the reading the therapist should also be evaluating and expanding on the child's responses. Then I have the students repeat the expanded answers, so that they are improving their language skills. These prompts are a great way to help our students have conversations about the books we read to them.

This is one way that I incorporate evidence based teaching into my speech therapy session. 


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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Using Snowmen at Christmas in Speech therapy (includes a Freebie)

Christmas!! My favorite time of the year. As soon as Thanksgiving is over it is time for me to start Holiday activities. One of my favorite books to use is Snowmen at Christmas. I use it to target articulation, vocabulary, syntax, answering questions and retelling activities. The first thing I do when I use a new book it make a list of all the targets I want to use it to target. I plan to use this books for the month of December.
 Snowmen at Christmas Book Companion
Snowmen at Christmas Book Companion
 Vocabulary from Snowmen a Christmas
  • Snowmen
  • Christmas tree
  • Kris Kringle
  • Reindeer
  • Holly
  • Icicles
  • Cocoa
  • Fiddle
  • Avenue
  • Trembling
  • Peek
  • Celebrate
  • Gather
Syntax Targets from Snowmen at Christmas
  • Irregular plurals:  Reindeer/reindeer, Snowman/snowmen and child/children
  • Past tense verbs: Snug, strung, made, dressed, trimmed, and framed
  • Present progressive verbs: Trembling, trimming, dreaming, waving, dancing, yawning and dawning
  • Third Person verbs:  Says, plays, glides, pulls, sips, plays and starts
  • Pronouns:  I, his, me, they, he, their, 
Articulation Targets from Snowmen at Christmas
  • S blends:  Snowmen, Snow, smile
  • S sound:  Sack, Santa, saw, sips, sing, silver, presents, grown ups
  • K sound: Christmas, cold, Kris Kringle, cocoa, King
  • G sound: Glide, gather, greetings, tag,  
  • F sound: Fiddle, friends, family. fun, folks
  • V sound: Waving, everyone
  • L sound: Lights, lamp, sleeping
  • Sh sound: Shine, hush, sashay
  • Ch sound: Children, cheery, each
  • Th sound: Birth, think, they, their, gather, mothers
I also like to incorporate crafts and games that go along with the book.  We are going to feed the snowmen snowballs and Santa cookies with articulation and language targets on them.
Feed Santa


Feed the Snowman
 A new favorite that I found this year was a Snowman game and large pom pom snowballs.  We are going to practice speech and language targets and then throw the pom pom snowballs at the snowman. (I found both of these at the Target Dollar spot.)

We are going to make a Santa craft.  My favorite is Santa's stuck.  Each student will target their articulation sounds as they glue bricks onto the chimney that Santa is stuck in.
Santa's Stuck
We are also going to target Christmas vocabulary with a Christmas FREEBIE that is available over at my tpt store.  It is a Christmas Bingo game. Click HERE to get this fun Free activity that you can use with your groups.  We are going to draw the cards out of a stocking while we use Target erasers in place of Bingo chips.  FUN for everyone as we practice vocabulary skills and formulating sentences.

FREE Christmas Vocabulary BINGO Game


I hope that everyone has a Wonderful holiday season!


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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Easy Steps to Use Books in Speech Therapy


I love everything about children's books.  My favorites are short, easy to read and have great illustrations in them.  Incorporating my favorite books into therapy is something I do every week.  It makes therapy fun and engaging for my students. I like to select a theme and then gather books, toys and games that go with it.  You can easily do this for any book.
  • Select a book you love.
  • Develop a set of questions that go with the book.
  • Select vocabulary words that meet the needs of your groups.  I like to use both Tier 1 and Tier 2 vocabulary words, so I can differentiate in mixed ability groups.
  • Gather a list of syntax structures used in the book.  Look for past tense verbs, pronouns, plurals, compound and complex sentences.
  • Find something to compare and contrast in the book.  It could be characters, vocabulary words, or other books.
  • Gather any games and small toys that go along with the theme.
After that you are ready to use the book to meet the needs of your student.

There are many book companions available on Tpt that can save you time. This Fall I am starting my year talking about the mindset of "I can't do it YET!" Every student is going to decide what they can't do that we are going to target.  This is going to be the perfect lead for a theme of Yetis.

Yeti Mindset
I am using the book Spaghetti With My Yeti. I have created a book companion that targets answering questions, vocabulary words, story elements and the verb ate.

 Spaghetti With The Yeti
Yeti With The Spaghetti
The game Yeti in My Spaghetti goes great with this theme.  My game companion has both articulation and language game mats, so it can be used with mixed ability groups.

Yeti Spaghetti
The last thing I am using is a Feed the Yeti activity.  We are going to make a Yeti and feed it.  My articulation students are going to feed him spaghetti with articulation targets on them.  This Yeti can also be used to retell the story.

Feed the Yeti

Books in therapy can be a great way to target multiple skills in mixed ability groups.  Select a book that you love, gather games and materials that compliment the book, follow these easy steps and give it a try.  



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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Are your students tired of coloring?

Are your students tired of coloring? Although I love using articulation and language craft projects my kids do get tired of coloring. I try to keep the excitement up by changing it up. I recently decided to use water colors to make a flower pot craft. We practiced the targets on each flower and then painted it. The next session we practiced again as we cut them out and assembled the pots. My kids loved painting and had a beautiful project to take home.
Flower pot articulation and language craft
 I also like to use dot art markers for other craft projects. They were a perfect way to complete an Easter egg project this year.
Easter articulation and Language Wreath
 Simply changing the crayons can be fun. I found these scented silly crayons that my kids love. I call them my "special" crayons and they ask for them all the time now. Markers are always a big hit too. Small stickers are another way that I decorate craft projects.

 Sometimes I like to use color paper and just assemble it.  My Unicorn characters look get without any additional coloring.
Articulation and Language Unicorn characters
The next time you decide to use a craft project in therapy try using a different medium other than crayons. Here is Freebie from my store that you can try out.  Decorate the gumballs with dot markers, paint, markers or "special" crayons.  This freebie targets past tense verbs.  I hope your kids love doing it as much as mine do.
FREE Past Tense Verb Craft

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

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Easy Summer Speech Practice

Summer! Is there no better time of the year? I love it, but I do worry about my articulation students regressing over the summer.  Last summer I sent home Summer Lap books that my kids LOVED.  They were full of games and fun activities.  We made the lap books during one our sessions.  I sent home calendars with lots of interesting things my kids could do. I also sent home articulation decks that they could play with whenever they wanted. 

We made a cover that the students could personalize.
Inside had production cues, calendars and a place to store articulation cards.
They were fun to make and my kids have already asked for them again this summer. My plan is to make them the last month of therapy again this year.

Have a great summer!

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