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!

In case you missed this FREEBIE!
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Using Adapted Books in Speech Therapy

Adapted books are one of my favorite ways to teach new skills.  They are fun and interactive. During the session they keep my students focused and engaged.  I love using them with my students to teach them how to answer who and what questions. I am going to go through how I use my adaptive who and what books with my students. 

To get you started I have made my Adapted Family Book FREE. Sign up below for your free copy as well as additional ideas and tips.

The first skill I use these book to teach is vocabulary.  I go through the book with both who and what questions, labeling each pictures.  I have my students repeat the names or point to the picture.  The small choice pictures can be used to match with the larger pictures in the book.

Sorting people vs Things
After reviewing the vocabulary we sort the small choice pictures into people and things.  I have them velcro the people on the who grid and the things on the what grid.
Answering Questions
I start my students using the what book that has no people in it.  I read the question “What is next to the house?” The student finds the answer and places it on the sentence below the picture.  I then read the answer.  When my students are able to read the sentences and respond verbally they are encouraged to do this.  As my student become proficient in answering what questions, I introduce the who book.  We continue to sort people and things each session to help the students differentiate between who and what questions.  As my students master this skill I introduce the book with both who and what questions. For students that struggle with the transition to this book I will limit their choices to only people when a who question is presented.

Each month I switch to a different set of who and what books, so my students do not memorize the books without truly learning the skills.  This BUNDLE of adapted books includes the following:
  • Adapted Family who and what questions
  • Adaptive Fall who and what questions                                                                            
  • Adapted Halloween who and what questions 
  • Adapted Thanksgiving who and what questions
  • Adapted Christmas who and what questions
  • Adapted Snowman who and what questions
  • Adapted Valentine’s Day who and what questions
  • Adapted Leprechaun who and what questions
  • Adapted Spring who and what questions
  • Adapted Beach who and what questions 
Click HERE to check out the entire BUNDLE.

I hope this helps you use these books to improve your students vocabulary skills and ability to answer who and what questions.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Basic Concepts for SLPs

Building vocabulary skills are so important for my students.  One area that always needs to be targeted is basic concepts.  Everyday in school my students are expected to understand basic concepts, but they often struggle to be successful.

My students have a great deal of trouble with the concepts of most, least, fewest and equal.  We play a fishing game to work on that.  As we fish we talk about who has the most, least or are the number of fish equal. We play this game frequently to reinforce these concepts. Click on the link below to get a copy of this free resource.

Free Fishing Concept Game
Every month we make a small basic concept book that is related to the season or a holiday.  These books target next to, beside, between, in front, above, below, under, over, left and right.  I use the pages that have concepts my students need to learn.  The monthly repetition helps my students learn to understand and use these concepts. I can also add concepts as my students master them.

Target basic concepts every month

Play-Doh is one of my favorite toys to use in therapy.  One last activity that I use with my students is  basic concept Smash mats.  They target whole, half, all, some, first, second, third, between, through, above, below, left, right, around, in, out and next to. I select mats that target the concepts each individual child needs to learn.

Basic Concepts Seasonal Mats
It is always exciting when my students start to learn their concepts.

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Easy Data Collection for the busy SLP

Are you looking for an easy way to collect and store data. As the new year starts one of my goals this year is to keep up on my data collections. It seems to be a never ending task for me. I need to collect data every session and also data for my IEP goals.  This year I am going to use a group data sheet for each session. This seems to be a natural part of therapy. I use this data to drive therapy and I use it when I bill for Medicaid.

My biggest challenge is keeping up with the data for my IEP goals. My goals are written without all the prompts and scaffolding I typically use in therapy. I also want my students involved in their own data collection. Last year I decided to create lap books with graphs inside for my 4th and 5th graders.  My students created a lap book and every two weeks we added a data point.  It was be a good way to review their goals and talk about their progress.  I gave out brad tags when my students beat their previous score. It was so successful with my older students that this year I am going to expand it to all my students. 

Progress Monitoring Lap Books
Bar graph for Vocabulary Words

Page to glue on Brag Tags
Goals, a line graph and a place for more brag tags.
 I am excited to see how it goes. It is always exciting when data collection goes well.  I get such a feeling of accomplishment.  I hope your do too.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Preschool Games for Speech Therapy

Games! Games! Games! It is one of the reasons I love being an SLP.  The tricky part is turning commercial games into therapy tools.  My students love to play games, so what better way to motivate them to practice their speech targets.  I love to use Pop Up Pirate, Jumpin Jack, Shark Bite, Pop the Pig, the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel, Yeti in my Spaghetti and Fishing games.

One way you can use them is with articulation or language decks.  The students practice their sounds or language target and then take a turn.  Quick and easy.  I have also started to use Game Companions that go along with each game. These game companions replace the dice or spinner that comes with the games.  The spinners have targets that the students practice before they take turn.

Shark Articulation and Language Game Companion
For the games that do not use dice or spinners I use game mats that have articulation or language targets on them. When you remove game pieces from Fishing games or spaghetti from Yeti in my Spaghetti you place the game piece on the mat.  There are targets on the mats that the students practice.  These can also be used as Smash mats.

Yeti Spaghetti Articulation and Language Game Companion
I have created 2 Freebies that I wanted to share with you.  I created free K sound spinners that I use with Jumpin Jack.  The spinners can also be used by themselves as a game.
Free Rabbit Game Companion for K sounds
Another Freebie that I have created is for commercial Fishing games.  It includes mats that target early apraxia syllables.  There are mats for VC, CV, CVCV and CVC syllables.
Free Apraxia Game Companions for Fishing Games
Games are such a great motivators for our students.  They are a great way to work with those mixed groups that always present a challenge in therapy.  I hope these spinners and mats are helpful.

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