Friday, August 26, 2016

Looking Ahead: Still Being Flexible!

This week's plans didn't go as planned. I didn't start my 5 Minute Day...hopefully next week! 
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell was a big hit...as always! I don't know what it is about putting a card in a little plastic trash can, but the kids get such a big kick out of it!
One of my students is working on volume, so he worked on emotions and how they affect volume. We'll continue to work on this next week...practice is still needed!

Amelia Bedelia books (Peggy Parish) are the best for working with humor, multiple meanings, and inferencing, aren't they? As an added bonus, they make the kids laugh, too! I made this sheet for one of my students:
Since I had it on Google Docs, I let him type what Amelia Bedelia did for each task on the iPad.

When he finished, I showed him my laptop & printed it out. He said, "Whoa...it's just like magic!"  He was very impressed!!! The plan next week is to discuss what the phrase really means. I'll put the sheet in a "Write & Wipe Pocket", then let him take it home to redo. (Thanks, Annie for the idea!)
Living near (and in some of my kid's cases...in) the Smoky Mountains, camping is a big deal. I'm going to take some new materials for a spin!
I'm going to use my newly purchased Speech Camp: NO PREP Articulation (Speech is Sweet) at the beginning of the week, because it's only the 3rd week of therapy, and I have been inundated with transfers and referrals! And, if I really do a 5 Minute Day, this will be perfect for the individual center. 
For my students who are working on verbalizing vocabulary or making complete sentences, I've been using Speech Universe's Summer Interactive Books (since it's still summer...yet we're in school!). I've been using "What Do You See", and both of my students will be ready for "I can ___ in the Summer".
For the end of the week, I can't wait to use Sparklle SLP's Camp in Speech and Language Themed Therapy Pack for Mixed Groups. This pack has just about everything I need for my caseload! "wh" questions, an open-ended game for my "game day", directions, comparisons, irregular verbs, sequencing, plus behavior expectations. 
For my students who are transitioning from following directions with manipulatives to paper/pencil tasks, Panda Speech offers Camping Listen Up! Following Directions FREEBIE.
I finally feel like I've got my head above water...for the moment, anyway! I can get next week's paperwork completed and ready to go; that's always a big weight off my shoulders!
What do you have going on in your speech room next week?



Monday, August 22, 2016

Flexibility: It's Our Middle Name!

Even though we're all different, there's one thing we all have to have in common: the ability to be flexible. In our professional lives, there are so many things with which we have to be flexible:

1) Schedules. Not only when we go to pick up our kids and the teacher says the time won't work, but also when we add students to our caseload. 

2) During therapy. When the task is too easy/hard for the student, we're constantly modifying in order to get to that perfect level for him. Or, if a student is absent and you have to change an activity.

3) Speaking of changing activities: When you goof up (like I did) and have an activity planned, but then realize that what you have planned is a month early! For my first week's activity, I mentioned that it was Dot Day on the 15th. Ummm, yeah...it's actually on September 15th, not August. When I got to school last Monday, the art teacher had placed a large circle (dot) in everyone's box...with the date that she wanted it returned. (It wasn't August.) Luckily, I didn't have the dot activity planned for Monday, and, luckily, my friend Mia made a fantastic packet, Ocean Fun Pack. Some of my students used daubers:
And some of them used the roll & cover sheet to use "bump it":
To play "bump it", a student said her target, then rolled the 2 dice. They then put a chip on that number. If the other student rolled the same number, then she would bump the other person's chip off of the shark and put hers on. We would play either until all of the numbers were covered, or time ran out. Whoever had the most chips on the sharks was the winner. 
The whole packet is just adorable! Since I usually start out the year with an ocean theme, it was perfect! 

4) Meetings. When we're in a meeting and our goals for the student aren't exactly the same as the parents' ideas, we have to be flexible enough to take their goals into consideration. We are the experts, but they're the parents. Hopefully you can meet somewhere in the middle.

Can you think of some other ways we have to be flexible? 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Frenzied SLPs Best Year Ever Bonus Sale and Tips from the Trade {Linky}

TpT is helping us be better prepared by having a BONUS site-wide sale on Monday, 22 August! It's a last chance to get some added savings to make therapy interesting for our students.

Over the summer, I bundled my non-competitive games. Since I do monthly themes in my speech room that are centered around seasons and holidays, each packet includes a game specifically for the season, as well as games for the holidays within that season.

I've said this time & time again: My kids LOVE these games! I use them when I have groups, as well as with my students whom I see individually. Since the games are non-competitive, they win or lose together. 
Each game comes with a very short story to introduce the game. I use these games with artic and language students. Just have them produce their target and then choose a card. (I use a tissue box for the cards.)
I've used the games for an independent activity during 5 Minutes Days, too. The great thing about these games is that the student doesn't have to play with another student, they can play against themselves to win or lose!
If bought separately, the games would be $16; the bundle is regularly priced at $12. However, if you buy it on Monday, you get a whale of a deal: It will be priced at $8.64! Don't forget to use the code "oneday"!
AND, don't forget to leave feedback on former purchases for even more savings!
To purchase, click on the image below:
Team Games Seasonal Bundle
Do you have a product you want to highlight for the sale? Join us by writing a blogpost or a Facebook status and link up with us!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Looking Ahead: Getting in the Routine

I've finished the first week of therapy. I've probed all of my students and have a pretty good idea of where they are. I have about 6 students who are ready for dismissal, and about 6 more that I found through screenings to evaluate. It's a revolving door, for sure!

After last week's debacle with planning (you can read more about it on Tuesday), we'll see how smoothly this coming week goes! 

Since it technically is still summer, I'm centering therapy around There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell (Lucille Colandro). I have a couple of different book companions that I can pull from to meet the needs of everyone on my caseload.

While I'm reading the story at the beginning of the week, the students have to feed the old lady the vocabulary cards! Both companions that I will be pulling from have sequence activities, which will be perfect for my students who are working on sequencing and retelling stories. Simply Speech's packet includes a blackline sequencing so the students can take it home and retell the story to their parents. She also has a simple following directions activity for my students who are working on that skill. In addition, there is a "Story Scavenger Hunt"; my students will find words in the story that have their sounds and write them on the lines. Perfect for the first 5-minute day of the year! 
The Interactive Book Attachments (Speechy Musings) that can be used for all of the "old lady" books are going to work great with my students working on saying complete sentences. 

For the "game day" section of the week, Crazy Speech World's packet includes an open-ended game. Since I have a few students working on story elements, the Retelling Art will be fun for those students.

I used this book a couple of years ago, but some of the activities in the packets that I'm using next week weren't used because of my caseload. I won't hear any of my current students say that they've done the activity before since I rotate books (and activities) year-to-year. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dear Principals: What We'd Like You to Know

There are some years that are easier than others, just like there are some years that are frustrating. Some of the frustration has to do with how we, as professionals, are treated by our principals. Maybe they just don't quite understand our position in their schools. I have enlisted the help of other SLPs throughout the country to come up with a few things that may help out principals when they're scratching their heads, not knowing what to do with us.

1) I'm busy...you're busy. Emails are the best way to communicate; I can quickly check emails between groups or at the beginning/end of the day. Basically, whenever I have a moment, I can check them. I will respond to your emails as soon as I can, and would greatly appreciate you responding to my emails in return.

2) While we're on the subject of emails, please remember to include me in your emails. I am a member of your faculty and want to be included with my peers. I don't want to be an after-thought by being included with non-certified personnel as a cc.

3) Please watch your familiarity with me. While I may be your friend outside of school, when we are at school, you are my principal, not my friend. Referring to me (either through emails or verbally) using what you perceive to be an endearment, is, in fact, demeaning to me and gives me the impression that you do not value me as a professional.

4) When we are in a meeting and you do not agree with my recommendations, please ask to see me in the hallway. It is important that the parent has confidence in his/her child's educational team. If the meeting is not clear-cut, I will speak with you prior to the meeting (or have a pre-meeting to discuss recommendations with the school team)to make sure the meeting runs smoothly.

5) My time is valuable, as is yours. If you have a faculty member who requires some "redirection", please talk to that individual. The whole faculty does not have to be addressed, and, the chances are, that individual won't think it's him/her that is guilty of the infraction.

6) My job is important. You may think that all I do is play games with students and work on speech sounds, but my responsibilities encompass so much more. I am an integral part in giving students the necessary language skills for literacy. I know a thing or two about a child's development as well as necessary skills for educational success. I know how to give a child who stutters the confidence and the skills to answer out loud in class and to give an oral book report. 

7) Lastly, if you see me in the hallway, I'd love it if you would acknowledge me. I don't need to feel more important than anyone else, but I do need to know that if I need to come to you with an issue, you'll be available to me. I won't come to you with every little thing, but it is your building and you need to be aware when issues come up. Just acknowledging me with a "hello" or even just a smile & head nod will help me feel comfortable enough to knock on your door and have a professional talk. 

If you're a principal and you're reading this: thank you. If you, as a principal, are able to look at each of these items and know that you are doing these things: thank you! If you can't check off these items, hopefully I have given you something to think about. As Speech Language Pathologists, we have all gone through a strenuous Master's Program. We are specialists, just as the literacy leader and psychologist are specialists. 

We all want to be treated as the professionals that we are. We want to be respected...we want to be part of the team.


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