Favorite Blog Posts: November

After I read Playing with Words 365's post Fall and Halloween Speech and Language Roundup, I decided to start writing monthly posts on my favorite blog posts that I read throughout the month. This is mainly so I can remember the posts that I read that had great ideas in therapy. I wasn't sure where I could store them so I'd have them at my fingertips, and then I thought that maybe other SLPs would like to have them as well. 
Sparklle SLP suggested this become a monthly linky, so here's the first Favorite Posts of the Month Linky. Let's keep it simple: Post no more than 5 of your favorite posts that you read over the past month. Feel free to use the graphic that's at the top of this post and on my sidebar: right click, choose "copy", and then "paste" into your post. Don't forget to link back to my post! The hardest part will be limiting it to 5 posts!

The Dabbling Speechie had a post that listed a lot of materials to use in November, and she even took the time to categorize them! Fall Themed TpT Products
My Photo 
Sounds Like Fun shared a really cute pumpkin activity to go along with any of the books she mentioned in her post Pumpkin Fun.
 SLPrunner shared a wonderful activity in Describing Turkeys.
Looking ahead to December & winter, Speech Time Fun offered a few fun activities in Winter Fun Finds.
Button Up
The Speech Bubble had some great ideas in SLP Life Hacks.

I know I failed to mention some posts...what did I miss this month???

Why SLPs Need TpT

I'm linking up with Speech Time Fun (aka: Miss Speechie) to discuss why we need Teachers Pay Teachers.
My language therapy has really been beefed up by using TpT. I'm able to target each individual goal for my students, and make therapy more meaningful for them. No more "one activity fits all" in my Speech Room! It has definitely gotten me out of a rut!
The Book Companions. Oh. My. I've been using books for years, but usually just tried to find a game that would come close to book. With the packets, I can zero in on each student's goal.
When I first learned of TpT, I hesitated because of the expense of the card stock, ink, and laminating pouches. After I used a few products, I realized that it's worth it. I still hesitate with some products that take a lot of ink, but printing things on "draft" instead of "normal" helps save ink.
Some of my favorites:
Any of the book companions by Jenn Alcorn or Mindy Stenger. Do you have students who need extra visuals? Jennifer Hanson's book companions are perfect for that.
Structured Sentence Building by Queen's Speech
All Y'all Need's Write and Say the Room series is great to use for homework, as well as independent work for my 5 minute days.
This fall, I used the following items a lot:
~ Autumn Worksheet & Homework Bundle (Lauren LaCour)
~ Fall Themed  Speech & Language Packet  (Speechy Musings)

I just couldn't thank the creative SLPs enough for what they've done for me AND my students!

Want to see why other SLPs think TpT is a must? Click here to see why!

Week in Review: 11/26/2014

I started this linky so that SLP Bloggers could go to 1 place to get ideas for therapy. Write a post about either what you did this week, or what you have planned for next week. All I ask is that you share a link back to my blog in your post.

This is going to be another short post. We only had a 2-day week, but I had a lot to cram in to those 2 days! 

Younger students:
My Kinders at one school made turkeys:
I've had the pattern for a long time, so I have no idea where it came from. I wrote words that they had difficulty with on the feathers for them to practice at home.
I did some sequencing with my language kinder after she made the turkey. I snapped pictures of the different parts of the turkey with my iPad, inserted those into Custom Boards, and had an instant sequencing activity!
With my preschool/kinders at my other school, we made pilgrim puppets (DLTK)
We also read Mr. Turkey, Where are You?  from the iPad. iTunes has it for $.99, but I snagged it when it went free at one point.
You can take the student's picture for a nice surprise at the end of the story:
Older students:
The students used the cards & played the game from the November Mystery packet (Teach Speech 365). 
There's an awful lot of material in this packet for only $3, but you'd better hurry...it disappears at the end of November!

My artic students played Dessert Fun (Listening for Articulation All Year Round- Brenda Brumbough). I put the pie pieces in 4 different groups (1 piece of each pie in each group); the first one to find all 4 of their pieces of pie was the winner. It got them up and moving around.

One student decided if the picture was something he would be thankful or not thankful for, and explained why. I got some very interesting answers on this one!
Thankful vs. Not Thankful  Sort! (freebie from Miss Speechie)
I had another student I was going to use this with, and was pretty bummed that they had a pep rally during his speech time. 

WHEW! It was a whirl-wind of 2 days! 

If you weren't off all week, what did you do? OR, what do you have planned for next week?

First Ever ASHA Convention: The People

2014 ASHA Convention
The highlight of the convention for me was meeting several incredible SLPs (and some SLPs to be!):
1.  Katie (@ak_echo):
I've communicated with Katie through email, Google+, instagram, twitter, and facebook. After several tweets back & forth, we were able to meet up at the beginning of the convention. When we ran into each other during the 2 days, it was like we were old friends.  She is an incredible young SLP whose techie know-how and application to therapy is inspiring. She.Is. Amazing!!!
2. Did you know ASHA has a Mentoring Program called Student to Empowered Professional (S.T.E.P.)? If you're accepted, you will be paired with a student. Communication is through e-mail, phone, or however you decide works for the 2 of you. There is a 3-6 month commitment, then it's up to you whether you continue the relationship. Last Spring, I was paired with a wonderful young lady from Saudi Arabia. The questions she asked were very mature, and we both learned a lot from each other.We have continued to keep in touch through emails & social media. Since Speech/Language Pathology is a relatively new field in Saudi, I suspect that she (and her classmates that I was privileged to meet) will bring Speech Pathology to the forefront in that region of the world.
She was the first person to come to our poster session. We spent quite a lot of time talking to her little group. They asked great questions, and are just like little sponges, soaking up as much information as they can! She and her classmates presented a Poster Session on Saturday.
3. The SLP Bloggers. I met most of them, and they are just amazing. Their enthusiasm for our field is contagious, and, talk about humble! They made me forget that I'm old enough to be their moms (or at least I'm pretty sure I am!)!!! I wish I could have hung out more with them, but I knew I needed to share them with other SLPs, and I had sessions to attend.
4. Speechy Keen SLP: How did I not get a picture with her????  I don't think I could have made it through the convention without her! Preparing for the convention was a bit overwhelming, but her pre-convention posts really helped me in all aspects. I overheard a woman in our hotel mention to another woman that she had just been to the best session. When she said the title, I just smiled, because it was Tara's Friday night session. The woman talked about the session with such excitement, and mentioned what a great speaker Tara was.

5. Activity Tailor: Again...how did I not get a picture with her? I know I'm over-using this word, but, she is AMAZING. When I first talked to her, I said her name, and she kind of looked at me (as if...am I supposed to know you?). When I gave her my real name, then my pseudo-names, it clicked. Will these SLPs ever truly know the impact they've had on so many SLPs in such a short amount of time?

6. Mai Ling Chan: Yet again...I didn't get a picture!  (What was I thinking???) She is THE Yapp Guru. I met her one day, went back the next, and she remembered me and my name.  If you haven't registered yet, click here to register. If you're considering buying an app, check this site first to see what other SLPs have to say about it. They give honest opinions about the apps.

I have to mention a couple of people who aren't SLPs, but were loads of fun:

1. Johnathon & his wife (I can't remember her name!!!) from Smarty Ears. I had to give both of them a gigantic hug for helping me with the problem I had with Custom Boards! They were GREAT!!!

2. How can I not mention Bill from Lessonpix? What a character! My co-worker & I could have talked to him all day long. I'm looking forward for him to do a remote demo for my special ed coordinator.

I am basking in the glow of meeting all of these incredible SLPs who are making a significant difference in our field! We've come a loooong way since I began working 30 years ago; I can't wait to see what's next!

Side note: Who knew that the presenters at ASHA Schools are by invitation only, and the sessions are 2-3 hours long? I had no idea, but am quite disappointed. If you've been, just how good is this convention? It would seem like they are missing out on some excellent, innovative things going on in the schools if that's the way it is operated. Please leave me feedback and let me know, or email me at tnslp29@gmail.com.

First Ever ASHA Convention: Impressions & Overview

2014 ASHA Convention
We got to the Convention Center fairly early on Thursday morning. I expected long lines since I didn't have my badge mailed to me. I was super impressed with the organization: I zipped in, had my badge printed, and immediately got my registration materials. Just. Like. That. I didn't take a peek on Friday morning to see what the lines were like, but I would have to imagine that there probably was a line. Being directionally (I guess that isn't a word because spell check is wanting me to correct!) challenged, I would've wandered around the center for a while if there hadn't been footprints on the floor telling me which way to go. Kudos, ASHA!
The shuttles from the hotel were clearly marked as advertised in the program planner. Everyone was extremely helpful with all of our questions, and didn't make us feel like idiots.
My co-worker and I were very pleased with our Poster Session. We had a lot of people stop, read our poster, and ask questions about how we do a 5 Minute Day Within a Traditional Setting, and many said they were going to take that information back home with them and try it.
If you're interested and didn't come by or didn't make it to ASHA, our handout is in the Program Planner. We're seriously considering expanding the poster into a 30 minute seminar for Schools 2016. 
I have to give a huge shout-out to our local Office Depot. They were very patient with me as I asked questions & took our poster file to them several times to get their input. They even ran a test poster for us...at no charge! We saved a bundle by having them print it out for us. Even with buying a tube & shipping it to our hotel so it was waiting for us, we got an excellent deal.
With regards to the sessions: I went to one session that was full, but there was an overflow room. The only problem was that the video was the right session, but the audio was on swallowing. After 20 minutes, we were herded into another overflow room where the audio & video matched. I think that would have been an excellent session if we hadn't missed half of it. It was kind of like going into a movie when it's halfway over and trying to figure out what you missed. Out of all of the sessions we attended, we each had 1 that was excellent, and 1 that we attended together that was good. The others...not so much. Maybe we just picked the wrong ones to attend. Or, maybe it had to do with us being school-based. I guess I need to attend a Schools Convention to see how it compares!
Overall, an excellent job by ASHA! It was a wonderful experience; hopefully I'll have the opportunity to experience it again!
Come back tomorrow for a post on the incredible people I met.

Week in Review: 11/21/2014

I started this linky so that SLP Bloggers could go to 1 place to get ideas for therapy. Write a post about either what you did this week, or what you have planned for next week. All I ask is that you share a link back to my blog in your post.

This is going to be a short post because....
♫I'm at ASHA! ♫
For the first time ever, I'm at the ASHA Convention! That means I only had a 2-day workweek. I took it easy on myself and reverted back to playing a game with all of my kids. Well, almost all of them!
Get to Granny's (Troll in a Bowl...out of print)

I took the first half of most of the sessions and worked on homework. Just because I'm at the convention doesn't mean the kids are going to get out of homework!

The following activity sheets, which are a part of "Thanksgiving Mini Unit" (Sarah Hankinson) can be found for free on TpT.

 Some of my kids worked on Thanksgiving Vocabulary:
 Some worked on dividing words by syllables:
Others worked on putting words in alphabetical order (no picture!) or thinking of things they are thankful for that included words with their sound. 

My walk-in student worked on A Plate Full of Thanksgiving Craftivity ( free from Dabbling Speechie). She was so proud of her creation that she insisted on a picture!

Next week will be another short one since it's Thanksgiving Week! Where is the year going?

Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks

I'm linking up with Speech is Sweet  for her weekly Wild about Books Wednesday linky.

I pulled out Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks (Margaret Sutherland), mainly because I found it tucked in my November box and had forgotten it was there. It turned out to be a gold mine!
This is (obviously) a children's book that targets several things a child might be thankful for. The first 2 pages begin: I am thankful for my dad and mom. They love me when I'm good...and even when I'm not so good.
As you can see in the picture below, you can jump into inferences right away!
As I read through the book with my lower language students, I was able to target basic concepts, yes/no questions, "wh" questions, reasoning ("Do you think it's cold outside? What are the clues that tell you it's cold?"), and verbs.
It turned out to be the perfect book!

App Review: Splingo

Cover art
Are you looking for an app that adds some fun to working on following directions? This is your app. The Speech and Language Store developed this app that includes  aliens and spaceships. The student's mission is to get the aliens back home.
After you open the app, the following screen is displayed:
Quick Start brings you to this screen so that you can choose the level:
Customise takes you to this screen so you can mix the levels up if you wish:
You can also save the games and revisit at a later session.
In each round, 3 tasks are completed.
Level 1:
 Level 4:
Then the student does the following:
1st round: put the spaceship together
2nd round: give the spaceship fuel
3rd round: give alien friends a ride
4th round: give the friends snacks
5th round: give the friends something to do
After the 5th round, the student has to answer 3 items correctly in a row.
Splingo is one of the first apps I put on my iPad. Since then, the updates have definitely made it better. When it first came out, the voice was British; you didn't get a choice. My little southern students had no idea what was being said at times, so I often had to repeat them.
This app is ideal for preschool to early elementary students. The only downside I found to this app is that it doesn't take data.
Splingo is available for purchase through iTunes here ($2.99), as well as Google Play here ($3.05) and Amazon here ($2.99).

Week in Review: 11/14/2014

I've decided to switch things up a bit, and only review no more than 5 activities that I did over the past week. I think my posts were just a bit too long!

5 Minute Day, Upper Language, & Articulation:
Thanksgiving Roll & Graph. I have no idea where I got this from. (Unfortunately, the developer didn't put her name on the sheet. I thought it was from 3dinosaurs.com, but it's not. If it's yours, please let me know so I can give you credit!) The kids used the paint daubers to put a circle in the box that corresponded with the picture on the cube that was rolled. When used in groups, the person that finished a column first was the winner.

For my kids working on inferences, they used the Roll & Graph along with Thanksgiving Inferencing cards  from SLP for ME's Thankful to Learn about and Practice Inferencing Skills-Thanksgiving Theme.

Those same students are working on idioms, so we read the story from Thanksgiving Idioms Story (free from Rachel Lebovitch).  The description indicates it's best for Grades 5-8, but I used it with a 3rd grader and it worked great. The story has the idioms underlined, so when we got to one, we looked for clues in the text to define them. There is a sheet included to write the definition, and another for the student to write a sentence using the idiom. (They took the page where they write a sentence home for homework.)

For the second part of the week, the Old Lady was in the room. We had fun with the games from Mindy Stenger's I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie-Language Packet (Thanksgiving).
Lower Language:
We re-read Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit (Norman Bridwell) and talked about the verbs and and the concepts in, on, under. I pulled out Turkeys Everywhere (Chapel Hill Snippets), but didn't even get to the sentence strip...my student "read" the whole thing by herself! That was HUGE! 
She even did a great job with the carrier phrase The pilgrim needs a ______ from Queen's Speech Structured Sentence Building.

I had an exceptionally great week this week! I hope yours was just as great!
Don't forget to link up with what you did this week, or what you're planning on doing next week.

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