2 Facts & a Fib Blog Hop

I am uber excited to be a part of this blog hop! Several of us are participating to give you a chance to:
It's really easy to participate: Each of us will be listing 3 things. 2 facts will be true, 1 will be a fib. Not a little white lie, but an all-out fib! Check out my 3 statements, make a guess as to which one is the fib, then hop on to the next blog after writing your answer down on the nifty sheet that Speech2U made. (Click on the picture to download through google drive.)

 At the end, record your answers for a chance to win the Amazon Card. The one with the most correct answers will win. If you tie with someone, random.org will determine the winner.

My statements:

A.  I may be a Southerner, but I was born in NY.
B.  My grandfather invented the corn stalker.
C. I went to Mass with Mel Gibson.

Hmmmm....which ones are true, and which one is the fib? Write it down and continue on by clicking
on the picture below.
Increase your chances by following me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook ; I'll be leaving some clues! I may even have a product to give away one of the days!
Twitter (tnslp29)
Instagram (tnslp)
Facebook (Old School Speech)
Don't forget to come back on April 7th to see which one was the fib!

Favorite Blog Posts: March

Monthly Linky

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 Favorite Posts of the Month Linky was born. 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!
I was a bit of a slacker this month. With the start-up of my TpT & Speechtivities Stores, I was a bit absorbed with that and didn't read as much as I should have.

Grab button for Natalie Snyders
Natalie had a friend of hers as a guest in her post Stepping Outside Your SLP Comfort Zone.  I would have loved to have done something like that when I was younger. I did apply to the DoD (Dept. of Defense) Schools, but I did that right after I graduated with my Bachelor's, so of course I wasn't hired.
Annie is doing a series titled Interview with a Teacher.  Her first interview (with a teacher who is also a friend) was well written, and written from the heart. I absolutely loved most of her ideas for her "dream environment"! You can read it here.

What were your favorite posts of the month? Let me  know what I missed!
Linky closes on 04/07/15 @ 11:55 pm.

Monday Re-Post: Behavior in the Speech Room

The following post was original published on 12/16/13. This year, I tweaked a few things. Come back next Monday for the follow-up!

  Affiliate links are included at the end of this post. 
There are times when even Speech Kids get a little unruly!  Here is my "tried & true" way to keep them on task:
At the beginning of every year (regardless of how long he/she has been in speech), I review my procedures, which are posted in my room.  You can see them in the top right corner of this picture:
At my other school, I have them sitting on a round decorative table right by the door. 

 The procedures are simple:  Check book, sit down, complete activity, get sticker, walk quietly back to class.  I have a picture beside each procedure as well.
During the session, I have "Super Job Slips".  I got these when I first started working (in the dark ages!); they were part of a book that featured Willard the Worm:  Pick a Peck of Lessons (Kathy Shurley).    The book has open-ended games (some of which I still have) that included some seasonal games.  Anyway, the slips have an apple with a worm coming out of it (that would be Willard!) and the words "Super Job" on them.  Each kid is given 5 slips.  I'll give them 1 verbal warning so that they will know the behavior that is not appropriate (talking when it's someone else's turn, not sitting in his seat, etc.).  The next time the behavior occurs, I don't say anything, I only take a slip away.  They have to have 1 slip left to get a sticker on their sticker chart.  (I use the sticker charts from Super Duper's Year 'Round Lifesavers & Timesavers.)  
When the student gets a row filled up with stickers, he is rewarded with a trip to the prize box.  The student can earn an extra sticker if he brings back his speech homework with a parent's signature.  When I first started using this reward system, I let them pick a piece of candy, but then the schools started getting away from giving out candy, so I switched to a prize box.  (That's probably a good thing, because I would end up eating the candy the kids didn't like!)  In recent years, I would rotate the rows between prizes and fruit snacks, but, since I have to buy those out of my own pocket, I've switched to just the prize box.   At the beginning of the year, I use some of my money to buy prizes from Super Duper.  
If a student should happen to get a "sad face", they don't get to go to the prize box when the row is completed...they have to wait until another row is completely filled with stickers.  I have very rare occasions where a student will get 2 sad faces in a row.  If that happens, I put the sad face in the next row.  It sounds kind of harsh, but it works.  I have very few students who ever get more than 1 sad face, and, after they get that 1st sad face, they never get another one!  There are ways to get an "automatic sad face":  laughing at other speech students, arguing with me, and not following hallway procedures (walking quietly back to class).  Again, this very rarely happens, and I often will warn the student before I give them a sad face.  I forgot to mention:  if a child gets down to just 1 slip, I will point it out to them and tell them to be very careful.
I usually only have to use the Super Job slips for the first few sessions, then I don't have to put them out once the student understands behavior expectations.  In fact, the other day I asked one group if I needed to get out the Super Job Slips, and they said, "no" rather emphatically!  Their behavior was perfect the rest of the session.
I give my groups time to get out all of their extra talking (telling me about their weekend or their plans) on the walk from their room to the speech room.  By the time we get to my room, they're ready to focus on speech, and we can dedicate "most" of the 30 minutes on speech.
I'm trying something a little different with my 4th graders this year.  I thought the sticker charts were a little babyish for them, and I ran across these on TpT:
It's the same concept as the Sticker Chart, except once the dollars go in, they don't come out until they've earned the number of dollars that I set.  If the student is seen individually, she has to have $6.  If there are 2 kids in the group, they have to have $12; 3 kids- $18.  They put the dollars into a cup:  I found some plastic cups at the Target Dollar Spot and decorated them with Washi tape.  Once they earn the specified amount, they decide as a group whether they want to go to the prize box or have some iPad time.  Surprisingly, most of them choose the prize box.
I do have some fruit snacks on hand...for my walk-in preschoolers.  I make sure I have at least a couple of activities per session so they will stay busy.  That cuts down on a lot of behavior issues!
That's my behavior system in a nutshell.  How does this compare to what you do?

Week in Review: 03/27/2015

Old School Speech

I started this linky so that SLPs 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 post includes direct links to the products. Free products are indicated.) 

me of the week:  Easter

5 Minute Day:
Instead of using this as a "bump", the students rolled 2 dice after saying their targets, added the dots, and put a chip on the number of dots they rolled. (From the **Freebie**Easter Board Games Pack by Sweet Integrations)

School –Aged Language:
When I asked one of my students if he knew any jokes, he proceeded to tell me one...the whole thing. There was no waiting to see if I knew the answer, he just barreled right into the answer. I was planning on using  Joke Dominoes (Old School Speech...that's me!!), which was perfect for this student . I also used it with a fluency student. Another language student explained the multiple meaning words that are included.
Some other students used my Bunny Grammar Dice (Lessonpix). The picture below shows a student who rolled each cube, then wrote his sentence. I wrote his sentence on a page protector, and he decided if the sentence was grammatically correct, and, if not, what he needed to do to make it correct. I didn't have him correct anything on his sheet; he took it home for homework.
In addition to Joke Dominoes, my older language students are getting ready for state testing. This week, I had them read a passage (slowly), then read & answer the questions. Following that, they went back through the passage and found the clues for the answers. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) this will help them when it comes time to take the test "for real".

Game Day:
Bunny Hop (another game from the **Freebie**Easter Board Games Pack by Sweet Integrations) was a hit during "Game Day"! The game includes jelly beans to cut out, but I used real jelly beans. When a student landed on a jelly bean, I gave him a real one to put in his snack bag. As always, his direction was to put the bag in his backpack until he gets home.
I just didn't have my act together enough to get a craftivity together for my little one, so I pulled out a page from my No Prep Bunny Daub/Homework. After she said each word, she daubed the bunny's belly. She took the sheet home to work on.
I also used this for homework for most of my other kids.

What did you do this week, or what do you have planned for next week? 

Quick Tip Tuesday #10

 Kim is hosting "Quick Tip Tuesday". (Disclaimer: I'm not sure if Kim is back posting Quick Tips, but I'm forging ahead!) Posts that are short, sweet, and to the point...what could be better?
I absolutely love the free books from Chapel Hill Snippets. Even though she's now a seller on TpT, she still has a bunch of free printables. When I first started using her materials, I had trouble figuring out how to keep the cards and sentence strips with the books. Then I had a "aha" moment:
I take a piece of cardstock and cut it in half. Then, I glue the half sheet to a whole sheet to create a pocket. I then attach that sheet to the end of the book, and...there it is!

Please visit Kim and see what other great quick tips SLPs are using in their everyday life!

Monday Re-Post: Artic Old School

This post was originally published on 19 November, 2013:

You've administered an articulation test and have decided which sounds to work on.  Now what? I mentioned before that I'm very "Van Riperish" when it comes to articulation therapy.   I am a firm believer in the student being able to produce the sound in isolation before working on the target sound in words.  Sometimes it's pretty simple and the student is very stimulable for it.  Other times:  not so much.  
Through the years, I've tweaked my artic therapy to progress the student a little faster through the hierarchy so that they will correct their sound faster.  In a nutshell, here's my hierarchy:
1) Isolation
2) Syllables
3) Words
     a) following my model
     b) spontaneously
4) Sentences 
    a) Making up his own sentences
    b) Repeating "tongue twisters" after me
5)  Conversation
I will pair sounds together:  for example, /k/ and /g/ are worked on together, as are /s, z/.  I generally don't separate the sounds into the different positions; I will mix up initial, medial, and final positions and work with them at the same time.  There are exceptions, however.  From time to time, I will have preschool students who have major problems with their sound in one or two positions, but will have some success with the other position.   In that case, I will separate the sound into positions, until I think he's ready to have them mixed up. 
The only time I do oral motor exercises is for the /r/, or if the student isn't stimulable for the sound at all.  The latter very rarely happens, but when it does, it's usually with the /k, g/.  
Most of my students must achieve 80% accuracy for 2 consecutive data collection sessions for the isolation and syllable levels, and 90% accuracy for 2 consecutive data collection sessions for the remaining levels.
Materials:  At one of my schools, I use the Super Duper Fun Decks.  At my other school, I use some cards that I made when I first started working.   I had 2 of the Dr. Seuss Dictionaries, so I cut the pictures out, mounted them on index cards, and laminated them.  Over 25 years later, and they're still in fairly good shape.  I have the Articulate It! app on my iPad, and when I first got it I used it quite a bit.  I forgot my iPad at home one day, and the kids were ecstatic to get to use cards again.  Since then, I mainly use the cards.
For reinforcement, we play a lot of games.  Every now and then, I'll mix it up and we'll do something a little different, like pick out their sounds while we read a book.  The student will usually say 3 cards (or his sound 3 times, or 3 syllables) before taking a turn.  While one student takes his turn, I'm listening to the next student, so the sessions flows pretty well.  I make sure they know that they're in there to work on their sound, and that it's not about who wins the game, it's about having fun while we're working on their sounds.  If a student gloats, I will remind them to be a good winner.  If they continue, I will threaten them with not being able to play a game next time.  That usually takes care of the gloating! 
How does this compare with how you conduct artic therapy?  


Success doesn't seem to come along often enough. There are times when we get discouraged because it seems that things are status quo with our students. Then, out of nowhere, a light will come on.

I have a 5th grader who has been working extremely hard on idioms this year. Her mom told me they were talking, and her daughter said, "Hey, that's an idiom!" A couple of days after that, this student said that "under the weather" was on a test, and she knew what it meant. She was so excited & so proud of herself!

One of "younger" SLPs in the system where I work sent this email:

I had a great session this morning with my social skills groups! A fellow teacher in XXXXX County gave me an idea a couple of weeks ago. There is a book called “Have you filled a bucket today?” by Carol McCloud. It is amazing! It is illustrated for little kids and talks about being a “Bucket Filler” or a “Bucket Dipper.” The book gives lots of examples on how to be a good “Bucket Filler.” I read the book to them this morning and made a poster to hang in the class with lots of examples that the students can look at throughout the day. Then my CDC teacher and I acted out skits and the students had to tell us whether we were being “Bucket Fillers” or “Bucket Dippers.” I also had worksheets for the students to sort “fillers” and “dippers” into buckets. My CDC teacher and I decided to make each student a bucket that they have to fill up every day. They have to get 10 warm fuzzies to get a prize. The students are responsible for putting the fuzzies in their buckets when their teacher tells them they did something nice or did well on their work. At the end of the day, they have to count them and tell their teacher. If they have 10, they get a sticker, 15 for candy, and 20 for a big prize or Ipad time. After we finished today, the kids were walking around saying nice things to each other and throwing away trash. One student came up to me and said “I’m going to be a bucket filler, not a bucket dipper.” I was so proud! The teacher implemented it today and so far, it is going well! A couple of students have been dippers, so they had to take out a warm fuzzy.

Funny story- Ms. Teacher just came in and said one of her students was cheating on his test. She asked him if that was something a “bucket filler” or “bucket dipper” would do. He said he was being a “bucket dipper” and another student starting saying “Dipper, dipper, you’re a dipper. Ha ha!” Then Ms. Teacher asked him what HE was doing and he said “oops. Sorry” and went to take out a fuzzyJ  It’s working!
Thanks, Megan, for sharing this with all of us!!!

What successes have you had lately?

Quick Tip Tuesday #9

 Kim at School SLP usually hosts "Quick Tip Tuesday", but work is getting in the way. She's taking a bit of a break, so I'm carrying on! 
As I'm planning for the upcoming month, I put the materials I'm going to use in a basket. I put them in order (with a small sticky note with the date written on it) so all I have to do is just grab the materials when I come in to the room in the morning. This has saved me a whole lot of time. It also keeps me from running around my room like a chicken with its head cut off!

Do you have a system for organizing your materials for the week?

Week in Review: 03/13/2015

I started this linky so that SLPs 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 post includes direct links to the products. Free products are indicated.) 

To see larger pictures, just click on one & scroll through.)

Theme of the week: St. Patrick's Day

5 Minute Day:

For the independent station, I used Lucky Speech Reinforcement Game (Free from Lauren LaCour).
I thought I was being smart by printing out 2 of the pages on 1 sheet, but it made the leprechaun cards with the writing a little hard to read. Otherwise, it worked great!

Preschool Language:
I'm getting a lot of use out of Crazy Speech World's St. Patrick's Day No Prep Speech Therapy Activities:
Daubing after an activity
I also used the "Shamrock Scenes Cut & Glue" (no picture) to work on following directions using "on" and "under" as well as vocabulary.
I used part of my "St. Patrick's Grammar Dice" (You can find these free from LessonPix) to work on making complete sentences.

School –Aged Language:
I paired my first attempt at making materials (FREE!) with the story included in Speechy's On Topic Packet!  I've gotta admit: I had no idea how to work with this goal with one of my students, and this is the perfect thing!
 I started using Nicole Allison's Leveled Grammar Activities with some of my students. This is worth Every. Single. Penny.
 My St. Patrick's Grammar Dice (Lessonpix) made several appearances in various ways. In the picture below, the student rolled the dice and made up a sentence using the pictures. I wrote down, word for word, what he said, then had him read it and decide if it was grammatically correct. (I have some Easter dice in the Sharing Center.)
Game Day:
I could not wait to play this game with my 2nd & up students:
Make a Rainbow Stick Game  by Mia McDaniel (a.k.a. Putting Words in Your Mouth) is a freebie that my kids absolutely loved! One of my kids even suggested that we also add up the points on the sticks to see who had the most so there could be more than one winner. Instead of using "regular" popsicle sticks or tongue depressors, I used colored craft sticks (from the dollar store) and wrote numbers with Sharpies.
Simply Speech's Articulation Necklaces was the inspiration for the activity my Kinders & 1st Graders enjoyed:
She has /r/ and /r/ blends and /k/ and /g/ available for purchase.

I took the craftivity from Nicole J at Teaching's a Hoot. I modified it so that my student put a cotton ball on the cloud  every time she said a word. I used Lessonpix to make pictures of words she missed to put on the different colors. You can find the free activity here.
My preschool/kinder language kids sequenced the activity.

There won't be a "Week in Review" next week since I'll be on Spring Break. Hope everyone has a good week!

Quick Tip Tuesday #8

 Kim   is hosting   usually hosts "Quick Tip Tuesday", but she is ridiculously busy for the next couple of weeks. I've decided to carry on as if she had all the time in the world. (I like living in denial!) Posts that are short, sweet, and to the point...what could be better?
Do you have PECS pictures that are just hanging around in envelopes? I know I did...up until a year ago when I saw one of these in my Pre-K teacher's room:
(She's da bomb...just sayin', & I really miss her!)
I got this bead case from WalMart, so it's not the best quality. If I used it more than I do, and opened it more than I do, I would invest in something of a better quality, but it works for the students I'm working with now.
I have my pictures organized in alphabetical order, but categories would work, too.
Where do you keep your PECS pictures?

On/Off Topic: Spring FREEBIE!

Last Friday, I worked with a student who has difficulty staying on topic. I bought Badger State Speechy's On Topic Packet! specifically for this student. I knew it would be perfect for him! As we went through the included story, I saw a problem: He didn't understand what "on topic" and "off topic" meant. I knew I needed something to illustrate this. I came up with this:

To use, put the "A" cards in 1 stack and the "B" cards in the other. Don't worry about them matching. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. Have the student read (or you can read) each card, and tell you if the "B" card is on topic, or off topic. Discuss each pair: why is it on topic, or why is it off topic.
This is my first attempt at making something on my own. I was a little frustrated at first until I got the hang of keeping the boxes the same size. I debated putting it on TpT as a freebie (I'm currently not a seller). I searched my soul and realized I don't have the time to get into selling. (Thank goodness there are those of you who do!)
If you would like a free download, click here
Thank you to mycutegraphics.com for such cute (free!) graphics to use.
MyCuteGraphics Button

Week in Review: 03/06/2015

I started this linky so that SLPs 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 post includes direct links to the products. Free products are indicated.) 

Theme of the week: St. Patrick's Day. Most people are over the winter weather, even though we've only had 2 weeks of "real" winter, and we're out for Spring Break during St. Patrick's Day, so I decided to get started on the green stuff!

5 Minute Day/Inidividual Sessions:
 It was a "Roll & Color" couple of days, thanks to Crazy Speech World's FREE Super Leprechaun Activities. 

School –Aged Language:
 We didn't get to finish up with "Love Idioms" (Activity Tailorsince we were out for a couple of weeks, so we continued working with those, using Gold Country's Draw to Learn Idioms (FREE!) I got the idiom activity as a free download from the For the Love of Speech Blog Hop at the beginning of Feb.; if you didn't grab it during the blog hop, you missed it! This is part of her Idioms: Go Figure product.

For my 1st and 2nd graders who are working on producing grammatically correct sentences and answering "wh" questions, I made Leprechaun Grammar Cubes using Lessonpix. The student rolled all of the cubes then used the pictures to produce a sentence. I asked them a question about the sentence they just produced.
(The Groundhog Day Roll-a-Story Story Cubes by K Ratliff (Free)was the inspiration for this activity.)

I pulled out, for the first time, Fluency Tower Game Mats Holiday and Seasons Mat (Activity Tailor). 
We didn't play it exactly like Kim suggests since I didn't want to print out another mat for the 2nd player. As we pulled out a log, we read the question and then answered it, using strategies, such as Easy Speaking Voice.  Then, we put the log on the corresponding color on the mat. When all 3 questions had been answered, that person received a point, and those 3 logs were put on the top. We made up the rules as we went, which my student loved because he was able to have input in how we played.

Game Day:
I pulled out the Leprechaun Game  from Sweet Integration's St. Patrick's Day Board Games (FREE!). I played this last year, but, since I wasn't at my new/old school last year, this was the first time my students played.
I used the gold coins from my Pirate Talk game, and the electronic spinner from the same game.

We had a "snow day" on Thursday, but the snow & ice managed to miss us. It's a tough call for the powers that be; the timing was supposed to be tricky. Better safe than sorry! 

How was your week? Did you start on St. Patrick's Day activities?

Lovin' Some Blogs

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post. The views are my own. There are links to the creators of the icons used; just click on the icon to be taken to the site.

You may have seen these icons on blogs:

Or, maybe this:

I think we all assume people know what those icons are. There are so many wonderful speech blogs out there, that it can become quite overwhelming. How do you make sure you're not missing out on an important post?
I've tried a couple of different ways to keep track of the blogs: blogspot used to have a feed (but it hasn't been reliable since Google "kind of" did away with their "google friend connect") and flipboard. I've even tried subscribing to blogs to have the posts delivered to email. (In the past few weeks I have unsubscribed from blogs to free up my email, but I've made sure I'm following them on Bloglovin'!)
I resisted using this site for a while. Looking back, I'm not sure why.
Anyone can use Bloglovin'.  One of the huge advantages is being able to categorize your blogs. Since I also have a personal blog, I needed a way to separate my personal from professional. Here's a peek at my categories:
If I don't have a whole lot of time, I can click on the category and scroll through those posts. It saves me a lot of time clicking through posts that may not be of interest to me at that time. If I see a post I want to read right away, I click on the title of the post:
If I want to save it for later, I just click on the "save" at the bottom left corner, then I have the option to save it to a collection.
I can even share the post directly from Bloglovin'.
If you don't have enough blogs to read, Bloglovin' will have suggestions for you.  You can also search for a blog. If the blog isn't already on the site, you can add it.

I'm just sorry that I resisted Bloglovin' for so long! It would have made my life so much easier! How do you organize your blogs that you read?
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