{Looking Ahead} The Aliens Have Landed!

The handsome old girl in the picture above is Pepper, my 15 year old Jack Russell Mix.  She's the closest thing to an alien I have!

The aliens are invading my speech room this week. They may love underpants, but they're going to save earth!  Activities this week will be centered around the book Aliens in Underpants Save the World (Claire Freedman). 

5 Minute Day
During the independent station, my students are going to be busy. 1st, they will say 2 words on the printed out sheet and then daub it. Then, they will roll the die and put that number of chips on the circles to see if they can get through with both activities before it's time to switch. I like to have the students roll the die in the box to keep them from chasing it down, which saves time as well. 
My walk-ins will use the chips as a game; they will say the words and daub the aliens before they use their cards to say their words. This is the last homework of the year! 

Game Day
The game this week is a team game: the students will produce their targets, then choose a card. I usually put the cards in an empty tissue box so they can't see what they are choosing.
If he/she pics a planet, then the meteor is moved down 1 space. If he/she chooses an alien, then the underpants is moved up 1 space. If the students, as a team, get their underpants to the blue line before the meteor reaches the green line, they win! Since this is a relatively short game, they will probably be able to play more than once.

My language students who are in a "mixed group" will listen to the story being read through a YouTube clip during the independent center. They will be ready to retell story when it's their turn to spend time with me. I use Super Duper's Story Builder to work on retell; the book has homework pages in it. All I do is write what each part of the story should be and send it home for homework. 

Other students will be working on answering "wh" questions about the book. I will also pull some following directions from some books that I have on my shelf. 

The year is quickly coming to an end. State testing will be finishing up on Monday, followed by make-ups the rest of the week. Then it's only 1 more full week of school and 4 more days until summer break. How close are you to break?

The activities used this week can be found here.

What Do You Call It?

We all hit them sooner or later. With me, it's later.
I thought I was feeling burned out. I love my job, I really, really do. I can't imagine doing anything else. I love the students. I love that they make me laugh. I love that kids are still kids and can say the darnedest things.
I love the people with whom I work. I consider them my friends. 33 years is a long time to work in the same profession. It's actually quite amazing that I haven't had this feeling before, but I haven't. It's hard to pinpoint the feeling. 
And then, I found it while reading my Lenten Journal: Battle-weary. That's IT! Battle-weary & tired. 
For the past few years, I've been so caught up in TpT and social media, that I've strayed away from what I know is tried and true. I pulled out my "oldies but goodies" and took a break from all the cutesie materials that look fantastic, but really don't matter a whole lot to the students. Honestly, I look at some of the materials I purchased and wonder, "What was I thinking?" (I seem to have done that quite a bit over the past couple of years!)
So, here's a short list of what to do when you're battle-weary:

🚢 Get away from Social Media. Yep, I'm convinced social media is "da debil". 
I've reduced social media to only checking my notifications on Facebook. I scroll through Instagram every so often, but not nearly as much as I used to.

🚢 Look through materials in your room and use what you've neglected. I'm saving money by not buying a lot of things on TpT. That's not to say that if I'm looking for something specific I still won't jump on and see if I can find something, but for the most part, my time spent there has been dramatically reduced. 

🚢 Don't feel inadequate because you don't have a clue about Tailwind...I"m determined not to.  I'm also not going to jump on the video bandwagon with any of the social media outlets. 

🚢 Spend time with family. If you have little ones, enjoy them instead of getting sucked in to social media or TpT. If you don't have little ones, spend time with your husband or significant other. Better yet, take care of yourself. 

It may be because both of my parents are gone, but I'm realizing that there's so much more to life than being an SLP. Our profession shouldn't define who we are. For the past 33 years, when asked who I am, being an SLP would be near the top of the list, if not the top. How much have I missed? I'm just glad the whole TpT craze is happening at this point in my life and not earlier. I'm glad I had the time with my boys that I did. 
I'm looking forward to describing myself in other ways, and saying, "Oh, yeah. I'm also an SLP" as an afterthought. I still have around 10 years before I will probably be able to retire. I vow to be the best SLP I can, but it will not define who I am any longer. 

{Looking Ahead} From Dragons to Bears & Hares

Picture courtesy of Pixabay
I didn't do very well posting my therapy activities for last week. I'm not going to bore you with what I did, but you can find all of the activities here
This week's planning wasn't as time consuming as last week, because Sparklle SLP has a book companion for Tops and Bottoms (Janet Stevens).

5 Minute Day
Once again, Sparklle comes to the rescue with a great activity for the independent station during 5 Minute Day: homework and an activity! Using the list she has provided with words from the story, the students write words with their target sound in the radishes. They will take it home for homework. (Only 2 more times to give out homework for the school year!)

Game Day 
I made this game to go along with the book. The first person to have their garden finished is the winner! The book isn't necessary for the game, but it is highly encouraged. You can find the game here

My preschool walk-ins will be playing this game from Speech Room News. It's part of her companion packet for the book. Since I don't start 5 Minute Days until halfway through Kindergarten year, I try to have a game or craftivity for the little ones.

1 of the things I like about Sparklle's companion packets is that she always seems to have what I need for my language students!
Following Directions:
And Comprehension in a really neat format:
My school system is finishing up state testing this week, so that means therapy is hit or miss for my older students. It's all downhill after that!
What are some activities you'll be doing in your room this week?

{Looking Ahead} Hopping into Easter

Easter is here already! That means only 5 more weeks of school after this week! (Not that I'm counting or anything.) We don't have school on Friday so I won't be giving my students homework.

5 Minute Day
The great thing about team games is that they can be used for an independent center. This is my Jelly Bean Bunny Game from Spring 4 in 1 Games. From the instructions: The bunny loves jelly beans! He took Amy's jelly beans, but some are falling out as he is hopping. Get the fallen jelly beans in the jar before he makes it to the hole.

Game Day

Funny Bunny is a must right before Easter. The kids especially love it when I play and my bunnies fall down the hole. Before choosing a card, the student says his/her target 3 times. The first person to the top wins, but if their bunnies fall into the hole: Bye, bye, bunny! They have to start all over with a new bunny. If all 4 end up down the hole, they're out of the game (but that almost never happens!). 

Preschool Craftivity
I used this a couple of years ago and decided it was time to bring back for my preschoolers. In order to get a piece of the bunny, they will have to say 2 of their target cards. After the bunny is put together, they will say more words with their target as they glue the pictures on the tummy to take home for more practice. You can find the freebie here.
Before the craftivity, we'll take a few minutes to see if we can find the bunny:
Other Language Activities

I've used following directions for the past couple of weeks with some of my students. This freebie has worked out well. I started out using the Level 1 and have been able to move on to Level 2 and the 2-step directions.
Another freebie that's been great is Spring WH Questions. I've had to pull some of the cards out that were too difficult for my students, but was able to use the majority of them. I used these cards in conjunction with the games we've played; both of them together are great to use when you have students who are in "mixed" groups, or with students who need to work on turn-taking in addition to "wh?".

I'm blown away that the school year is winding down. It's been a hectic, busy year, but I'm so ready for Summer Break!

{Looking Ahead} Spring has Sprung!

Spring has sprung here in East Tennessee...at least for now! I suspect we'll get 1 more cold snap;; we usually do!
It was fun planning for this week; actually I was able to plan for the next 2 weeks rather quickly.

5 Minute Day
Roll and Count Easter Eggs by 3 Dinosaurs. During the independent center, the students will produce their target, then roll the dice provided. They'll take a chip and place it on the corresponding picture on the board to see which one "wins". The other independent center (for my groups with 3 students) will be a listening station.

Game Day
Bunny Hop is an open-ended game that is great for using with mixed-groups. This is part of a freebie by Sweet Integrations that also includes a couple of roll and cover games. When we play this at the end of the week, the students will earn a jelly bean every time they land on a jelly bean square, and will take them home in a little snack bag. I don't allow students to eat anything in my room due to the increase of food allergies. (For more on this subject, click here.)

Preschool Walk-Ins
My little ones love smash strips! It's hilarious to watch them smash the playdough...it's almost like they're getting all of their frustrations out on that little ball! We'll start the session with 1 of 2 books...I'll let each one decide which book we'll read. Then, using Articulation Station by LittleBeeSpeech, the child will produce his/her target in 3 words, then smash the ball on the last word. Sparklle SLP has Smash Strips: Spring-Themed Reinforcement that are very colorful and very Spring-oriented. And, they're only $1!

While waiting for their turn during game day, the students will complete their pages for homework. Speech is Sweet is helping me out big-time this week with homework! Students working on later developing sounds will glue pictures containing their target around a picture from Spring Articulation Activities: Later Developing Sounds. She also has a version for the early sounds, but I don't have it yet. For my students with earlier developing sounds (and language students), I've pulled pages from A Dab of Speech and Language For the YearI have a couple of students who are working on sounds that aren't included in either, so I improvised. I'll use the picture from the artic activities, and I used lessonpix to print pictures of words that have been missed over previous sessions. For those students, I use Articulate It! from Smarty Ears during therapy, so I was able to look back to see what words had been missed from previous sessions.
I 💗 this new feature that they have included...it keeps me from writing down the words during therapy, and it helps to know what words they need to practice at home.

Now that we're in the last 9 weeks of the school year (only 7 more Mondays!), I feel like I finally have time to breathe! How is it going with you?
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