St. Patrick's Day Articulation


Is your caseload bursting with articulation students like mine is?   It has been years since I have had this many articulation students, and frankly, I was getting a little sick of my activities that I had!  You can only play memory or Go Fish so many times, you know?  What my students don't get sick of is bingo dabbers and markers.  I swear, I can pull out a pack of markers or dabbers and I am a superhero!  Because of this, I decided to make a set of articulation pages for my students to color or dab.  St. Patrick's Day Articulation was born!

This set of no-prep articulation pages includes the following sounds all in the initial position of words:
B, Ch, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, L-Blends, M, N, P, R, R-Blends, S, S-Blends, Sh, T, Th, V, W, Y, and Z


So, how does this work?
Students can use their marker or dabber to color in the Leprechaun's gold after they say their word a number of times.  If you have your student say each word 5 times, you will get 70 productions from this one page.  Imagine if you have them say it 10 times!  

If you have some gold coins, you can also have students earn their gold by saying the words and then covering them up with the real coins.

I included a blank sheet so that you can also fill in your own words if you would like.



Using Snowmen in Speech and Language Therapy


Winter is in full swing here in Michigan!  It has been cold and snowy and we are only a few weeks into winter. This has been my view on my way to work (not bad, right?):



My kids all love to build snowmen when they play in the snow, and I've found a few ways to incorporate snowmen into my speech and language therapy too!

Over the winter break, I saw a new (to me) type of clay/sand called Floof.  This is such a great product!  I decided to purchase the snowman kit for my students to create and describe.  It has been so much fun!!!



A really easy way to incorporate snowmen is with a simple marker and piece of paper.  I start with the three snowballs drawn out and copied.  You can also have your students draw the snowballs and work on the concepts of small, medium, large, top, bottom, and  middle.  Then I give directions such as "give the snowman a red scarf before you give the snowman a pink hat."  There are lots of directions that can be worked on in this activity.



Another way to use snowmen in therapy is with these cute snowmen snowflakes.  They are actually super easy to make.  We used them in articulation practice by writing the students speech words on each of the snowmen.
Fold square paper into a triangle.

Draw snowmen on two outside corners.

Cut out snowmen- don't cut the bottoms!

Add extra cuts to decorate.

Write articulation words on snowmen.

I have also used a few snowmen books in therapy.  My favorites are Snowmen at Night, Sneezy the Snowman, and The Biggest, Best Snowman.

There are still a few weeks of winter, so I hope these snowman activities can help get you through!  I personally can't wait until spring though!!!

Little Stories for Speech, Language & Literacy {App Review} and GIVEAWAY!


I am always looking for activities that I can use to target both articulation and language goals, so when I came across this app, I had to try it out!  Little Stories for Speech, Language, and Literacy is an app by the great people over at Little bee Speech that is available for the iPad only at the iTunes store.

How To Use This App
Little stories are exactly that...little stories.  They are exactly 100-words long.  You can select each story based on:
All pictures from Little Stories Pro
  • Phonemic Targets: /l/, l blends, /r/, r blends, /s/, s blends, and th 
  • Story Title: alphabetized selections 
  • Themes: working as a team, having compassion for others, following instructions, etc.
  • Reading Level: level A ages 6.5-7.5, level B ages 7-8.5, or level C ages 8-9.5
There are 82 different stories to choose from, so you will have plenty of stories to use with your students.

Once you select the story, you will have the option to record your student reading the story.  This recording can be saved and scored for reading fluency.  I can also see this being used for recording speech fluency too.  There is also an option for having the story read out loud to your student.  You can scroll down to read along.  At the bottom of the story is a button to click to check comprehension.

When you click the Check Comprehension button, you will have four different options:
  • Story Retell- Record the student retelling the story in their own words.  You can then score this story based on story structure (orientation, complication, action, resolution, ending) or expressive language (nouns & pronouns, verbs, adjectives & adverbs, prepositions, delivery).

  • Sequencing- Students drag the statements to the correct order.
  • WH Questions- Students answer who, what, where, when, and how questions regarding the story.  You can have the student attempt to answer the question without a choice of answers and then check their answer, or you can go right to four multiple choice answers and have your student choose.                                                                                                                                          I think the multiple choice are really easy for the students to figure out without really comprehending the story.  There is only one option with the characters names or other information, so it is very easy to choose because of heavy context clues.  I really like to have the students try to answer without the choices first.  ***I have spoken with the app developers about the WH questions, and they have let me know that on the next update, there will be more difficult WH questions.


  • Story Talk- This section guides student through some conversation about the story.

This app gives you the ability to track data on your students.  you can select or add a student in order to keep track of data that you have collected in any of these areas.


Within the story, there is also an option for flashcards.  You can look at sight words or words that focus on the phoneme you were targeting.


What Do I Think?
This is a great app to target a variety of skills in your speech and language groups.  I can definitely see the advantages to using this in your mixed groups.  The stories are simple and engaging.  I love all of the different ways of tracking data.  

The current price for this app is $41.99.  This is 30% off of the regular price of $59.99.  This price will change back on February 1, so grab the deal while you can.

**You can also enter to win a FREE copy of this app by going over to my Instagram post and commenting.**
This giveaway will run from 1/24 - 1/28/2018.  Winner will be announced on 1/29/2018.

I was provided with a copy of this app by the developer for the purpose of this review.  I was not compensated in any way.  The opinions and comments about this app are my own.


Speech and Language Homework Calendars


Are you looking for an easy way to send home activities for your speech and language students to practice their skills?  I have been using these calendars for years now, and have had great responses from my students and their parents!  I have a set of articulation calendars and a set of language calendars.  Both sets are updated every calendar year as well as at back to school time.  There are color versions of the calendars as well as black and white for a low ink option.  If you have access to color printing at your school, I suggest using the color versions- they are bright and fun!  The black and white versions are fun too, and students can color the pages themselves.

ARTICULATION

In the articulation calendars, students are asked to find a variety words that start with their sound and use their sound in connected speech in a variety of activities.  Here are some examples of daily activities included on the articulation calendars:

Each day on the calendar has a small icon in the corner that students can color in when they complete the task.


LANGUAGE


In the language calendars, students are asked to answer questions that focus on categorization, describing, story telling, analogies, idioms, synonyms, antonyms, plural nouns, past tense verbs, auditory comprehension for sentences, auditory memory, calendar vocabulary (yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc.).  Here are some examples of activities in the language calendars:
COMMUNICATION LOGS
In each set of calendars, there is also a parent letter and communication log that can be sent home.  The parent letter describes how to use the calendars.  The communication log gives parents a chance to let you know what went well and what the student needed help with.


These calendars are available at my TpT store in a BUNDLE or you can purchase the articulation or language calendars separately.


Organizing Your Speech and Language Caseload Files

Now that you are all settled into your new speech and language room, you'll have to find out who you are supposed to be seeing with all of those well-organized materials.

The first thing you'll need to do is either print off a caseload list from whatever your caseload manager/IEP program is on your computer or maybe your special services department will print one for you.  Either way, you need to get your hands on this information.  Once you have your list, you are ready to go!

Here are the steps for organizing those students:

1.  Find their files.  The previous SLP should have left you all of the files for your students.  This should contain at least the latest IEP.  It may contain previous testing and testing protocols as well as notes on the student.  I like to organize these files using recycled pieces of paper from the teacher workroom.  I fold the paper in half so that the white side is facing out.  Then, I place the reports/IEPs/other information into that folded half-sheet.  On the folded edge of the paper, I write the information about what is contained in that section.

2.  Make a hanging file for each student.  I love to use those sticky file tabs from Post-It. Use your caseload checklist to make sure you have every student's file accounted for.  Place your student files into each slot.  This drawer will be so organized that you will want to show it off!


3.  Make a working file for each student.  This file is completely separate from your file with all of the IEPs and testing.  This is what you will use on a daily basis with your students.  In my daily file folders, I like to keep a copy of the goal sheet and a data sheet.  The goal sheet on the left makes it super easy to reference goals while I am working with students to make sure we are on the right track during sessions.  I write the name of the student on the file tab in pencil so I can easily change it if I find out that the student goes by a different name than their legal name (ie., Nick instead of Nicholas).  I also use this space to indicate which day (or days) of the week I see the student.  I write this in pencil with a simple M T W Th F next to the student's name.  I use pencil so that I can easily use this file for a couple years and just change the day of the week each year.




4.  Make a separate hanging file holder to store your daily working files.  I like to have a hanging file for each day of the week.  Then, after my schedule is made, I place the daily folder into the hanging file for the day of the week that I see the student (don't worry, you'll get to your scheduling soon).


Now you are ready to schedule those students.  We'll get into that in a different post.  Hope you can use some of my tips for organizing those files!

**Sorry this is so late in posting this school year!  Navigating a new school takes my time and energy away from my blog, so this is super late, but hopefully relevant for anyone who is newly stepping into a building mid school year, or for you to bookmark for next year. :)

Describing the Composition of Items: What is it Made Of?

I love working on describing with my language students.  It is a great way to help organize their language.  My go-to for working on describing is the Expanding Expression Tool (EET).  It is an awesome visual representation to use with my students.  One of the parts of this tool that my students always get stuck on though is composition- what is it made of.  This just doesn't seem to be something that is in their prior knowledge.  I wanted to make a little activity to help my students with this, and came up with a sorting and describing activity.


This packet contains 8 different materials mats with 24 clipart items and 24 real photograph items to sort.  
8 different material mats

Clipart items

Real photograph items 
One thing that my students who are working on describing have is formulating a complete sentence to describe items.  I created a sentence starter mat to help formulate these sentences.  You can use the item cards from the mats to create the sentences.


I always like to have a little something to send home to students, so I also created four worksheets to go along with this describing activity.  There are two materials sorting pages and two sentence creation pages.

You can get What is it Made Of? HERE.

I have had some good results with my students using this activity.  They are able to see that there are many different materials that an item could be made of.  I hope you and your students will enjoy this activity too!

Auditory Halloween- Sentences, Stories, and Riddles!


I am always looking for fun auditory activities for my students.  I love it when a theme can be fit into it too.  Halloween is a perfect theme to target auditory activities!  My students love anything Halloween related.
I created this packet well over two years ago but never wrote about it.  I want to share more about it with you now.  This has been a hit with my language students and I hope yours will love the activities too!

There are five activities included in this packet:

Auditory Memory for Sentences:  In this activity, students are asked to repeat a sentence exactly as it is read to them.  Sentences are 10-14 syllables long.  If the students get the sentence correct, they can move a game piece on the game board provided.


Haunted House Riddles: In this activity, you read the clues out loud, and the students guess what the Halloween item is.  If they get it correct, they can put their card in their "haunted house."  My students love guessing the items and then getting to hold onto the cards.


Auditory Memory for Halloween Stories:  There are 12 stories included in this packet.  Each story is 2-3 sentences in length.  There are three comprehension questions following each story.  There is also a simple picture for each story.



Halloween Story Retelling:  In this activity, a short story is read to students and they are asked to retell the story.  There are no picture cues for these stories, they are purely auditory.  There is a rubric provided for scoring the story retell.