Favorite Board Games 2014

Kristin over at Simply Speech is hosting a linky looking to find out what some of our favorite board games of 2014 were.  My students love to play games, but sometimes I feel like we just don't have time when focusing on specific goals.  So, when I pull out a game, my students really get excited!

The first game that I love to use to target a variety of skills is Go For The Dough by Super Duper, Inc.


This game is made to target synonyms, antonyms, definitions, categories, multiple meanings, and rhyming words.  Many times though, I just use the "money" and play it as an open ended game for targeting articulation or other language skill drills.  My students love earning "money" when they land on granny.  My favorite thing to do with this game recently is to use it with my EET.  Students use the items on the definitions money and also use the EET to describe.  We have been having a great time using the game this way!

The next two games that I love are games that we use with our social language groups of students with ASD.  I listed the links to these on Amazon, however I have often seen both of these games at Toys R Us and Target.

Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is a super cute game.  We use this one a variety of ways.  My favorite way to use this game is when we have our kindergarten ASD students with their general ed SNAPs (Students Need a Pal) 5th grade friends.  We have the fifth graders hold the acorns, and the students with ASD use their PECS books or verbal request for the color of acorn that they want.  They just don't seem to have the patience for the spinners yet.

Zingo is also a great game to use with our younger students with ASD.  It is great for turn taking, and we even have them offering items they don't need to other students to get more interaction.

My final favorite game this year is Pirate Talk, also by Super Duper, Inc.  I often use this as an open ended game to target any skill.  My students absolutely LOVE earning the gold coins!  The cards that are included are good too.  There are receptive and expressive skills targeted.

Those are my favorite go-to games right now.  What are your favorites?

You can check out lots of favorites over at Simply Speech.  Just scroll down to find the linky at the end of her post.

Winter Interactive Books {Visuals/AAC}

I have been using interactive books like these for years.  My ASD team purchased a few of the Pyramid Educational Consultants books back when I started in the ASD realm.  I can't even find the books that I have for sale anywhere now.  After we started using these, I realized that I wanted to make my own.  This was way before I really knew how to create products, and I think I created it in Microsoft Word.  For my friends who make products, you will understand that it took a LONG time to create this original product.  I have a really hard time formatting anything in Word.  It is just hard for me to get things to go where I want them to.   Anyway, back to my original books.  I made several winter themed books about what we do in winter vs. summer and also what do we wear in winter vs. summer.  These books were a big hit, and I used them for years.

Fast forward to now...I have so many students who are struggling with sentence expansion, vocabulary, and answering simple questions.  I wanted to update my books (they were looking a little old, tattered, and dated) for use with a variety of my students.  The first two that I have made are: Winter Activities and Winter Clothes.


Both of these books have already been big hits with my students with ASD (and their teachers) as well as some of my students in Kindergarten and First Grade who are working on some different language skills such as answering questions and expanding utterance length.

These books are really easy to put together and use:
Print and laminate all pages.
Cut the top half of the book pages.  Leave the last page whole (this is where you will store your interactive pieces.
Hole punch all pages within the black box.  I use two holes.  Then, place the book pages on top of The last page.  Bind the book using book rings.  Another option would be to bind the book with a binding machine.
Cut out the interactive pieces.
Place a piece of hook Velcro on each sentence square on each book page, as well as on top of each square picture on the last page.  Place a piece of loop Velcro on the back of each interactive piece.  Store these pieces on the last page.
Students will read the book, and move the interactive pieces to the sentence box for each page.

You can find these books at my TpT store HERE.  There will be more to come!  I already have my summer ones completed, just haven't totally tested them out yet.  I'll keep you updated as more of these come out.

***Updated Winter 2015!!! I have added an additional book to this set.   What Do You See? is the latest book.  My students did really well using the spring, summer, and fall versions of this, so I went back and added the What Do You See? for winter.

Hopefully you and your students enjoy these as much as we have!

Pizza and Birthday Cake Fun! {FREEBIE}

This weekend at Costco, I was lucky enough to come across a great Melissa and Doug package of birthday cake and pizza.  My own kids have these toys at home, but honestly, many pieces are missing, and a little beat up.  I was excited to find these toys at Costco for only $9.99 for the whole package!!!

What a great find, right?  I knew that I have a couple of students who will totally love using these, but they need some visual cues to create sentences and request.  I made these visuals, and wanted to share them with you in case you come across these great toys too!  You can get these visuals for free HERE.

I put everything in a box, laminated and put Velcro on the visuals, and now have a great little activity to work on requesting.  I plan on using it for requesting with single pictures, I want sentences, and using the attribute of color.

Hope you enjoy the freebie!

Last Hurrah Frenzy!!!

Because of changes to Facebook, this will be our very last Freebie Frenzy!!!  The idea behind this frenzy is to create a fun game that targets a variety of speech and language targets, and give it all away for FREE!  If you go through the whole frenzy, you will have a complete game with 21 different card sets that will compliment the game board.

Click on this picture and it will take you to a clickable map.  You can start anywhere on this map, but make sure to go all the way through to grab all of the great card sets.

Have fun!  This frenzy will run from today, Sunday, October 26 at 9am EST to Monday, October 27 at 10pm EST.  Grab your freebies while you can!

A Very BIG Day!

WARNING: This is a non-speech related post!  I totally understand if you stop reading now. :)

Yesterday, I ran my first half-marathon in honor of my son, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was five years old.  The half-marathon was the culmination of many, many hours of training which definitely took me away from blogging and creating TpT products for a while.  Between working full-time, transporting two kids to all of their activities, and running several days a week, I was tired!!!  So, if you haven't seen me around much, now you know why.

In July, I had a fundraiser in which many other SLP bloggers and TpT sellers donated items to form two different bundles to be sold on TpT.  This fundraiser was amazing, and allowed me to make a donation in the amount of $1,394 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)!  Thank you again to everyone who purchased one or both of these bundles!  Between this fundraiser, a small one I did with Jamberry Nails, and many generous donations from family and friends, I was able to raise over $2400 for the JDRF.  My goal is to help as much as I can in the future with the JDRF, and help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.

All of my fundraising and training led up to yesterday.  We arrived at the marathon location at 5:30 am.  It was still dark, and it was COLD!  It was only about 37 degrees F when we were getting ready to run.  I had two of my closest friends with me to support me through this race.  I truly don't know how I would have done it without them!

The race was beautiful!  We crossed over the Ambassador bridge from Michigan into Canada.  It was a pretty steep incline up, but with so much to look at, we barely noticed!

We had an awesome run in Windsor, Canada!  We took the tunnel back to Michigan.  It is the only underwater mile run around.  No pictures of that though, we were in a zone!

The last few miles were tough, but I was always running with thoughts of my son who fights hard every day against T1D.  If he can do that, I figured that I could finish a 13 mile race. Also, race day was his 8th birthday, so it was extra special for me.

After 2 hours, 54 minutes, I was finished (I never said I was fast- just that I run)!  Waiting for me at the finish line were my three favorite guys.  My husband brought flowers for me and my two friends.  Pretty sweet, right?

Overall, this has been an incredible experience.  I appreciate every kind word that was passed along the way, as well as all of your support with my fundraiser this summer!

Pirate Bulletin Board Game {FREEBIE}

I have been using the same types of homework incentive charts for years now.  I decided it was time for something different this year!!!  How about a bulletin board game?!?!

The mascot at my school is the owl, so I use a lot of owls in my room.  This year, our PTA adopted a pirate theme, so we are now seeing lots of pirate owls all around school!  The theme also goes along with a theme our principal has adopted called "teach like a pirate."  This is based on some professional development by Dave Burgess.  Check him out, there is some great stuff there!

So, back to my homework incentive chart.  I have wanted to make a large bulletin board game for a while now.  I found some really cute owl pirate clip art, and decided to go for it.  Students will all start at the owl pirate and follow the map to get to the treasure box.  They each have a ship with their name on it that will sail the "speechie seas."  I laminated each ship and put a tiny piece of adhesive putty on the back. 

As students start to return their homework, they will get to roll the dice and move their ship that many spaces.  When they reach the treasure box they will get a prize!

I am hoping this will motivate some of my students a little more than just the regular incentive chart.  Not sure it will work, but I am going to try it!  I'll keep you updated to let you know if it works.

If you want to join me in using this type of game, here is a FREEBIE for you!


Froggy Facebook Frenzy Hop {FREEBIES}

Froggy Facebook Frenzy of FREEBIES!!! Sept 7-8

Come and hop along our Facebook Frenzy and collect 18 products to make a HUGE book companion! The products range from young to older students and include activities for an array of speech and language goal areas.


Click on the map to download the "linkable" Google Doc frenzy map!

If you like any of my phonological awareness book companions, you will want to be sure to grab this freebie over at Speech Universe on Facebook.

When you go to Speech Universe on Facebook, click on the tab that says "SLP Frenzy" and then it will direct you on how to collect your freebies!

You can see the cover pages of all of the freebies included in the frenzy HERE.

Because of changes to Facebook, this is the last Facebook Frenzy we will be able to do.  I hope you enjoy grabbing all of these great freebies!

File Cabinet Makeover

So this year, I was not able to get into my speech room until the last minute.   We had some major renovations done to my school, and I had to pack absolutely everything up.  I also have a student intern with me this fall and wanted to make sure to familiarize her with the school and procedures, etc. during my first two days back.  Because of these reasons, I really have not done anything too creative with my room yet.  I want to put together a cute bulletin board outside of my room, but it just has not happened yet.  I do, however, have something to share with you that is new to my room this year!

At the end of this last school year, I came across this filing cabinet in a hallway at my school.  Someone was getting rid of this trash treasure.

I am forever looking for new storage options for my room, and scooped it right up!  The custodian thought I was crazy for being excited about this, but I knew that I had big plans for this baby!

First, I took off all of the handles and took the drawers out of the cabinet area.  Then, I primed the whole thing using Rust-Oleum Professional Primer.  I only had to do one coat with this.  I covered really easily.  I used three cans.


I finished it off with a coat of Rustoleum Gray Spray Paint.  I only used two cans of this paint because I had already primed it, and it seemed to be going on really well.

After everything was dry, I applied some really pretty coordinating paper to the drawers using Mod Podge.
I cut the paper so that it overlapped on the drawers just a bit.  Then, I put a coat of Mod Podge on the back of the paper and applied it to the drawer front.  Then, I put an additional coat of the Mod Podge over the paper.  After it dried, I put all of the hardware back on the cabinets, and was ready to take this baby back to my office!

Here is my finished product...

I couldn't resist covering my pencil cans with my paper too!

Happy start of the year everyone!!!

TpT Shining Stars {LINKY}

What?  Another Sale?!?!  Yes!!! 
TpT has set up a second back to school sale to BOOST you into the new year!  The sale will be August 20! If you are like me, and don't start back up to school until after Labor Day, this is an awesome way to get back into the mind set of going back to school.
Some of the other SLP bloggers/ TpT sellers have gotten together to share their favorite products that they have created, as well as their favorite products from other people.  Thanks to Jen over at SLP Runner for setting this up!!!  I decided to link up and share my favorite items too!

First, my newest favorite, that I am so excited to use is my Paper Bag Articulation Books!

I used my /s/ version with students in the spring, and can't wait to use all of my different versions this fall!  So far in the bundle I have S, Z, F, V, K, G, L, and R.  This week before the sale, I am also adding S, R, and L blends!!!!  My students really loved having their own books and cards to use for practice.
My second favorite product that is a constant go-to is my No Frills Articulation series.

I use the pages from this packet constantly.  I use the word lists while playing games during sessions, and also send home the pages for homework.  I also love the addition of my No Frills Roll it, Say it, Color it packet to this bundle of products.

My third favorite product that I want to share is my Auditory Farm.

I use this product a lot when I want a quick way to target some auditory comprehension skills.  The stories are short, and the graphics are cute and interesting to my students.  I also love using the rubric that is included in the story retell portion of this packet.  I have two other similar items called, Auditory Circus and Auditory Zoo.

Now for my favorites from other TpT sellers!
My newest favorite that for some reason I thought I had purchased during the last BTS sale but somehow didn't add to my cart is from Mia McDaniel.  Her Articulation Cans look awesome!

Not sure how I missed this one in my cart last time (I was actually certain I had purchased it).  This is definitely in my cart for this BOOST sale!

I just bought the cans from Target last week, and can't wait to get into my school to print all of the pages so I can get it all ready.  (My school is being renovated, and I can't get in to do anything until a week before school!)

My second favorite product is (shocker!) a book companion!  Mindy Stenger has the most adorable book companions.  They are always exactly what I want to use with books when I target language skills.  If You Take a Mouse to the Movies was no exception. 

My students loved using this packet along with the really cute book by Laura Numeroff.  I have a few more of her book companions on my wish list also.

The third product from another seller that I use a lot is a Fall Pragmatics Pack by Denise Polley.

I love using this packet in the fall.  The activities are awesome for working on pragmatic skills such as problem solving, asking questions, following social rules, making comments, and taking perspective.

Thanks for checking out all of my favorites!!!  You can link up over at SLP Runner to find out what products your other favorite SLP bloggers cannot live without!

Remember, my store will be on sale August 20!  You can get 28% off of anything in my store by using the code BOOST at checkout.

What's in Your Cart? {LINKY}

Thanks to Jenna over at Speech Room News for hosting another "What's in Your Cart?" linky party!  Before every big, site-wide sale at TpT, Jenna hosts a way for us SLPs to share what we are looking forward to purchasing during the big sale.
On Monday, August 4 through Tuesday, August 5, there is a big site-wide back to school sale going on!  You can get 28% off of everything in my store- including bundles!!!!  What a deal!!!
You just have to use the code BTS14 at checkout.  Don't forget to use the code! (I speak from experience)
Here is my newest item that I am so excited about!  Paper Bag Articulation Books {BUNDLE}
These are a fun way to make and store your students own articulation cards.  S, Z, R, L, F, V, K, G are all available right now, with more on the way!
I also have a few things in my cart that I think you might enjoy too...
Articulation Deep Test - R with 100 Picture Stimuli by Gold Country SLP
This will be great when I want to check out all of my students working on R this fall!  For those of you who purchased my JDRF Fundraiser bundle, you may recognize this product that she so generously donated!!!

Speech and Language Zoo by Teach Speech 365
I think this is just absolutely adorable, and targets such a variety of language skills!

Owl Speech Room Décor by Carissa Ten Hoeve
I had an owl theme last year, and this packet will make a great addition/ updates to my décor!  I can't wait to get my hands on these!

Head on back to Jenna's Linky Party, to see what other people have in their carts too. 
I'm sure I will find more things to add to my wishlist once I go through all of the posts! 
Happy shopping!