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My Speech Universe: August 2013

26 August 2013

Office Space!

Warning: This is a little non-speech related!
This summer, I had a great time hanging out at home with my family.  We took a few weekend trips, took lots of bike rides, and did a lot of swimming.  It was awesome!  This summer, I also had a project in mind.  I wanted to create a space where I could work on my computer, creating fun activities.  I also wanted to create a space where my boys could work on homework.

We had this room in our house that was a "playroom."  Only problem was, my kids didn't actually play in it.  They had a bunch of toys and things in there, but the toys were always played with in different locations.  The only thing they did do in there (besides collect junk) was color, draw, and do puzzles.

This is the space that I decided would be perfect for a transformation!
I know, what a mess, right?
We took a trip to IKEA, and bought two desks to run across the back wall.  I picked up the chairs, shelves, and rug there too.  I have to admit, I am a one stop shopping kind of girl.  I did make a few small trips to Target and TJ Maxx for some of the knick knacks and the curtains.  The lamps were ones that I already owned.
Here is the after picture:

I left two 3-drawer bins to hold a few toys and puzzles.  I also put some of the playdoh into the tiny purple bins that I found at Target.  The bookshelf is a bookshelf that I have had forever and just repainted.  I also kept up some Curious George covers that we had framed a while back. 

I am really excited to have a bright, cheery place to create activities and to complete school work at home.  Also, I'll have my little guys right beside me working on their homework too. 

Here is a list of what I purchased:
Jules Swivel Chair (white/silver)
Micke Desk (white)
Gislev Rug

Threshold™ Fretwork Border Window Panel
ClosetMaid mini fabric drawers

Sorry about this totally non-speech related post, but I just wanted to share.  Can you tell I am loving my space?  Guess where I wrote this post?  That's right!  At my new desk!

Thanks for looking,

15 August 2013

Back to School Bundle!

As we all know well, it is back to school time.  I wanted to bundle a few of my favorite products to get you started for the new year.

Here is my Back to School SLP Bundle!

The items included in this bundle are:

Auditory Farm
No Frills Articulation: S and Z
No Frills Articulation: R
No Frills Articulation: L
Secret Code Inferences
Semantic Fishbowl
Special Education Planner
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books: Phonemic Awareness Book Companion

I think it is a great mix of articulation, language, and phonemic awareness, as well as a great planner for the year. 

All of the items are reduced to 20% off when you purchase the bundle.  You can purchase the bundle HERE.

Just wanted to let you know that this was out there.  I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer!


11 August 2013

Back to School with an SLP!

Ah, the dreaded word for students, parents, and sometimes even teachers.  When I started out as a speech pathologist in the schools, I wasn't really sure what to send home, or how to organize what I sent home.  Over the years, I have tried several different things.  I have sent home random pages for students to work on, I have made homework folders, and some years, frankly, I have thrown in the towel and not sent anything home.  Today, I am going to share some ideas of how to approach speech and language homework.  These seem to be the best ways I have found to get students and parents involved in working towards their speech and language goals. 
Reward System
The students that I have seen who practice their skills at home, definitely are the students who make the most progress.  I once had a student who practiced his /th/ words every single day with his parents.  Guess what?  He made super fast progress, and remediated the sound error pattern in a matter of two months.  His parents completely supported what we were doing at school, and it was awesome!  Unfortunately, not all students and parents are as eager to practice their speech and language skills.  Because of this, I set up a reward system for returning homework.  I use a sticker chart with student names on it.   Students earn a sticker each time they bring back completed homework.  After five stickers, they get to pick something from my prize box (lots of very small, tangible prizes).
This is the chart that I am going to use this year.  My school's mascot is an owl, so I thought this would be perfect!  This chart, and ones similar, are available through Carson Dellosa.
For articulation practice, I send home a duo-tang folder that has three prongs.  I always send home an informational letter describing how to use the folder.  This letter goes in one of the pockets.  I also include a calendar for the month.  As students practice, parents initial the date.  As long as the student practiced at least one time by the time I see them again, they get to put a sticker on the chart. 
I put the words to practice in the center.  These are worksheets from Webber's Jumbo Articulation Drill Book Add On.
I have included three calendars for the fall to help get you started. 
You can get these calendars HERE for FREE!
For language practice, I am trying something new this year.  I am going to try out using composition books.  My plan is to write the student's speech days along with their goals on the first page of the book.  This will help them to remember which days to return the book.  We can also review their goals each session.
Next, I will add homework during the session based on what we are working on for the day.  The homework tasks can be very simple.  I am planning on writing activities in quickly using items that were targeted in the session. 
I am also planning on cutting out pictures or portions of worksheets to add into the book.  I am hoping that the more the students are invested in helping to create the book, the more likely they are to return the books each session.  For activities that should be completed out loud, I will have a small signature line at the bottom of the page for the parent to sign.  When students return completed homework, they will also get to put a sticker next to their name, just like with articulation.

Hopefully you can use some of these ideas to get you started on your own speech and language homework program!  

08 August 2013

Kindergarten Common Core State Standards Daily Language Workout

I have been thinking for a long time about this product I am about to share with you.  At my school, as I am sure is the case for many of you, I am asked to attend student achievement meetings.  Many times I am asked to screen students for language skills.  I am happy to do it, and can conduct a screening, but then what?  If the student appears that they are having difficulties, I can pick a couple of areas to target, but it always seemed a little haphazard to me.  After screening, I usually want to do at least 6-8 weeks of intervention before meeting again.  I thought, what if I could see the student everyday for about 5 minutes a day (similar to the Quick Articulation model).  How could I easily keep track of data and really target academically related language goals?  My idea was to create a daily workout for the speech language pathologist to complete with students.

The first grade I targeted was Kindergarten.  I am often called into meetings around conference time regarding Kindergarten students as this sometimes their first experience at school.  Teachers are concerned- is the student just young, do they just need a little boost to increase language skills, or is there a possible speech and language delay involved?

This is why I developed my Common Core Daily Language Workout.

In this packet, you will have all of the tools you need to conduct a 6-10 week language intervention with a Kindergarten students based on a variety of Language Common Core State Standards.  You can print and staple the entire packet and write the student name on the cover.  All of your information will be in one place.

The first item included is a Pre/Post Test.  This activity has nine different questions that you can use as baseline data to take to a meeting.  Then, after completing your desired number of weeks of intervention, you can administer the Pre/Post Test again to compare your data.  You can print an extra copy of this page to include at the end of your packet.  This is not a standardized test, just a baseline for the program I developed.

There are ten weeks that are included in this packet.  There are 13 Common Core State Standards that are targeted in the ten weeks.  The list is as follows:
Phonological Awareness
  • RF.K.2a  Recognize and produce rhyming words
  • RF.K.2b  Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables
  • RF.K.2c  Blend and segment onset and rimes of single syllable spoken words
  • RF.K.2d  Isolate and pronounce initial, medial and final sounds in CVC words
Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.1  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about K topics and texts.
  • SL.K.4  Describe familiar people, places, things, and events with prompting and support to provide additional details
Conventions of Standard English
  • L.K.1b  Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs
  • L.K.1c  Form regular plural nouns by adding -s or -es
  • L.K.1d  Understand and use question words
  • L.K.1e  Use the most frequently occurring prepositions
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • L.K.5a  Sort common objects into categories
  • L.K.5b  Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives with opposites
  • L.K.5c  Identify real-life connections between words and their use
There are two pages for each week.  Each page is divided by days.  There is one activity that targets one to two standards per day.  Each activity is labeled by its standard number.  There is also a place to record the date that the activity was completed.

I also included a check off sheet to document how many times each standard is targeted.  When an activity is completed, you simply reference the standard number and make a tally on the data sheet.  When you have completed your intervention, you will see how many times each standard was addressed.

There is space in each day's box to take some small notes, and I also created a notes page for additional notes you may want to take.

I am so excited to start using this with my students.  I have started using it with my test Kindergartener at home, and it is going really well.  I love that now if a teacher asks me to look at a student for language, I have some concrete activities to look at.

You can get this packet HERE.

I hope you enjoy this packet as much as I do!


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