Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wild About Books

Every Wednesday, Speech is Sweet hosts a linky party:  Wild About Books Wednesday. It's a way to get some fresh ideas about books that you may not have ever heard of, as well as ideas about how to use them in therapy.
This week, since Friday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, I am using a pirate book that I bought at last Spring's Book Fair: Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman.
How I used it in language:

1) Predicting:  What was going to happen? 
2) Vocabulary:  The book has different kinds of "underpants", such as bloomers, knickers, long johns.
3) Inferencing: Why did the pirates snip the elastic? Why did the pirates fall? 
4) Feelings: How did the pirates feel when they tripped?
Oh, and there's rhyming in this book, too. 

How I used it in articulation:
My older students tallied each time they heard their target sound.  Then, we compared their total to the actual total. I re-read the story with the student identifying each word with their target sound, correctly producing the words.
With my younger students, I used it as an auditory bombardment activity.

The students really enjoyed this book.  I read the last page on Monday & Tuesday, but left it out today.  They just didn't "get it", and I thought it was a little out of place. Plus, I didn't think it was needed to end the story.

Head over to Speech is Sweet to see what books other SLPs are using, and how they're using it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week in Review: Old Lady...Books Week!

Wow. Where did last week go? Here it is, the beginning of a new week, and I need to review what I did last week!
5 Minute Day:
The students looked through cards with their target sound, picked 6, and drew those on the sheet, courtesy of The Dabbling Speechie. The student took this home for homework.

Monday, September 8, 2014

TpT Essentials & Storage Tips

To all of you wonderful ladies who spend countless hours making things to share with those of us who have no creative skills:  THANK YOU!  If you are just getting started with TpT or (gasp!) have yet to delve into the TpT world, here are the essentials:
1. A printer with color cartridge
2. Cardstock paper. You could use regular printer paper, but don't you want your materials to last?  Cardstock is the way to go.
3. A laminator.
Mine is about 9 or 10 years old, but it's still going. I bought another one from Amazon a few months ago when it was on sale for under $20. It's in the box in a closet so I'll be prepared when this one finally bites the dust. If you don't have one, keep an eye on Amazon.  Every now & then they'll have an excellent sale.  
To go along with the laminator, of course you'll need laminating sheets, or pockets.  I use 3 MIL, and again, bought some "off brand" when they were on sale at Amazon.  I can't tell the difference between them or the Scotch brand.

3. How did I live without one of these way back when?
Seriously. The other day I was thinking about how much this little goodie has saved my fingers.  (Notice my "lamination station" that it's sitting on. Some people call it an "ironing board".)

To store my TpT materials that are cards, I use Iris Photo Boxes from Michaels. 16 cases come in each box, so you have plenty of storage. Watch for them to go on sale, and don't forget to use your school i.d. for an extra 15% off, or, better yet, don't forget to use the 20% coupon that they have almost every week.

I make a small copy (index-sized) of the title page, then use double-sided tape to tape it in the  front of the individual case:
On the top of the box, I use a labelmaker to make a label.  This keeps me from pulling each individual case out of the box to see what it is.
I have at least one case for each season.

For those materials that are too big to fit in the cases, I have another plan.  I have at least 1  big notebook for each season or holiday. The essentials for these items (besides the notebook):
1. Zipper pencil pouches. 
What SLP doesn't love the dollar store?  I like these because they have 2 zipper pouches:  one smaller, and a larger one. Plus, they're only $1! These are great for book companion packets. I have gone by to get some and they were out. Office Depot will match the price, so if you can't find them at the dollar store but can at Office Depot, keep that in mind!

2.  Snack sized ziplock bags.
Well, maybe not "Ziplock" brand, because I usually buy Kroger brand.  I write the purpose of the cards (i.e.: 1-step directions) with a Sharpie, then put it in the pencil pouch.

3. Page Protectors.
I found these at the dollar store.  They are very thin, so I only plan on using them for items that may get used only once/season. I have items that have worksheets that go along with the activity, so I'll use a better quality for those.

As I said, I have those bigger items stored in big 3-ring binders according to month/season/holiday.  I also have a notebook for Emergent Readers, and another one for homework activities that I've found on TpT.

I download a product, and save it in a folder on my laptop according to when I want to print it out.  I have my folders labeled according to the month.  After I make a product that I've downloaded, I transfer that item over to a flashdrive.  That keeps me from duplicating and wasting cartridges, cardstock, and laminating pouches.

What is your process for downloading and storing TpT material?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Heart to Organize Speechy Things!

I'm joining in on Sparklle SLP's "I to organize speech things!  Linky" As SLPs, I think it's in our nature to be organizers.  After all, there are so many things we have to organize! I gave you a peek into my room with this post, so now here's a closer look:
I found a little metal "basket" at the dollar store last year.  They were perfect for keeping my clothespins for my Artic Ladder; I kept the basket on my desk at my previous MWF school. The only problem with my new/old school is that I didn't have anywhere to put it since it didn't fit on the whiteboard. I have coat hooks on the wall (just to the right of the board in the above picture), and had some ribbon left over.  This was my "aha" moment:
I didn't take pictures of the insides of my cabinets, so I'll just tell you how I organized them:
The white cabinet is kind of my "catch-all" cabinet. It really isn't very organized!  It's also my "overflow" cabinet: I have a few games in there that didn't fit in the cabinet adjoining it. In the cabinet that's against the wall (by itself), I have my arts & crafts supplies (glue, crayons, markers), as well as my PECS materials & treasure box. On the other side of the white cabinet, I have a lot of construction paper. I have no idea how many years it's been in there! The other side of the adjoining cabinet has my seasonal room decorations.
Just to the other side of the 2 adjoining cabinets, I have some built in shelves that I have put shower curtains over.

The shelf on the end holds binders with TpT materials, as well as some boxes with monthly activities in them:
The middle shelf holds TpT cards and more monthly boxes of materials:
And, the first shelf holds my books, along with a basket of toys:
I started organizing the books according to categories, but then I got sidetracked.  It's still on my list, though!
Back to this picture:
The gray cabinet houses my testing materials & audiometer; 1 of the black file cabinets is the psychologist's.  The other black file cabinet houses my work folders, as well as materials that I have in folders. I also have my fluency materials in a drawer there. The remaining file cabinet has my inactive work folders.  The other 3 drawers are pretty empty.

It was pretty easy for me to organize the room since I have a lot of space! I'm looking forward to seeing how other SLPs organize their space!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Organizing Mass Screening Results

I have to admit:  I get a little OCD with my mass screening results. I write down every error a child has, and then go back and recheck the developmental errors...even if /ɵ, ð/ are the only errors. Keeping track of the errors and the rechecks isn't that difficult. You just have to be organized and document.
(Reminder:  To see the forms in a larger view, click on the form.)
After I finish my mass screenings (we only mass screen Kindergarten students), I go through the forms and find the students with errors or questionable language skills.  I record the results on this form:
Then, I notify the teacher of the students with difficulties and my plan of action on this form:
After that, I record the students who need to be rescreened during the school year on a form that has the students' names, their teachers, and errors. I put an "X" in the month when I will rescreen:
(I keep this in my therapy notebook so I don't forget to rescreen.)
For those students who will be rechecked at the beginning of the following year, their information goes on a different form:

When I worked in SC, we notified the parents before screenings so they could opt out.  We would then notify them of the results.  We aren't required to do that in my current school system, but I have chosen to notify the parents after the screening. This is only the second year I've done it, but it does seem to cut down on the amount of phone calls from parents that I previously received.  For those children who had no difficulty, this letter goes home:
(There are a few things I want to change on this letter, like add the student's name & the date he was screened.)
Those students who had difficulty get this letter:
I will also write on the form when I will recheck the child, and highlight either that they will be monitored, or will be given an evaluation packet. Again, I am thinking about changing this form a little bit.
The bottom line:  Using this system, I have very few students who fall through the cracks in my schools, especially in the school I have served for quite a few years.
If you would like any of the forms, please email me at I would be more than happy to email them to you.