Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Blip from my Corner! AKA: My thoughts after the first week!

I have been MIA for a chunk of time because, like you, school has started and I am overwhelmed. Like I mentioned over the summer, I started in a new district this year. Along with shifting to a new room in the building, being the new speech therapist, gathering a new caseload, and the list continues...I had to introduce myself to staff, explain my philosophies and hope they were on board with how I provide services to students in the school setting. 

Do you have IEP facilitators, or someone who calls and schedules your IEP meetings for you? In my previous district, we had someone who called the parents, lined up the meetings, got all of the paperwork together, and such. The only thing she did not do was write the IEP itself. That was our job! =) It was so nice. Now, I am my IEP facilitator and along with preparing the IEP itself, I have to call the parents and do all of the paperwork needed to set up the meetings. My very organized self has had minor anxiety attacks and I fear that I am going to overlook something and fail to hold a meeting when I should. =/ Eek! With my multiple calendars with things highlighted, everyone's folder having the dates labeled, and their personal folders with information...I should be good, right?!

Okay, so because I am new to the building, I have had to figure out the times accompanying each student and gauge if they are appropriate (in my mind) or not. I have four students that have come to me saying, "We were going to graduate at the end of the year last year, but it didn't happen." Okay, so with that phrase you might gather that these kiddos are done with speech services. They are all speech only kiddos, working on carryover, and even with my tongue-twisters were successful. Side note - do you use tongue twisters in speech therapy? I love them! Anyway, as the new speech therapist, I am now in the midst of the inner-battle of calling the parents and beginning the dismissal process or changing them to my 5 minute kids program. Do you/Have you used the 5 minute kids program?

I have also had to figure out why some students are at the carryover level and are seen 1 x week for 15 minutes vs 1 x week for 20 minutes. I'm still struggling to figure out the difference. Some of my students are on "observation only" status, which is monthly, but for artic, and I am not sure I understand that either. Insight, anyone?! If I understood why it was happening, it might not make my head spin, but I don't get it.

I hope your week was spectacular! I definitely had a spectacular week. If it is any indication of the year, it is going to be a great one! I wish the same for you!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spotty Internet = Absent Blogger

I have only been on the internet when I can access the internet for more than 20 seconds at a time. About a week ago, my router started doing some odd things and it officially stopped working a few days ago. Last night, my husband went and got us a new router so that I could enter into the world of blogging yet again. Okay, he went to get a new router for more than just that, but I have missed sharing what I've been up to. Unfortunately, that router did not work at all, so about an hour ago, we started the process all over again. I have working WIFI now!

I love to celebrate birthdays! I love to celebrate any occasion, but birthdays are fun for me! My birthday will be here in less than a week, so in the spirit of my birthday, I thought I would share what I have created to celebrate the birthdays of the students I serve! 

I have created two birthday packets. You guessed it! One for boys and one for girls. They are generally the same, just a different color scheme and some different clip art. Essentially, I have created at least 6 different birthday card templates and some lined pages for writing encouragement throughout the year. Along with these, I have created calendars that can be used to keep organized! I am a neat freak and have a very Type A personality, so I write the birthdays on the calendar, put each page into its own plastic sleeve and then focus on the birthday cards. I print out the number I need, cut them to size, fold and laminate. I like to use permanent markers, so I'm able to write on them after laminating just fine! I only choose to laminate because I think they look better than a typical piece of paper folded together. Just a preference! Anyway, once they are laminated, I put the number of cards needed in the sleeve behind the corresponding calendar page. If you are interested you can find them here (for boys) and here (for girls)!

I have also created a listening comprehension activity involving apples. It focuses on WH questions in an fun/interactive way! Best of all, it is FREE! =) You can download it from my TPT store here! Let me know what you think!

One more thing...I have a FB page that you can find if you search Little Speech Corner. I tend to inform those that have liked the page when I have published a new blog post, but recently I have begun to post information about free apps that I believe could be beneficial in the therapy room. Most of the apps are not free for a very lengthy period of time, and some change almost instantly after I post them, but they are free when I post them to the page. If you can use them, great! If you can't, they are free, so you aren't out anything!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I love books...even wordless picture books!

I love books in therapy. I believe they encompass so many things that we strive for in the therapy room. I tend to use books that can be read more than one time in a session. I do this because I can read the book each time with a different goal in mind. 

My first time goal is to allow the students to think ahead and problem solve or use critical thinking skills. This is an easy approach to working on expressive language or fluency goals. I tend to ask questions like.. What do you think will happen next? Was there a problem with _____ (whoever the main character is) on this page? Can you tell me what has happened so far? The list goes on and on! I just try to keep my questions open-ended to avoid the "yes" or "no" responses!

My second time goal is for the students to "read" the book to me, using their specific sound target, fluency target, or grammar/language target with as much success as possible. If I feel like we should sequence the events of the story, then I use my handy dandy iPad and snap some pictures of the book. I then print those pictures out and there ya go, an easy sequencing activity!

I enjoy using wordless picture books with my fluency students! What better way to work on strategies than with a book that has no words?! It may seem harsh, but most of my students who struggle with stuttering have an incredibly hard time "reading" a book with no words. It causes loads of anxiety. What happens when a student who stutters has anxiety? They typically stutter. I dislike nothing more than having students who stutter in my room for therapy and they show no signs of stuttering! I believe we become "safe" and their anxiety lessens. I strive to cause that anxiety so that therapy is purposeful! 

One of my favorite wordless picture books is No, David! by David Shannon. There is so much that happens in this book. The only words on the page are typically "No, David!", so I'm sure you can gather that he is doing everything a child should not do! Another favorite of mine is "Have you seen my duckling?" by Nancy Tafuri. This one only has the words "Have you seen my duckling?" throughout it. If you are interested in others, I have found a website that encompasses a lot of options! Click here!

Do you use books in therapy? Do you create activities with the books you use? Do you try to elicit blocks/prolongations/repetitions from your students who stutter through the use of books? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School Goodies!

I attended a back to school picnic for new hires tonight. It was a great opportunity to get to know some of the teachers I will work alongside, but also to get to know the big wig..AKA: The Superintendent. I found myself filled with anxiety as I was introduced to him, but he was super sociable. I was relaxed in a matter of seconds! In the school district I resigned from, I was one of 3000+ employees. In the school district I am entering, I am one of 400 or so. That is a huge difference and the picnic tonight was another reminder of this. 

I have a few things I want to share with you! I have created three documents that I plan on putting in my students folders. Some of my students do not have a speech and a language goal, so some folders will only have two documents, but you get my point! =) They are a parent contact log and a language and/or speech goal page. I follow many bloggers, and Kristin, at [simply speech], shared a student data sheet that I loved! I modified it a bit with my own personal twist, but she gets all the credit for the idea! Thank you Kristin! It is what I am calling my language and/or speech goal page. Here are the documents.

I wanted a contact log that I could put with each child's folder. Because we don't have an IEP facilitator, or someone who sends out prior notice forms and such for IEP meetings, I wanted a form that I could use to track all of my contacts with parents. I had a general "log" for all students previously and it took some time to figure out how many times one parent was contacted vs another.

I set up a bar graph type of system on the speech and language goal forms for two reasons. 1) The students can own how successful they are. 2) I see my students at least twice a week based on how their IEPs are (again..I'm new so I am entering in to someone else's setup). This will allow me to track percentages once a week rather than every session. If I don't get to it EVERY session, I won't lose sleep over it, but at least it's a possibility!

I have also created an "expectations" poster that I will hang in my room. I have stapled a sticker chart into each folder. I like the idea of keeping one's sticker chart out of the sight of anothers for privacy reasons, so I chose to staple. It's just a personal preference! Here is what I have for my "expectation" poster at this point. I have not printed it yet because it is ever changing, so please share your thoughts. 


Because I appear to be long winded tonight, I am going to end this with a freebie I just posted on my TPT store! I wanted an activity to use with my students during our first (or second) interaction with each other. I loved the use of M & Ms in icebreakers as a kid, so I chose to create an activity based on my memory. I am entering a district where the mascot is a tiger, so a pawprint only seemed appropriate! more thing! To go alongside this pawprint activity, I plan on using what Jenn shared at Crazy Speech World in a different way. I plan on using these pawprints with my students names in the pad portion of the paw. In the outside portion, I will have them color/draw/write whatever describes them best! I will then hang these outside of my room as my first attempt at wall decor! The paws will look something like this (before the great color is added)!

Find the documents at the following links:
Parent Contact Log
Speech Goal
Language Goal


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baseball, baseball, and more baseball!

Last night, I blogged about my articulation creation with a baseball theme. If you looked at it yesterday, I uploaded the wrong file to google docs. Well, sort of. I uploaded the document that did not have instructions with it. You could probably create the same instructions I came up with for the activity on your own, but if you want to take a peek at it, I updated the blog post. 

Today, I want to share with you my baseball categories! I have created an activity that will work on categories for those in the sorting and naming stages. 

I have created three different levels in this activity. Each level has five baseball gloves associated with it. Each glove has five baseballs associated with it. 

Here is a peek at the glove:
 Here is a peek at the baseballs:
This is most definitely in the easy level. The medium level has categories such as electronics and things that come in a can. The hard level has categories such as book authors and individual sports.

I have also put together a worksheet (or two) that can be used to go along with this activity. One is a table with areas for the category and items in each category. The other is more of a category "map". 

Here it is:
This activity can be found at my TPT Store. I have more in mind for this theme, but my time seems to be packed full with school starting soon! I'm sure you feel the same way! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thank you!

I am just over a month (by a day) into this fun adventure called blogging! I wanted to take a minute, while I am at my in-laws, to thank you for supporting this blog and sharing your thoughts with me along the way. As the school year gets going, I am excited to share with you the items I am creating to use with the kiddos I serve. Because this is celebrating one month, I wanted to share a freebie with you. 

I am working on a baseball/softball theme. I have been inspired by my sister-in-laws state softball tournament. My hometown is also the home of the 14 year old national softball tournament, so I have been speaking "softball" for a good chunk of time this summer. In the midst of all the chatter, I have spent time creating various game board/place mat activities. This is a glimpse into the articulation portion. I am planning on creating cards for a fair amount of sounds, so if you enjoy this activity and want the remainder sounds, leave me a comment and I will get back to you! =)

Here is the game board:
Here is an example of the cards

My goal is for each sound to contain:
- 3 pages in the initial position - one syllable
- 3 pages in the initial position - two or more syllables
- 2 pages in the medial position
- 3 pages in the final position

For now, here is this activity with the K & G sounds available. 

*Update* I began working on another activity with the same theme and realized I did not put game play instructions or variations in this post. I thought they were in the PDF I uploaded, but I uploaded the file without them, so they are not. Here they are:

Game Play
As always, cut and laminate the pieces for durability. If you are able to print on cardstock, that is recommended, but definitely not needed!

You will need dice and game pieces!

Strike Out space = Lose your turn!  Slide = Go again!

Students roll a di.
**I use the dice from super duper because they only use numbers 1-3, but you could use standard dice if you wanted to! Do as you please! =)**

Once the student has his/her number, they move their game piece the number of spaces and say the word they draw that number of times. Continue play until one of your students reach the finish line!

Variations of Play:
-      Have the students use the word at their level – phrase, sentences, etc.
-      Allow your expressive language kiddos to play this as well! It could be played the same way, but they are to make a sentence or explain the word they see!
-      If you are working on antonyms/synonyms, pull out the cards that are applicable. 

Thank you, again, for taking time out of your day to read some of my thoughts about a passion and joy of mine. I hope somewhere along the way, you have, or will find, something that is beneficial to you and the kiddos you serve!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Pinterest, oh Pinterest, how you make my creative brain explode with ideas! Yesterday, I decided I want to go through my board that holds all the ideas for the therapy room. One of the "pins" that stuck out to me as I began my decent down the page was that of "Homeworkopoly". Have you heard of it?! You can find the original post here

I like sticker charts and will be using them for my precious kiddos in therapy, but I wanted to add a perk of fun. By the way, do you have set expectations for your kiddos when they come in? Do they know what earns them (or doesn't earn them) a sticker? I believe every student should be aware of their behavior and know there are consequences to that behavior. I have a chart, of sorts, that states what expectations are in my room. If a student can say "yes" to all of my expectations, they get a sticker. If they can't, they don't. Is that harsh? My expectations are simple. They are to encourage others, do your best, have fun, etc. 

Anyway, I created this to add that perk of fun!
As you can see, it is no where near completed yet, but it's a start. Here are the pockets that will surround this portion to complete the board...
There are more, but I didn't feel like I needed to take a picture of all of them for you to get the idea. As you can tell, they are not completed because I need to label them with their "avenues" and such. My ideas for the avenues are...
Articulation: syllable avenue, word avenue, phrase avenue
Fluency: bumpy speech avenue, smooth speech avenue, disfluent avenue
Voice: rate avenue, hygeine avenue, volume avenue
Language: receptive avenue, expressive avenue, social avenue

That fulfills all 4 sides of solid colored pockets. For the designed pockets, I am stumped. That's where you come in! I have some ideas, but I have eight pockets to label. I thought about having the pockets on the main board (where Chance/Community Chest would be) labeled as Articulation/Language. In each pocket would be a "challenge" of sorts. For example: "Say a word with your speech sound 5 times with your eyes closed." Thoughts?

On the four corners, I will have the same (kind of) corners used in the original post of Homeworkopoly. Those are "Go" (of course!!), Free Speech, Take a Seat on the Bus, On the Bus (Just Visiting). 

I plan on spray painting craft sticks white and putting my students names on them. They can roll the dice and move their craft stick that number of spaces each time they come to speech. 

I know this is a premature post since it is not a finished product, but in case you were interested in using it in your room, this gives you time to complete it!

Please share your ideas for the designed pockets or options for the community chest/chance area. I have a creative brain, but you might have a special twist that I didn't think about! 

Happy Thursday!