Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Leprechaun Traps!

Leprechaun traps seem to be all the rage! I've been seeing them all over pinterest, facebook, instagram, etc. I made "traps" with my students last year and they were a hit! Every year I usually leave green "foot prints" all over the speech room with a little note from the leprechaun. I guess I'm making up for not having an elf on the shelf!

Last year I created a fun packet for "how to catch a leprechaun" (click HERE to view) where students theorized how they would catch a leprechaun and then wrote their own story. We did a follow up activity where we made actual traps.

This year I wanted to create a complimentary pamphlet for actually making the traps. I love black and white, print and go activities - especially if they are supporting a large scale creative project!

The packet targets WH-questions, sequencing, inferencing, making predictions, and I also use it for following directions. It's a great way to work on planning and pacing!

I typically have students build their traps with cups, gift boxes from
the dollar store, green duct tape, straws, and whatever else I have laying around! On the morning of St. Patrick's Day I fill the traps with "gold" coins you can get at Michaels or the dollar store.

I love the idea of a how-to as it gets students to tell how and why. Students can share their traps and explain how they made them and defend why they think it will work.

In honor of our buddy St. Patrick, I'm putting this pamphlet up for $1 on TpT! Click HERE for the link!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Spread the love - Valentine's Day is coming! A review of two favorite inferencing freebies!

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought it might be fun to do a quick overview of two great freebies! One is from Expressly Speaking and one is from Happily SLP. I like to "share the love" and write about my fellow SLP bloggers and TpTers sometimes, and what better time to do so! Both of these freebies are for inferencing, something I find you can really target with this holiday! Links to the products are in their titles, and both of these are free, free, free!

This is an adorable game that requires some cutting, laminating, and organizing but can really be used again and again! It's a clue-based game where students need to focus on comprehension and inferencing skills in order to win! A clue is read aloud and students must correctly identify who should get the Valentine based upon the clue provided. You can target a lot more than inferencing with this, and if you have mixed groups you can even have your articulation kids read the clue! I like the visual supports you can provide with the cards, making it super versatile to go high/low. 

Here's what the description states on TPT:
This game is designed to help your students practice making basic inferences and creating descriptions. This game includes 4 character mats, 32 inference cards, and a worksheet to help your students construct their own descriptions. Students listen to clues and infer which person/animal should get each Valentine. First, give your students one of the character mats. The first mat contains Valentine themed pictures of children, the second mat contains farm animals, the third mat contains wild animals, and the fourth mat contains community helpers/characters. There are 8 pictures on each mat. Next, cut apart the clue cards that go with each mat. The clue cards each contain 3 clues. Have your students select a clue card and listen to the 3 clues. Then, have your students figure out who each Valentine belongs to. To practice creating descriptions, your students can give clues to each other instead of listening to the clues on the cards. There is also a worksheet where your students can complete sentences to make their own basic descriptions. 

This is a scenario-based activity which is something my kids love. I like that you can make real-world connections to the scenarios and add a bit of pragmatic work into this. It's low-prep because you are simply printing and laminating the cards. You also could use these readings to target underlining/highlighting skills! I recently printed these in black and white and used red/pink markers to have students highlight the "clues" and list prior knowledge that helped them!

Here's what the description states on TpT:
This product includes 12 unique scenarios for students to solve using clues in the text of what type of Valentine activities are going on. This is great from students working on inferencing skills.

If you go ahead and download these great freebies, be sure to "share the love" and leave these awesome SLPs some great feedback!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weather Visual Freebie!

Happy New Year! I'd like to start out this year with a freebie - the best way to kick off 2017!! I've been creating a lot of 1 page "cheat sheet" visuals lately for my kiddos and their parents in order to help with carryover in the home. I decided to carryover some morning meeting skills in order to target "put on" and "it feels/it looks". You can achieve a lot of goals this way, whether it's increasing length of utterance, vocabulary, imitation, etc.

You can download this HERE on Teachers Pay Teachers! Be sure to tag me in your photos on instagram @practicallyspeeching if you use it! I love to see my products at work!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thanksgiving Mysteries

Just a quick post - I realize it has been a while! I love using mysteries to target inferencing, making predictions, and drawing conclusions. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought it would be fun to solve some turkey trouble!

I created a packet with 6 different short stories that contain a graphic organizer on the same page. This will make it easier to teach note-taking skills and allow students to look back at the story without having to flip pages!

The stories are simple and can be read aloud or independently depending on the goals you are
wanting to accomplish.

You can preview the entire packet on TpT by clicking the link found HERE!

Monday, September 5, 2016

All About "Sticker Stop" - a free classroom management and carryover tool!

Recently I have been seeing my beloved "Sticker Stop" popping up in many SLP classrooms and I'm LOVING it! It is one of the best activities I've ever made for carryover and behavior management (I think, at least!) and it's free!

When I originally made this activity I was using sticker charts for my kiddos. The story goes as follows - my supervisor came to observe me during my first year as an SLP (eek). She is awesome and (gives great, constructive feedback) so when she suggested I ask the kids what they learned as they get their sticker my wheels started turning. I work with little ones, so I found that a visual was really key in reinforcing this idea. A traffic-light format is a great way for kids to pace their answer and work through the question - plus, most littles know that red means stop and green means go!

I no longer use stickers, as I recently fell in love with Classroom Dojo. However, I will always use my sticker stop. It's part of the routine of speech and something that my kiddos really like! Plus, it works!

Here's the breakdown of what it is and how to use it...

WHAT is Sticker Stop?
Sticker Stop is a visual you can use in your classroom to reinforce carryover skills and enhance classroom management. It is a simple, free activity that you can download, print, and laminate in minutes.

HOW does Sticker Stop work?
Students work through red, yellow, and green lights to answer questions at the end of a session. Expected answers may vary based upon the age group you work with and what you were targeting that day. I always start with a modeled answer, as this is something that isn't always apparent. You are trying to avoid the dreaded "we played games!" :) Students that reach the "green" question successfully earn a sticker or reward of your choosing.

The questions are as follows:

  • Red - WHY do I come to speech?
    • Examples of appropriate answers are: 
      • "to work on my language"
      • "to work on my ___ sound"
      • "to work on answering questions"
      • "to work on talking with friends"
  • Yellow - WHAT did I learn today?
    • Examples of appropriate answers are:
      • "we learned about animals"
      • "I keep my tongue behind my teeth"
      • "to keep eye contact"
      • "to take turns"
  • Green - HOW can I use it outside of Speech?
    • Examples of appropriate answers are:
      • "when I talk with my friends I can..."
      • "when I'm reading a story I know..."
      • "when I'm sitting in class I can..."
      • "when I'm at home I can..."
Each student goes around and answers the question for themselves. So everyone answers red first, then yellow, then green. As I mentioned, I will model this for them and provide prompting when necessary. It does take a few sessions to get kids into the routine. By the end of the year they are reminding me about it!

WHY should you use Sticker Stop?
As SLPs, we all dread the "we played games" comment from our kiddos. I think it's important to encourage ownership over therapy. Kids should know why they come to Speech and what they are working on. It's important for carryover, as well as for confidence. 

WHEN should you start using Sticker Stop?
The first day! If you've just come across this and you're mid year, get printing! Start the routine now and be consistent. Use it every session with every student.

WHERE should I put Sticker Stop?
I have mine hanging where the students enter/exit my Speech corner. I no longer use stickers, but when I did I had my sticker charts hanging around the visual. Students had to stop at the Sticker Stop in order to receive their reward. Now, students have to stop at Sticker Stop to receive their dojo point. I also display my expected behavior chart on the desk in front of a student who needs it, as well as up on the board for all to see. 

WHO can use Sticker Stop?
Sticker stop is a basic visual made for all ages. You can go high or low with your questioning and what you expect from your students. There is also a behavior chart that you can use to help focus your students and present expected behavior. 

Using Sticker Stop with Classroom Dojo:
In an effort to "go green" and limit clutter, I switched to Classroom Dojo last year. Click here to learn about it if you aren't familiar. I like to describe it as facebook for school where students and parents have a direct link to what you are doing in the classroom/speech room. I utilize my Sticker Stop the exact same way I would with stickers, only students receive virtual "points". Every 10 points you get to visit the prize box - if you get 100 points, I created a special "Dojo 100 Club" for the kids. They all want to get 100 points!

I hope this was helpful in explaining the wonders of Sticker Stop! Have a GREAT year and feel free to reach out with any questions! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FREE Parent Handout for "Self-Talk" and "Parallel Talk"!

This summer I pledged that I would work with more of the little little guys in my private practice - early intervention and preschool age. I love this age group and really missed working with them (currently I see preK through second grade in a school setting). Working in a home-based environment is incredible because of all of the great parent-training we get to do. I love being able to explain and show exactly what I'm doing and the strategies I'm using.

As all SLPs know, with this age group we are doing a lot of self and parallel talk. Sometimes I leave my half-hour sessions out of breath! Of course, talking is never an issue for an SLP!! I find that my parents are talking to their child, however their language needs to be modified, or they need to present things differently (i.e., giving options to elicit more language vs. yes/no questions).

I created this parent handout to familiarize my parents with what I'm doing and to emphasize effective carryover. I like to say "I build the house, you do the decorating" - meaning I'm going to set up the foundation and now the job is yours to carryover the skills on the daily.

You can download the first handout in this series for FREE on TpT by clicking HERE.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Let's catch up...plus, summer of CEUs!

Last Day of School Clean Out!
Our Insta-Announcement
It's been TOO long since I blogged - I really hope you are following me on instagram @practicallyspeeching or on facebook! I've been updating instagram/facebook regularly, but haven't had time to sit down and blog!

This is a very interesting summer, as we are expecting our first baby at the end of August! So summer is consisting of working privately, getting ready for baby, and staying cool (this is the hardest part!).

This summer I hope you are relaxing, catching up, and enjoying the sunshine! One of my summer goals was to finish out the rest of my CEUs before "Baby K" arrives. I know myself - it's not going to happen when I'm back to reality in the fall!

We all know and love the free CEUs from ASHA! I hope you are signing up for them and enjoying them each month! Each CEU opportunity is worth .05!

The link to access them is HERE

Another awesome CEU opportunity is the Summer Decathlon series from Presence Learning! They have great webinars worth .15 CEUs and offer a variety of topics and speakers.

The link to access them is HERE

Here's to an amazing summer filled with learning, fun, and relaxation!