Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale 2016

Today and tomorrow are special days!  It is the last Teachers Pay Teachers site-wide sale of the year. This is your chance to stock up on materials for up to 28% off.

-Leave feedback for credits to be used towards future purchases.
-Fill up your cart the day before or as you shop and then hit checkout.
-Buy half of your purchases, leave feedback, and then purchase the rest with credits.

You can check out my store here. Happy Shopping!

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Using Smarty Symbols

Anyone use symbols, communication boards, picture schedules for any of your students or clients? When I was going through grad school, it seemed that Boardmaker was the only option.  Everyone talked about Boardmaker symbols, and we even received a free starter disk of their symbols.  I looked into them, but I never found myself going back to them. Something about them was just not working for me.  I wanted something that was more personalized.

At the clinic I work at, we have access to Boardmaker online and Smarty Symbols Image Club.  I still find myself drawn to Smarty Symbols over Boardmaker.  When I first heard about Smarty Symbols several years ago, it was also on a disk.  Now, they've created an online portal where you can download and create activities.  It is fantastic! Keep reading to learn more about it and how I use it.

What is Smarty Symbols?
Smarty Symbols is a set of educational graphics/symbols that can be used by speech-language pathologists, teachers, other educators, and parents to create resources for their clients or students. Right now, there are over 13, 000 images, and they are constant adding more images.

Download Hub:
I use the Download Hub to download single images onto my computer.  I can put these into PowerPoint documents, Word documents, and whatever else I need.   What I love about this page is that I can search for images by the category or by the sound.  As a speech-language pathologist, this helps me think of target words faster than I could on my own! Such an awesome resource.

Here's an example. I made this in PowerPoint for one of my clients.

Printing Center: 
One of my favorite features of Smarty Symbols is the Printing Center.  I will take my clients back to my computer and create board games, bingo cards, or other activities during our sessions.

Select your template, search for your words, and drag into the template.  Fill it up, save, and print. It's so simple!

Check out this video below to walk you through printing center:

Activity Library:
Sometimes I don't have time to create something myself, so I head over to the Activity Library, search for what I'm looking for and see what others have made.  You can search by grade level, subject, and theme!  Anytime you save an activity that you have made, you have the option to save it to the activity library. Here's an example for articulation:

As you have seen from the images above, there are different characters too.  I absolutely love this option because I can use brown-haired boys (mostly). I find that my clients respond better when they are more personalized.   Here are a few of the characters:

Meet Will:

Meet Maria:
Meet Violet:

Meet Al:

Do you think you could use Smarty Symbols in your speech room?  Here are your options:

Head on over to Smarty Symbols to join today!  

Do you use Smarty Symbols in your speech room? If so, share how you use them below! 

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Monday, November 14, 2016

ASHA 2016 Tips and Discounts

It's that time of year again. Time for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Convention.  It is a great opportunity to learn, network, and hang out with SLPs from around the country/world!  I am unable to attend this year. However, I have attended many in the past and have loved them.  Here are some tips to survive ASHA and some discounts with affiliate links that are happening this week in honor of the convention!

-Take an extra battery for your phone.  Outlets might not be accessible or might be full! At the very least, take your chargers wherever you go.
-Wear layers-the room temperatures are extremely variable.
-Wear comfortable shoes! You will be walking all over the place. Convention centers are huge, especially Philadelphia's.
-Find a way to take notes that works for you. Download the session handouts on your iPad or computer to save paper.
-Earn CEUs, but also take time to breathe and enjoy yourself. Explore the city--Philadelphia has a ton to see!
-Pick up freebies, enter giveaways, and purchase materials in the Exhibit Hall.
-Network with other SLPs. There will be network dinners/gatherings for various universities and groups.
-Meet bloggers!  There will be several booths in the Exhibit Hall with bloggers.  Talk to them and enter their giveaways! They're pretty awesome people! ;)
-Make note of where bathrooms are. There will be long lines, so you might want to find an alternate if possible.
-Report your CEUs as soon as possible. If you don't do them in a timely manner after the convention, you will lose them!
-Carry cash. Not all of the vending machines/concessions will take cards.
-Bring business cards. Some of the vendors will take those for giveaways.
-Always carry your badge. You will need it to get in and out of the convention, between buildings, and to enter giveaways in the Exhibit Hall.
-Try and go to the Exhibit Hall as soon as you can.  That's when you'll get the best freebies!  Super Duper gives away huge bags, but they do run out!
-Plan your sessions out ahead of time.  Also have back-ups in case a session gets cancelled.
-Get to sessions early, especially for the big names. They will fill up and turn people away.
-Business casual is usually the standard.

-ASHA Mobile Adventure-Win a MacBook Pro

-ASHA Store (in the Exhibit Hall)-discounted for conference attendees

-Hanen Centre: 20% discount discount + free shipping on all orders placed at their booth

-Little Bee Speech: apps 50% off November 16-18, 2016

-Northern Speech Therapy Services:

  • materials and CEUs on sale here through November 21, 2016
  • FREE CEU! Enter code NSSCEU124

-Outloud Apps: All apps are FREE here.

-Reading with TLC: 25% off materials using code ASHANOV16

-Smarty Ears: apps 50% off this week only 15% off already discounted items online using code ASHA2016 Enter to win an iPad Pro and a lifetime of CEUs

-Super Duper Publications: 20% off using the code ASHA2016 at checkout online

-Tactus Therapy Solutions: apps on sale until November 30

-Talk Tools: 20% off + free shipping on any order placed at their booth and online with the code ASHA16 15% using the code SAVE15

-Virtual Speech Center: Discounted apps

-Western Psychological Services ( off and free shipping until 12/23/2016 using code: ASHA2016

Note--other discounts will be added as information becomes available!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

CEU Course from Hanen Centre: Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children

I don't work with very many bilingual children, but recently I did get a referral for one.  Fortunately for me, he was bilingual in Spanish, which was my second major in college.  My graduate program also offered a multicultural course, but I felt like I was just getting the basics.  So as soon as I got the bilingual client, I started looking around for resources.  Thankfully, The Hanen Centre just released a brand new e-course called Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children!

I have loved listening to the latest research on the topic. The strategies presented are extremely practical, and I can put them into practice tomorrow.  Another thing I love about the course is the number of case studies presented and talking through how to approach it.  The speaker was very easy to listen to and was knowledgeable about the topic.

Another thing I love about The Hanen Centre e-courses is that they're easy to fit into a busy schedule.  The course was 2 hours long, so it was super easy to complete from my couch or kitchen table.  I spend a decent amount of time at both ;)

Boosting Bilingual Environments for Young Children is a great introductory course that discusses the latest research with bilingual children, provides strategies for SLPs and to give to parents, and how to support parent questions with the latest research.  It is a great place to start for SLPs beginning to work with bilingual children.

The Hanen Centre has generously given Home Sweet Speech Room readers 40% off of this course, if you're interested!  Enter the code SWEETSPEECH40 at checkout!

Note: A code to view the course was provided in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

My husband has food allergies, and Halloween was always a hard holiday for him as a child.  He couldn't eat most of the candy that people would give out.  Some of them contained peanuts or peanut butter.  Others were "made on equipped that processed peanuts" or "may contain peanuts."  Back when we were children, there wasn't as much awareness, and there weren't as many kids with allergies.  People are becoming more and more aware of allergies and are starting to do something about it.  One of those ideas is the Teal Pumpkin Project.

The mission is simple: offer non-food treats as an alternative this Halloween for those kids who have allergies.  Common food allergies include wheat, nuts, food dyes, chocolate, and dairy among others.

Why is this important to speech-language pathologists?  Well, a lot of the students/clients that we work with have food allergies or sensitivities.  Even if they don't have true allergies, some parents choose to limit the amount of sugar, gluten, food dyes, etc. that these children have.  I believe this is one way we can advocate for them!

Here are some ideas for non-food items:
-glow sticks
-small bouncy balls
-kazoos or other whistles
-mini notebooks

The Teal Pumpkin Project asks that you be careful with some non-food items due to other allergies. For example, some play-doh or molding clay could have wheat. Other toys might have latex.

To find out more information, print off flyers, and/or register your house, you can go to The Teal Pumpkin Project's website.

This Halloween, my husband and I will have two separate bowls-one with non-food treats and one with candy. Will you join us? 

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Using Play-Doh in Speech Therapy

I remember play with Play-Doh all the time when I was younger. It is still one of my most requested items with my younger clients. Here are some ideas on how we use it in therapy.

1. Build the tongue and model what it does for each speech sound. Peachie Speechie has this freebie in her TpT store.
Tongue Placement Freebie

2. Make something that starts with their sound.  For example, make items that start with /s/-blends: snake, stop sign, star, school, spot, etc.

3. Articulation Smash Mats- Many different sellers have smash mats in their stores. Here are some of my favorites:

Apraxia Smash Mats from Simply Speech

Play Dough Pizza Smash from Courtney Gragg
Spider Smush from Peachie Speechie

1. Simple following directions games.  It can be something as simple as the SLP giving the directions to make a pizza or cookies.  There are also ideas on TpT such as:

Play Doh Pizzeria from Stars on the Spectrum

2. "Pictionary" but they sculpt it instead of draw it.

3. Barrier games.  Put up a barrier in between the two kids and have them describe what's on their side so that the other can make it exactly the same way.

4. Themed cookie cutters for vocabulary. Grab some at the dollar store with the current season. As the students/clients cut out these shapes in the play doh, discuss the different vocabulary words, definitions, etc. Have them come up with sentences about them.

5. Building items in categories.  Make different kinds of fruits. Build different types of vehicles.

6. Describing.  Have the students/clients make an item and then use specific, descriptive language.  Is it long or short? Is it blue or red? What is it used for?

7. Create the letters of their name or trace them in the doh.  Preschool and kindergarten teachers will love this!

8. Basic Concepts--Target prepositions with the play doh.  I love this packet from Live Love Speech to do just that!

9. Nursery Rhymes--Nursery Rhymes are especially great for phonological awareness and sequencing. Here are smash mats from some TpT sellers:

Nursery Rhyme Play Dough Mats

No Print Nursery Rhyme with Smash Mats
10. Story Retell--Have your client/student retell a story by making the various parts of the story out of play doh. You can also use smash mats such as these to help them retell the story.

Old Lady Smash Mats from Simply Speech

11. Smash mats to cover those topics and more!  Check out TpT, as many sellers have smash mats that cover more than I listed above. For example, Simply Speech has these that cover WH questions, prepositions, and pronouns!

Language Smash Mat Bundle

1. Play restaurant.  Have the kids take turns order and serving "food" that they make with the play doh.

2. Have the students/clients share the play doh containers and utensils. Have them ask politely to pass them. Work on sharing. Also tie in some Social Thinking concepts such as Expected/Unexpected.

3.  Smash Mats--There are some smash mats on TpT that are specifically for pragmatics. I love this one from SmartmouthSLP!

Social Skills Squish Bundle

How do you use play doh in speech therapy? 

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

10 Ways-A Social Skills Game {app review}

Everyday Speech just released a brand new app called 10 Ways-A Social Skills Game!  It is a free app that targets a lot of different social skills! Check out the app below.

There are 9 categories or "games" in this app:

Select the number of players and enter their names.

The app is played like Jeopardy. Simply select the point value, and a question pops up.

Conversational Skills categories include:
-Taking Turns
-Starting and Ending Convos
-Maintain a Conversation

Nonverbal Communication categories include:
-Tone of Voice
-Body Language
-Personal Space
-Facial Expressions
-Eye Contact

What Do You Mean? categories include:
-Taking Things Literally
-Indirect Messages

Problem Solving categories include:
-Big or Small Problem
-Ways to Solve Problems
-Seeing the Other Side

All About Friends categories include:
-Acting Like a Friend
-Talking to Friends
-Perspective Taking

My School Day categories include:
-Out of the Classroom
-Before School
-Lunch Time
-In the Classroom
-Interacting with your Teacher

Going to a Birthday Party categories include:
-Party Manners
-Party Games
-Before the Party
-Hidden Party Rules
-Interacting with Friends

In the Community categories include:
-People We See
-Places We Go
-Public versus Private
-Going to a Restaurant
-At the Park

Family Time categories include:
-Having Fun
-Going to Someone Else's Home
-Family Dinners

At the end of each game, you will go to "Social Showdown." This promotes further discussion about one of the topics.

Here's what I love about the app:
-It's FREE.
-It addresses a lot of different types of social skills.
-There are 10 different ways to practice those social skills.
-It is designed for group play, up to 5 children.
-It's Jeopardy-style, so it's a fun, familiar set up.
-There are over 400 questions in the app, so the kids get a lot of practice.

What I would love to see in an update:
-A way to take data that saves it under each child's name and by category

What my clients said:
-"This game is fun!"
-"I like competing against my friends and trying to get more points than them."

10 Ways-A Social Skills Game is a fantastic free, Jeopardy-style app that addresses conversational skills, nonverbal communication, figurative language, problem solving, friendships, and asking/answering questions.  It is designed for groups of 2-5 children, which makes it perfect for SLPs who run social skills groups.

If you're interested, you can find this app for FREE in the App Store.

Note: I was contacted by Everyday Speech to review this app. No compensation was received. All opinions expressed are mine. 

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