Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Top 10 Repetitive Books for Speech and Language Therapy

I am a big proponent of using books in therapy.  Literacy has been a big push recently, and I am a firm believer that you can use books to target ANY goal in therapy.   Today's topic is about books--more specifically about repetitive books.

Repetitive books have many benefits.  They encourage participation from all students or clients.  They are perfect for individual sessions and group sessions.  They have a pattern, so they are easier for children to pick up on and thus participate more.  I ask my clients to repeat those lines with me.  I will model the line a couple of times, say "Say it with me," a few times, and then just pause the next couple of times to see if one or more of them will fill in the gap.

I also use repetitive books with my clients who use AAC devices.  This allows them to participate as well.  I do similar things as I mentioned above.  This helps encourage vocabulary, language development, and allows them to explore various folders on their devices.

For articulation sessions, I choose books that have repetitive words or phrases that contain my clients' sounds.  For example, if I have a child working on CH, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is perfect.

Here are my top ten repetitive books for use in therapy (in no particular order):

1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

2. We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

3. Any of the There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a ___ books

4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault


5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

6. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow

7. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

8. Are You My Mother? by. P. D. Eastman

9. Polar Bear, Polar Bear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

10.  Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins

What are your favorite repetitive books to use in therapy?

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!   I hope you had a lovely weekend saying goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.

2016 was like most years, some highs and some lows. I would say on the whole, it was mostly highs.  I resigned from my position at a school to begin full-time at an outpatient clinic.  We spent the first year in our first house.  We watched our friends welcome their first-born children.  I bought a new car.  We took weekend long trips to Nashville and Branson.  We celebrated two years of marriage.  I'm looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

There's a trend right now to pick a word for the year and focus on that.   My aunt posted a video montage on Facebook.  You were to screenshot it, look at your photos, and see what word you got.  Here was my pick:

Definition-a very large quantity of something; the state or condition of having a copious quantity of something; plentifulness.

I'm not quite sure where God is going to take me this year, but I'm looking forward to finding out why abundance was the word that popped up.  I'll keep you posted.

Happy 2017!

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Game Spotlight: Pin Point!

I'm starting a new set of blog posts called "Game Spotlight."  People always ask me what games I love for therapy, so I thought this would be a fun way to highlight the games that I love to use, both new and old.

Today's game is called Pin Point! from Blue Orange Games.  It is brand new, and I cannot wait to share it with you.  If you are familiar with Spot It, you will love this game.

Description from Blue Orange Games:
"Develop your eagle eye abilities with this new twist on the classic “find the differences” game! Each card has 5 images on it- one Original image and four with variations. Players use process of elimination to locate the Original by pointing out differences in the other four pictures. This brain teasing game will delight kids of all ages as they race to spot the differences in the printed pictures. There is always one original- can you find it?"
This game includes dice, directions, and 72 different challenge cards.

To play,  you flip a card over and look for the "original."  You compare the variations on the card one-by-one.  If there is something that only appears on ONE of the images on the card, then it is considered a variation.  The first person to call out the color of the "original" wins the card (one point).  If a person calls out the wrong color, you lose a point (discard a card).  The first one to 5 points wins.

Let's try one:
This card below has five different snakes. The first thing I notice is that the green one does not have a tongue sticking out and the rest do. Therefore, green is NOT the original.  Then I notice that pink does not have nostrils and the rest do. Therefore, pink is NOT the original.  Blue does not have stripes on his belly and the rest do. Therefore, blue is NOT the original.  Down to yellow and red. When you compare those two, you notice that yellow does not have dots on the end of its tail. Red and the rest of the snakes do. Therefore, yellow is NOT the original.  You would shout out, "RED!" at this point and collect the card.

Watch this video to find out more and see it in action:

This game is a great way to target language (similarities, differences, descriptions, vocabulary) and social skills.  It is also great for problem solving. I have also used it a few times as a reinforcer for my speech only clients. The occupational therapists that I work with love this game for visual perceptual skills.  It was a bit difficult to understand the game at first.  However, once we understood the concept and had played a couple of rounds, my clients loved this game!

If you are interested in this game, check out Blue Orange Games for more information!

Note: A copy of the game was provided for my review. No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed are mine. 

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gifts to Promote Speech and Language Development

It's that time of year to buy presents for those we love!  As I'm shopping, I always try and buy gifts for kids that promote speech and language development.   Here's a list of gifts I recommend.

  • Repetitive Books
  • Rhyming Books
  • Wordless Picture Books
  • Scrapbooks/Photo Albums
  • Books by Maria Dismondy


  • Apples to Apples
  • Candy Land
  • Snails Pace Race
  • HedBanz
  • Guess Who
  • Rory's Story Cubes
  • Uno
  • Jenga
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Don't Break the Ice
  • Spot It


  • Blocks
  • Shape Sorters
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • Bubbles
  • Stacking/Nesting Cups
  • Dolls and Doll House
  • Balls
  • Train Sets
  • Kitchen Set + play food
  • Markers/Crayons
  • Play Dough

What gifts do you recommend?

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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

-SpeechCorner.com- 15% off already discounted items online using code ASHA2016

-SpeechPathology.com: 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

-TeachMeToTalk.com: 15% using the code SAVE15

-Virtual Speech Center: Discounted apps

-Western Psychological Services (WPSpublish.com)-10% 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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